The digital channel offers unparalleled opportunities for marketers to understand how best to serve customers. How could ZoomerMedia better encourage its audience to engage online?
ZoomerMedia has integrated data on customer preferences from its on- and offline media properties—enabling it to build targeted campaigns to attract more people to the digital channel.
Deepensunderstanding of customer preferences, helping shape more compelling marketing
Boostsdigital marketing touches by 20 percent, sparking up- and cross-sell opportunities
Growsthe digital channel and helps ZoomerMedia drive engagement and revenue
Business challenge story
New media, new opportunities
In Canada, the 45-plus population represents the largest age group, and has the spending power to match—but innovations in media and content have tended to focus on younger generations. Enter ZoomerMedia: an organization aiming to reverse this trend by delivering TV, radio, print and digital content to meet the needs of aging Canadians.
Michael Smith, Team Lead for Business Transformation at ZoomerMedia Limited, takes up the story: “Our business is divided into two parts: a non-profit, advocacy-first arm called CARP that fights for the rights and wellbeing of Canadians as they age, and a for-profit arm that includes successful TV stations, magazines and websites.”
Lynn Kozak, VP Audience Development at ZoomerMedia Limited, continues: “Zoomer magazine is one of our most popular media properties. It’s a lifestyle publication with rich content and editorials aimed at ‘zoomers’—baby boomers with zip.”
ZoomerMedia aims to deliver compelling content to every customer, but achieving its goal via print media alone presented a challenge.
“Our digital channel makes it far easier to understand and deliver what each customer actually wants, because we can gather far deeper insights into individual preferences based on reading habits, browsing patterns and more,” Smith explains. “Many of our customers are used to consuming content in print titles like Zoomer magazine, but we knew we could offer them a richer experience if we could inspire them to visit us online.
“To encourage more of our customers to engage with us online, we needed to reach out to them with compelling campaigns to spark their interest in the digital channel. As an organization that’s grown rapidly by acquisition, achieving that goal required us to bring together customer data from multiple different silos and build a more complete, 360-degree view of our audience’s tastes and interests.”
Inspiring elder customers to engage online
To serve the most engaging content to the right people at the right time, ZoomerMedia adopted an analytics-powered marketing methodology. Fully integrated with a single, centralized source of customer data from the company’s customer relationship management platform, the new marketing platform is enabling ZoomerMedia to build a more accurate view of unique customer preferences, and reach out with tailored messages automatically.
“When I first joined ZoomerMedia, we were working with a very traditional product, price, place and promotion approach to marketing—but now, that’s all changed,” says Kozak. “We are now pivoting towards a strategy with audience development at its heart.
“For example, if we see that a number of customers who subscribe to the print edition of Zoomer magazine are reading articles about healthy living on the CARP website, we can build campaigns that direct them to similar articles on our Zoomer magazine website. We see a great deal of value in the cross pollination between our for-profit magazine and our not-for-profit association.”
By automating many marketing processes that were previously complex, time-consuming and resource intensive, ZoomerMedia empowers its lean team to focus on value-added initiatives.
“In the past, I always used to say that we had no shortage of good marketing ideas, just a shortage of people to execute on them,” Kozak recalls. “Today, we can complete essential tasks such as segmentation, list-building and analytics in a fraction of the time that we could previously. This frees our people to spend more time digging down into our customer data to uncover new ways to delight our audiences. Without a doubt, automation gives us bandwidth to deliver more value.”
With intelligent automation supporting its marketing processes, ZoomerMedia is driving toward its goal to boost the popularity of the digital channel.
“We’re always asking ourselves: ‘how can we encourage this customer to come back to the website?’, because that’s the place we can understand them better, serve them better and nurture them more,” says Kozak. “In practical terms, this means shaping direct mail and email campaigns with calls to action that link to digital properties, and we can already see that those efforts are paying off.”
Creating positive experiences that drive sales
As ZoomerMedia’s marketing transformation gathers pace, the company is seeing a surge of interest online.
“Our motto is: ‘we know 50 plus’, and thanks to our centralized, analytics-driven approach to understanding our audiences, that statement is now truer than ever,” says Smith. “We have rich data on every marketing touch with every customer, whatever part of the ZoomerMedia organization they choose to engage with.
“We have more than 750,000 customers on our email list, and we drive more than 50 million customer interactions per year. Because more customers are now visiting us on the digital channel and our marketing team has more time to analyze the data, we are continually improving the relevance of our communications.
“Last year, we successfully increased our marketing touches by 20 percent while ensuring that every message was relevant, compelling and personalized. By bringing customers online, we are creating valuable opportunities to recommend products and services that customers may not otherwise have considered.”
Kozak continues: “We are moving from a traditional media company to a new media company, and our new marketing capabilities are a key enabler of that transformation. In the past, it was extremely difficult to measure the performance of our campaigns and implement improvements quickly. We can now track the strong and weak points of our outreach in near-real time, and make adjustments on the fly if we find that we’re not serving our target audience with the things they want to see.”
Looking to the future, ZoomerMedia plans to integrate machine-learning capabilities—opening the door to even more personalized customer services.
“We see great potential in cognitive technologies to enhance the experience of engaging with us on a variety of channels, especially our contact center,” says Smith. “For example, by combining sentiment analysis with data on a customer’s past interactions with us, we can show our agents products and services that may be particularly relevant to the customer in that moment—inspiring more callers to purchase.”
Smith concludes: “Our future is digital engagement everywhere—but that journey is just beginning. As younger, more technology-savvy generations approach their 50s, we see that digital will become the core of our business, and we are excited to enhance the customer experience in the years ahead.”
Founded in 2008, ZoomerMedia Limited is Canada’s only diversified media company uniquely devoted to creating content, services and experiences for Canada’s 15.8 million people aged 45-plus. ZoomerMedia owns and operates media across platforms including TV, radio, print and digital, as well as trade shows and conferences. ZoomerMedia also operates CARP, Canada’s leading non-partisan, non-profit, advocacy organization for older Canadians, representing 300,000 members.
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