Customer Portfolios' Blog

Augie MacCurrach

Recent Posts

How to Adapt to the “Retail Apocalypse”: Focus on the Customer Experience

By: Augie MacCurrach on August 3, 2017

 “The reports of brick-and-mortar’s death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Augie MacCurrach

News about brick-and-mortar retail has been dismal. Each week, it seems like more brands are shutting their doors. There is an influx of news articles trying to explain the death of brick-and-mortar, blaming millennials, technology, and the rise of ecommerce for store closures. These articles paint a grime picture of American retail today, with abandoned shopping malls and record-high retail job loss.

Top 4 Challenges Marketers Face During the Back-to-School Season

By: Augie MacCurrach on August 17, 2016

While it is still only the beginning of August, back-to-school shopping is already in full-swing for many consumers. It is important for retailers to stay ahead in order to bring in new customers and keep their existing ones. Since back-to-school shopping is the largest shopping event of the year, this gives retailers an opportunity to hit their revenue targets. By acquiring new customers, and retaining their current ones, they can accomplish their goals given they have a strong back-to-school strategy in place. 

Why SaaS Is NOT a Solution

By: Augie MacCurrach on June 2, 2016

In today’s business environment, there’s been an explosion of software-as-a-service (SaaS). By 2018, 27.8% of the worldwide enterprise applications on the market will be SaaS-based, generating $50.8B in revenue, up from $22.6B or 16.6% of the market in 2013. 

Portfolio Pathing Selected As A 2016 MITX Awards Finalist

By: Augie MacCurrach on April 25, 2016


BOSTON, MA – April 25, 2016Customer Portfolios today announced that its proprietary customer data analysis methodology Portfolio Pathing, has been selected as a finalist in the “Big Data & Analytics Innovation” category for the 20th Annual MITX Awards. Held annually by the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange, the awards recognize excellence in concepts and creations in marketing and technology produced or developed in New England.  

4 Technologies Changing the Retail Game

By: Augie MacCurrach on April 6, 2016

Today’s retailers are focused on how they can deliver a unique and personalized experience in to fuel customer engagement and loyalty. To that end, retailers are turning to technology and customer data to make this possible by providing them with an understanding of customer behavior and preferences. This allows them to deliver targeted offers and communication.

How to Make Loyalty Work for Your Brand

By: Augie MacCurrach on August 19, 2015

According to a recent Boston Retail Partners report
, customer loyalty is becoming a bigger focal point for retailers and is now a top priority for nearly half. It is easy to understand the appeal of a loyalty program, because on average, current customers spend 67% more than new customers. Thus, many marketers view loyalty programs as a way to capture and grow customer relationships.

Using First and Third-Party Data to Fuel Engagement

By: Augie MacCurrach on July 15, 2015

When one thinks about the digital ecosystem and all the different types of data that comprises it, this brings me back to the memorable scene in Forrest Gump when Bubba is listing off the different types of shrimp. Instead of shrimp, us marketers, are dealing with all different types data. “There’s big data, small data, structured data, unstructured data, first party data, second party data, third party data…,” and the list continues.

But what do all of these different data types mean for businesses? Which are the most relevant? While context plays a large role in determining the most relevant data type and deciding which data type is most relevant for your objectives, undoubtedly the cool new kid on the data block is first-party data and the ability to layer it with third-party data to foster customer engagement.

Defining First-Party and Third-Party Data.

Simply put, first-party data is YOUR data. This is the data that you collect directly from your customers and prospects. First-party data includes information captured through online/offline registration and sales, analytic data captured from visitor instructions on your website and mobile apps, intelligence captured in CRM systems, and information captured from the performance of online and offline marketing campaigns.

On the other hand, third-party data is customer information that is collected by a company that isn’t directly involved in the transaction. Third-party data can be collected in a number of ways. Third parties include Acxiom and Experian, and any other third party entity that aggregates, analyzes, classifies, and segments user data from a number of different types. The result is data that can be used to provide an additional layer of specific audience information.

When you marry third-party data with first-party data it enables you to understand how customers behave and engage across online and offline. When you use first or third party data in isolation, it paints an incomplete picture and does not allow brands to fully close the loop and connect the customer behavior and attribute dots.

For an example, if a prospective customer clicks on a banner ad and then visits the retailers website, the retailer is likely unable to know much about the prospect if they are strictly using first-party data.

However, when you combine the power of third-party data to first-party data, the retailer is able to understand who the prospect is (i.e., demographic information), what products they are interested in, and as a result, the retailer is able to create an engagement strategy that meets the needs of prospect. The retailer can tailor the content it displays on its website to be aligned with the cues and behaviors the prospect has exhibits.

Who benefits from first-party and third-party data?

When first-party and third-party data are layered together, it is a win-win for the retailer and the customer and/or prospect. The retailer is able to create 1:1 experiences that evoke engagement, and ideally, a transaction. From the perspective of the customer or prospect, they are happy because they are seeing content that resonates with them and their needs.

In summary, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of data and feel overwhelmed with all the various types of of data. However, when you bring together multiple layers of data (i.e., first-party and third-party data), this enables organizations to create a sophisticated engagement and communication strategy that incorporates personalized communication, targeting, and segmentation.

Challenges Every CRM Marketer Faces

By: Augie MacCurrach on April 22, 2015

The first wave of customer relationship management (CRM) was heavily focused on call centers, today’s CRM landscape has evolved with the times and is focused on the digital space. Although new technologies exist and marketers and businesses have adapted to the changing environment, many of the issues that plagued CRM marketers in the 1990s, still persist today.

Stimulating Engagement Post-Purchase, Part 1: Know Thy Engagement Level

By: Augie MacCurrach on March 25, 2015

As more brands begin to take a customer-centric approach, an underutilized metric that can help measure success is customer engagement.

Blog Subscription