We recently sat down with Cat Covert — Head of Email Marketing, HealthQuotes, at Massive & Company LLC — to learn how Blueshift has played a role in her marketing success as well as the tips she has for marketers looking for the right solution to up-level their marketing strategies. Cat has been in digital marketing for more than 10 years, working on every channel from social and native to SEM and email, with email remaining one of her favorite channels. Let’s get started!
1. To kick off, what do you love about marketing and your role specifically?
One of the reasons I love marketing is because I really like trying to understand what really motivates people to do the things they do, and then find ways to help them in their journey. Marketing is fun because it’s always evolving and what we do today will be different a year from now.
2. What are some of the biggest marketing trends you are seeing, and how should marketers act on them?
I think the biggest thing still trending in marketing right now is putting the customer first and aligning all marketing messages to the best customer experience — not just limited to email but all channels. Marketing is a lot like design; not everyone comprehends what makes a great design, but they can always see a bad design stick out. Customers have become used to great marketing outreach from other brands, which makes the bar higher for everyone else to meet and exceed.
I believe a great experience starts with a great onboarding experience. Every brand should be running some type of triggered onboarding campaign for a purchase that’s been completed or when a customer signs up with your brand. I think it streamlines the customer experience and shows the customer we are thinking about what happens next. The series could be simple: a thank you for buying with a guide on how to use it and then a final email to show some other great tips and tricks from other customers. Or, even better, an incentive to buy something to go along with the purchased product. If you rely on reviews, using this automation to ask for a customer review is beneficial as well.
3. You’ve used Blueshift at two previous companies and championed Blueshift at your current company. Why is Blueshift your go-to?
In my previous roles, Blueshift has been instrumental in connecting the dots in a user’s journey. If you are thinking about the customer experience, you need a tool that gives you insight into what your customers are doing and how they are interacting with your business. It’s one thing to assume how the experience should be and another to tailor it to your customers’ actions. Being able to use Blueshift as a tool to understand those experience gaps is one of its greatest vantage points — and one of the many reasons Blueshift has been my go-to.
With this, Blueshift has also allowed me to improve the customer experience as a whole and truly personalize communications to any scenario that a customer could go through, and then create comprehensive experiences for each user. Other platforms I have worked with have not allowed a journey to be created and customized as easily as Blueshift.
Another reason Blueshift has been a go-to for me is that they really listen to their customers. I’ve been using Blueshift for four years now, and I have seen the changes they have made to make it a better platform based on the needs of their customers. As much as I talk about customer experience for those interacting with my business, I too am a customer of these marketing tools. I think about the feedback I have provided to other platforms, and those things never change; with Blueshift, I have seen the changes in the tool, so I know they are listening to our needs as marketers. When a company is dedicated to continuously evolving to meet the demand of its customers, that is not something to be undervalued. That alone does make it a little harder to evaluate other tools, because I do have a bias of a great past experience using Blueshift.
4. When you first started using Blueshift, did anything surprise you?
I think Blueshift was built with marketers in mind. So when someone would say “Wouldn’t it be great if we could target someone who did XYZ?” and we were able to say “Yes, we can do that,” it was such a pleasant surprise! It is a powerful tool that helps answer those questions.
The real surprise is when you get used to having everything at your fingertips. You wonder how marketers get anything done without a tool like Blueshift.
5. When you recently evaluated MarTech platforms for Massive & Company LLC, how did you evaluate each?
At my current company, it was important that we chose a solution that was the right match for the customer experiences we want to deliver. Having used Blueshift for years prior, I knew we needed a solution that would connect our data and then allow us to easily use it to create those experiences. I started by evaluating options in the CDP category — using G2 as a resource — and began setting up demos. We evaluated each solution on how well it met our needs and our specific use cases.
Blueshift really stood out against other solutions because it provides everything in one place — access to customer data with real-time events and attributes. Plus, Blueshift really eliminated the need for us to have multiple platforms for data storage needs. The ability to create journeys with any type of communication, triggered from a real-time event all in one place, is one of the many reasons I keep coming back to Blueshift as a needed tool. In my evaluations, it was clear that the data science models and predictive scoring capabilities that Blueshift provides are way ahead of the game compared to others. I also found the speed of Blueshift’s segmentation and having real-time capabilities to be a powerful feature that I didn’t see in other solutions.
If you want to make smart marketing decisions, you have an all-in-one platform that can help you really dig deep and create amazing marketing experiences.
Another area that stood out was the ability to use recommendations. Other solutions did have some capabilities here; however, they could only do so much, whereas Blueshift takes it a step further and allows you to use those personalized recommendations across all channels.
6. Do you have any advice for marketers evaluating new platforms now?
It’s important to first understand what you’re solving for, what your needs are as an organization, and what capabilities and features are important to you to achieve your goals. Once you’ve identified those, I’d start researching the types of solutions available that meet your needs and setting up demos where you can see the product in action and discuss your specific use cases.
Before demoing, I’d recommend really trying to understand how many messages and the types of messages (such as email, SMS, or push) you want to send each month. It’s easy to throw out a number or think about what you are doing now, but make sure to calculate your growth vision. This will really help you understand the numbers you are looking at during your evaluations. Then, understand how each platform bills: by users, messages, or both. How they define a user is very critical to your business as well.
I think anyone looking at new platforms will be surprised at the pricing out there and what capabilities you are actually getting — some are still pretty limited in what can be done, especially more CRM-oriented systems. It can get your head spinning with how many platforms are available out there, but it’s beneficial to look at as many as possible.
When talking with various platforms, be sure to give them true use cases. It’s important to make sure you choose the right solution that will meet your specific needs and help you achieve your goals now and as you grow. Demos are also a great way to get insight into customer service and support and you should be evaluating that as well. It was clear Blueshift went to great lengths to really understand our cases, and that showed in our demo.
For us, we needed a solution that would allow us to understand when a customer fills out a form, get insight into what the next stages are in each customer’s experiences, and then match each unique customer with the best communications for them. We couldn’t see that insight before, and with Blueshift, we were shown that with all the data in one place, we can not only do that but also send the right messages at the right time.
7. How does Blueshift help marketers succeed?
Blueshift allows you to identify the gaps in the user experience, because you can see everything in all one place. I think, “Is anyone getting a message when they leave the site without a purchase?” or, “Are they getting a follow-up email because they bought X?” These are all areas that can be easily addressed by the visibility that Blueshift provides. The recommendations feature is also really important — talk about an easy follow-up email that is automated to the user based on their previous viewing. “You bought this, so we think you’ll like X.” How cool is that? Anything that helps you make smarter messages is a win to me!
Blueshift is a tool that will change the way you interact with your customers forever. If you aren’t using a SmartHub CDP or marketing automation platform right now, it will be one of the best decisions you make. There are endless messaging capabilities that can be done, whether you’re a 1-person or 20-person team.
If you want something that can help you connect with your customers based on their real-time behavior with your business, Blueshift is the product for you. I’m inclined to say anyone, but there are always barriers to entry with small businesses.
Thanks for chatting with us, Cat! We hope Blueshift continues to exceed your expectations.
Convinced Blueshift is the right SmartHub CDP for your company? Schedule a demo with one of our experts today to get started.