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Understanding Customers Matters More than Ever (Anthony Marino, CMO of ThredUp)

Posted on February 18, 2016 by Glenn Gow

For the modern marketer, plentiful data tells the customer’s story. Tracking is invisible. Behavior is predictable. Testing is routine. Personalization is an imperative. Now, it’s all about the data. But wait…is it? Moneyball for Marketing’s guest in this installment might at first seem an unlikely character to tackle that question. Anthony Marino, CMO of leading second-hand apparel marketplace ThredUp, came to E-commerce from Virgin Group, where he says, “we were very focused on building customer experiences in the physical world.”
He, however, sees the left brain and right brain approaches very much as interdependent activities. “You want to really love your customer,” says Anthony, “that really provides a really powerful lens in looking at the information about what she’s doing on the site.” Anthony talks about the importance of knowing and loving your buyers, the challenges of a startup marketing system, how to get customer buy-in to track their online behavior, testing, personalization and more. Highlights include:

To know her is to love her: Anthony talks about how ThredUp came to really understand their (predominantly mother) users and the dividends this market intelligence has paid off. “There are all these factors…that sometimes were hard to pull out of the data, but when we spoke to customers, and when we highlighted in the right ways we saw that it drove the repeat behavior.”

Tell her about it: Anthony explains how critical capturing email addresses is to the marketing system of a small startup, and how explaining to customers why they need this really works. “It’s always shocking to the customer when you talk to them like they’re a person, and you treat them like they can make rational decisions and think as they will surprise.”

Personal Preference: On the issue of personalization, Anthony advises again to balance data market intelligence with common sense understanding of what customers are really about. “What we try to do from a personalization perspective…is put yourself into the head of the customer. What are they trying to do… sometimes just putting the tools in the customer’s hand based on their shopping intent is the most personal thing of all, just please get out of my way.”

As Chief Marketing Officer at ThredUP, Anthony is responsible for customer acquisition, CRM, product strategy, merchandising and brand. He consistently motivates the marketing team to “think big,” one of thredUP’s core values, and one that was instilled in him particularly during his work with the Virgin brand.
ThredUP is the leading online marketplace to buy and sell women’s and children’s secondhand apparel in like-new condition. Cleaning out your closet with thredUP is as easy as filling up a free Clean Out Bag to give your postal carrier, and you can shop for thousands of quality name brands (mainstream and designer) at prices always up to 90 percent off retail on the site or mobile app.

 
Read the full transcript here

Glenn Gow

Glenn Gow is an expert in marketing performance, Coach, Board Advisor, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host and Founder & Advisor of Crimson Marketing. Follow me on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+. To get a free copy of Crimson’s One-Page Marketing Metrics Funnel, visit here.


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