Presentation: Hourglass Marketing – Digital Marketing / Omni-channel / Lifetime Value – Robert Smolarski

This is the presentation deck presented at the New York E-Commerce Meetup on January 10, 2018:

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Digital MarketHourglass Marketing – Digital Marketing / Omni-channel / Lifetime Value


Hour Glass marketing and how it pertains to running a successful Omni-channel business and create lifetime customer value

About Robert Smolarski

Robert Smolarski is a CPG products and online marketing expert with over 10 years of experience in the e-commerce space.

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85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound

  • Return of the silent movie
  • Optimize content for mobile first
  • 15-30 seconds to win over your audience

60 percent of Gen Z video consumption is done via over-the-top services

  • Digital natives and Social media natives (millennials had to learn) they are not even doing consciously.
  • Gen Z’s are born 1995 to 2016
  • Gen Z consume media in a different way compared to millennials (born between 1980 and 1994)
    50% are connected online about 10 hours a day (their not even working yet)
  • Building a relationship, subscription models, and audience first media
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  • 1970s – Product Centric
  • 1990s – Products & Services
  • 2000s – Customer Centric
  • Today – Relationship Centric

We are living in a different era, and as this timeline suggests, consumers want relationships with the brands they choose to purchase. Its our job to create an experience the speaks to a certain customer and shows them that what you offer is worth more than their money. In order to do this, we have to think beyond conventional wisdom.

On going value, memorable experiences, immediate fulfillment, anywhere real time, personalized moments important developments. Companies need to take all of this into consideration to ensure their online and in-store experience is seamless

How do you build a relationship? You communicate to them.  

The Hourglass

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Conversion
  • Customers
  • Loyalty
  • Advocacy
  • Lifetime Value

Most of us view the journey through the marketing funnel. Awareness to Consideration to conversion and repeat. In the process they give us their email address and we keep them posted on promotions, and innovation or give them something free on their birthday.

But with the Internet of Things, eCommerce and global reach there is so much competition. The sale is only half the journey. We are only looking at our business with a microscope. Hourglass marketing extends to build lifetime customers and relationships. This is the main takeaway today.

That’s when your job really begins

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  1. Digital Marketing
  2. Omni-Channel
  3. Lifetime Value

1. Digital marketing, the first half of the funnel or the microscope and what to expect in 2018
2. Omni-channel, the middle of the funnel which includes ecommerce, in-store and what that landscape looks in ’18

3. Lifetime value, the second half of the funnel, of the telescope, this helps ID the customers your brand truly speaks to

Hourglass marketing is the way we as marketers should view the customer journey moving forward, weeding through to find the consumer who want to try who want to buy, the microscope

Break it down into Digital marketing not just marketing because in my experience much less expensive. A Marketing dept. is a cost center so we need to find ever way be efficient.

Omni channel – and the intersection of webrooming and showrooming. Criteo, the commerce market ecosystem, states that traditional retailers need to band together if they want to compete with Amazon

And Lifetime value is the goal, identifying the evangelists for your brand, the telescope

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Digital Marketing

Organization is Development side and the Delivery side

In 2018 Awareness will change.  As technologies continue to evolve. Digital is everything, info is being receive from several different channels

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death of google

This statement may be a little over the top but our dependence on browsers will begin to wane. 

In an Internet-of-things (IoT) world, mix in with mobile apps, augmented reality interfaces, and voice interactions, social media, the browser will become one channel among many and no longer the de facto means by which we purchase products or services digitally.

For Example: Bobby Magee on his way to work on train scrolls through Instagram feed and sees friends posting about NY resolution and a few posted about being in the gym, getting gains, losing weight. He decides he will get back in shape.  As he clicks AI is doing its thing and eventually Behavior-based analysis leads to personalization and data driven optimization

Brands and retailers will get better at consumer and behavioral data.

The dream is (1:1) marketing, tailored interactions at scale. For example Netflix ditched demographic profiling for “taste communities” , 1300 different ones. over demographic and geographic groups

The guy in NJ and the teenage girl in Poland both get recommended “Stranger Things”

For example: Bobby Magee at lunch checks his fantasy football on Yahoo, 24H Fitness works with digital market/ media like Kenshoo, which recognizes the keywords in the posts, understand he is a male, 36 year old, geo-targets his location as Soho and later Hohokus, NJ, understand his friends demo and their latest searches, coupled the millions of the searches common to his. His next Instagram session serves him an ad about getting in shape for New Year.

This is nothing new just done to scale. My father in law writes personal facts about his clients on the back of their cards in a Rolodex

This was always the goal. NOW we can do it to scale.

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In 2018 we will begin to become more accustomed to technologies. We will see a behavioral change.

Shopping with Images

Image (search) Will be Worth A thousand Words.

Instead of typing in words, many consumers will use image-based search for the first time in 2018. In fact, image and voice activated search may make up 50 percent of all searches by 2020.

Again our default might not always be browsers.  The examples here are eBay, Screenshop (backed by Kardashians), Pinterest

We turn the smartphone camera into a search engine for products. Google lens was early? or just awkward?

We are creating a social media campaigns to always include the product, like product placement.

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Voice SEO

Voice will be the new SEO. Over the time, AI will continue to get better (Nano reps, knowledge base, shopper data) at providing relevant results.
Alexa is winning voice-enabled devices with 70%, share over Google, Apple and Samsung

Excellent content, written in a conversational tone, more long tail on voice will be more important.

For example: Bobby Magee decides he needs to buy protein powder. He asks Alexa “protein powder”

Alexa Result 1

Wrong product and hard to request another suggestion

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Alexa Result 2

1 day later

Amazon is taking a page from Netflix taste communities, but they only use what the data tells them

Alexa question 3

What is the best protein powder to build muscle. Alexa… “I don’t know that one”

He had to type in his search term phrase

There is still some uncertainty with Amazon choice + Amazon changes ever 90 days.

– Amazon choice badge is granted for a specific keyword/ phrase that Amazon has indexed

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Over the course of six months

The most interesting call out is the Sponsored Products. If amazon opens up sponsored ads I’m pretty sure customers would be turned off

Amazon is def considering Spads SEO on Alexa

Its like a commercial on TV, during Seinfeld on channel 11. I know Bobby Magee doesn’t like it


When consideration is done right conversion happens. Remember this is only half the marathon.
This gets us closer the Lifetime value, which is the ultimate goal.

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Millennial Conversion

  • 50% in store
  • 27% on computer
  • 22% mobile
  • 1% catalog shopping

This is a widely used graph and it has a powerful message. Lets focus on digital right now.

Augmented Reality, IKEA, Houzz all utilize augemented reality in their mobile apps.
Amazon has a tool so you can insert a blender on your countertop but data is limited.
Bottom line is AR will continue to grow and marketers and software developers (art & science) will work together to figure out creative ways to help convert and minimize returns

AR still has a long way to go

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Webrooming/ Showrooming

Experience First, Store Second

A new breed of retail stores and in-person experiences, rooted in digital, will begin to replace outgoing retailers.
In store is not dying, its changing.

Webrooming / Showrooming

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50% are still buying in stores

Born online Casper

Retailers will start Making their stores instagramable

Mobile payment grew up in 2017. In China hard cash is virtually obsolete.

Here in NYC some coffee shops don’t even accept cash

Mobile payment will become the preferred method in 2018

Brands are retailers mobile will be part of the omni-channel experience

Taking mobile orders on a long line. Online purchase pickup in store.

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1-Click Checkout

Amazon patent ended in 2017
Mobile purchasing will increase as plug ins make it easier to create the button on all sites.

Lifetime value

This brings us to the second half of the hourglass

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Become a source for content the customer wants

Loyal programs. People are willing to provide their information. They expect you to keep it secure.

Confusing points, tiers system. Those that participate try to game the system.
The purpose is get customers who are loyal to brand, not cards and points. Simon Sinek talks about building relationships w/ customers that your brand speaks too
And its not everybody can be your customers because your brand doesn’t speak to everyone.

There is a one company that doesn’t have a loyalty program.

Loyalty programs focus on loyalists

They had to make an appearance. Shift in how Loyal programs work

through additional spend by a customer
treat your best customers better than everyone else. Focus on focuses on loyalty rather than rewards

Artificial intelligence will make it possible. Personalized shopper data. A company called

Apple is a unicorn

  1. New and improved
  2. Customer lock-in (hard to achieve), make it a pain to switch to another brand and a different way of working
  3. Customer Differentiation, create several versions of the same product to reach several segments (work vs home) (price points)
  4. Feeling of showing off your iPhone Exclusivity – persona
  5. Customer Experience – Genius. available 24/7 customer service
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Subscription Economy

Subscribe and Save will take over. This strategy helps identify evangelists of your brand

  • Shopify plug ins
  • Ritual vitamins
  • Amazon Subscribe and save
  • focuses on loyalty rather than rewards


  • Affiliate- easier then every for customers to leave feedback, harder than ever to get someone to do it because of category saturation
  • through positive word of mouth, or online reviews, social posts
  • Difficult to have a customer leave a product review, posting one on social is more likely
    incentivized reviews are not the answer
  • social micro influencers
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Affiliate Marketing

Affiliates done correctly will help brands achieve “trust” with consumers

Consumer love to buy hate to be sold

Influencer Marketing

Micro influencers networks will continue to grow as 1:1 becomes more achievable and taste communities become defined

Millennials and Gen Z will be the last generation to be marketed to.

Replaced by true 1:1 marketing at scale

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Lifetime Value

  • This is where the real money is
  • Multiple channels
  • Multiple devices
  • Consistent brand experience
  • This process repeats
  • Identifying your best customers