AiThority Interview with Leah Logan, VP, Media Products Strategy and Marketing at Inmar Intelligence
What is your current role and the team/ technology you handle in the company?
I am the Vice President of Social Commerce at Inmar Intelligence. I lead product strategy and commercialization across influencer marketing, conversational commerce, personalized media, and digital incentives products.
How did you arrive here?
Prior to joining Inmar, I led the marketing efforts for all brands at Walmart for Dr Pepper Snapple Group. At DPSG, I received several marketing awards inclusive of “Who’s Who in Shopper Marketing” and the “Get it Done” award for outstanding collaboration with Walmart Marketing. I’ve led integrated marketing efforts across the board but found my passion in the Social space.
How have customer service methodologies evolved in the recent months? How would you compare these with Pre- COVID times?
Customer expectations of brands and retailers have been continually rising, and COVID only accelerated that. Providing great (and immediate) customer service is definitely a key component of changing expectations, but it’s not the full story.
Customers are expecting personalization throughout a connected shopping journey. They want to know they are getting the best selection of products, with the best price, with the best service. And, they want that experience consistently.
Tell us more about your recent findings on eCommerce marketing and branding tactics?
In 2021, the importance of connected social commerce and eCommerce marketing strategies will only increase. Major social platforms like Instagram and TikTok are releasing new features, layouts, and integrations with companies like Shopify that put shopping front and center on a user’s feed. At Inmar, we’ve been focusing on integrated add-to-cart solutions. Our goal is to create a seamless consumer experience from discovering influencer content to being able to purchase. A lot of this growth will likely come from socially engaged shoppers (shoppers who are following influencers or regularly engage with brands online). In our own research, we found that 52% of socially engaged shoppers have made a purchase directly through a social platform vs. 35% of all shoppers.
In our research, we have also seen a 4.4x increase in customer adoption of chat-based interactions with brands. In 2019, we surveyed 1,500 consumers and found that only 9.1% had ever interacted with a brand via a website pop-up/chatbox, SMS, social media messaging, or other direct-to-consumer communications channel, but in 2020 that number increased to 40%.
Your predictions for 2021 related to the industry/technology/leadership styles?
The most important aspect of leadership change is the coordination of planning that MUST be expected to bring together the in-store, on-site and off-site executional elements. Any retailer will tell you that bringing together the circular with endcaps was difficult enough over the last few years and still isn’t perfect in many ways. Today, bringing together end-caps in the store with the circular, different pages on the retailers eCommerce site and on top of that, paid social media, off-site programmatic messaging and…there are a ton of elements that matter in the omni-channel world.
The second most important aspect of leadership change, connected to coordinated planning, is coordinated measurement. This is crucial, of course, because activity without measurement leads to a poor learning situation as it relates to improving the customer experience. When omni-channel means multi-vendor execution, this becomes increasingly difficult.
Finally, there are a host of new questions that leaders will be asking over the coming years that never entered into the equation in the past. One that’s top of mind is “what’s the difference between my in-store NPS score and my on-site NPS score” – this one matters a lot. If 15-20% of your sales are coming from an eCommerce site that degrade NPS scores, there is a net loss here that over time will really impact loyalty and lifetime value metrics.
Any advice to every E-commerce marketing team that would help prepare for the current pandemic era?
There are so many customer touchpoints currently impacting shopping behavior. Many retailers have an “omnipresent” strategy where they offer many shopping channels – brick and mortar shopping, buy online pick up in-store, grocery delivery – but, they haven’t found a good way to connect those channels together. My advice to every marketing team would be to start connecting those customer touchpoints and really dig into understanding the customers themselves — because it’s not enough to just have the channels, you have to connect them to truly create an impactful experience.
The future of E-commerce marketing will be the utilization of inferred and declared shopper insights and attributes to connect with your shoppers in the most personalized way possible. Utilizing this understanding of behavior will provide the ability to combine audience segmentation, audience availability and a variety of incentive/deal constructs to maximize ROAS, In addition to driving a vendor managed personalization approach and a test and learn environment/capability to drive continuous improvement and engagement for both shoppers and brands.
Tell us about your remote workplace stack and how it helps you stack on top of your game? Which tools are you currently using and are a big fan of?
The team is pretty much scattered across the country, so we’ve definitely been reliant on virtual meetings and chat to stay connected. For most day-to-day meetings we rely pretty heavily on the full Google suite of products – being able to easily collaborate on slides, spreadsheets, articles is really important.
Inmar had invested heavily in network upgrades prior to the pandemic including Palo Alto firewalls with Global Protect VPN. This allowed us to transition the office workforce to remote work with very little effort. We had also invested in a new Cisco phone system allowing us to push softphones to everyone in order to work remotely.
Across the enterprise Inmar has ~99 SaaS tools in use. Some of these tools include Jira, Oracle Fusion, Zendesk, Salesforce, Five9 and others. The Inmar teams were already used to using SaaS applications and were able to continue in their day to day activities with no real changes.
Inmar makes use of Google Meet, MS Teams, Zoom and WebEx. Google Meet is the preferred internal video conferencing platform with the other three being available to accommodate the needs and requirements of our Clients.
Thank you, Leah! That was fun and we hope to see you back on AiThority.com soon.
As head of Product Marketing for Inmar Brand Solutions, Leah leads strategy and commercialization for the company’s Influencer Marketing, Conversational Commerce, Personalized Media and Digital Incentive solutions. Prior to joining Inmar, Leah led the marketing efforts for all Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) brands at Walmart. In recognition of her work at DPSG, she received the “Get it Done” award for outstanding collaboration with Walmart Marketing and was named to “Who’s Who in Shopper Marketing.” Throughout her career, Leah has led a variety of marketing initiatives but has found her passion in the social space. She has also provided commentary for publications including AdWeek, Digiday and AdAge and spoken at numerous events focused on social and digital marketing.
Inmar helps leading Fortune 500 companies and emerging brands stay relevant and propel growth while providing their consumers with personalized and precision-driven tools to save money, improve health and safety, and more conveniently go about their lives. Inmar’s holistic portfolio of media products enables advertisers to access a variety of intelligent tools, including its influencer media platform, conversational commerce (chat-based media), audience extension and on-site digital media for retail. As a trusted intermediary for over 35 years, Inmar has served retailers, manufacturers, healthcare providers, government and employers as their trusted intermediary and helped them redefine innovation.