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Macy's Rewards Customers for Providing Tracking Permission

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Challenge: New technology allows companies to track consumer's every move; however, caution must be taken to ensure that permission is gained before tracking commences.

In a new IBM study of more than 30,000 consumers it was found that consumers are willing to share their personal information if they feel they receive value in exchange:

-- The percentage of consumers willing to share their current location via GPS with retailers nearly doubled year-over-year to 36 percent.

--Thirty-eight percent of consumers would provide their mobile number for the purpose of receiving text messages and 32 percent would share their social handles with retailers.

This same sentiment has been confirmed in our Voice of Customer (VoC) research for Fortune brands regarding willingness to opt-in based on Reciprocity of Value expectations.

Macy's opt-in based multichannel customer engagement

Today's customers are multichannel. Therefore marketers have to follow their lead.

Macy's PromoAlert program allows customers to opt-in to receive push marketing via email or text as well as through an Android or iPhone mobile app. Additionally, the company allows customers to opt-in to receive information on specific events, bridal registries, and more.

Macy's has also begun testing Shopkick<, an iBeacon/BLE-based Bluetooth signal at its Herald Square, New York and Union Square, San Francisco stores. The app automatically welcomes shoppers as they enter a store and shows location-specific deals, discounts, recommendations and rewards. The app can also tie in at-home browsing to an in-store benefit -- if a shopper "Likes" a specific product in the app. The Shopkick technology ties into the retailer's own app.

The company has established complete transparency in their opt-in mobile tracking technology. Macy's offers details on their PromoAlert program on their web that allows customers to both sign-up or opt-out.

Four takeaways:

1. It cannot be emphasized enough that transparency is essential in order to get active opt-in from customers.

2. Retailers need to develop all tracking technologies in a way that preserves trust and delivers personalized benefits in exchange for their willingness to provide increasingly deeper levels of personal information.

3. Improve customer loyalty through personalized brand experiences. Customers who opt in expect that the information they receive will dramatically enhance and improve their overall experience.

4. Integrate digital and physical stores to enable a seamless shopping experience for customers. Every aspect of your marketing needs to reinforce your overall brand and customer experience.

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Ernan Roman is recognized as a Customer Experience innovator and was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame for creating three transformational methodologies: Voice of Customer Relationship Research, Integrated Direct Marketing, and Opt-in Marketing.
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He was also named by Crain's B to B Magazine as one of the "100 most influential people in Business Marketing".

His latest book on marketing best practices is titled, Voice of the Customer Marketing: A Proven 5-Step Process to Create Customers Who Care, Spend, and Stay.

Ernan is also the author of the widely read blog, "Ernan's Insights on Marketing Best Practices", (www.erdm.com), and author of "Opt-in Marketing" and "Integrated Direct Marketing".

ERDM's Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, NBC Universal, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Symantec.

As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based strategies, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with customers and prospects of these clients to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high value customer relationships.