What is a Marketing Play?
A ‘marketing play’ is the name we give to any set of outbound communications sent to a group of targeted individuals, that can tracked and measured in terms of revenue generation. All of the following are examples of marketing plays:
- A one-time email send to past purchasers of a specific product
- An automated ‘thank-you’ campaign triggered when a customer makes a new purchase
- A multi-stage loyalty campaign across email and social channels aimed at retaining customers
Take the first example above. In Audience Selector, you would build the list of contacts you’d reach by email (using transaction data within the CDP) and export that list to your email service provider. Once the emails are sent, the CDP would know who’d you contacted (via Audience Selector) and who ended up transacting as a result of the campaign (via transaction data sourced from your POS system). Those two data points come together in the Plays dashboard, which puts revenue data at your fingertips when evaluating campaign performance.
How do plays work?
For starters, plays work to complement audiences and campaigns, but both audiences and campaigns can continue to be used without making use of plays.
To get started, you’ll work with your CSM to map automated campaigns and the outgoing email sends to their corresponding plays. Transaction data flows into the CDP on a one-day lag, so revenue would be visible in the Plays dashboard within 24 hours and automatically be attributed to the appropriate campaign.
How is revenue attributed to a play?
Here’s an example illustrating how revenue attribution would work for plays:
- Suppose you send an email called “October Newsletter” to a consumer on 10/01/2020
- The next day, the consumer opens the email and clicks on a link in the email to browse your website
- A few days later, the consumer comes into your store and purchases an item for $100
- Based upon that stream of data, Ascent360 will attribute $100 in sales to the October Newsletter because the consumer opened and clicked on the email beforehand
Some settings are configurable (for example, the reporting window that the system would use for attribution), but the broad strokes of the process remain the same:
- Within the attribution window, clicks would be favored over opens over sends when determining which campaign should have revenue attributed to it.
- Revenue attribution will not use a fractional approach, in order to simplify the calculations.
- Note: If one person in a household receives a marketing communication and another individual (i.e. a spouse) makes the purchase, the transaction would not be attributed.
- Revenue attribution for plays is meant to be directionally accurate in order to facilitate decision-making based on available data.
What kinds of plays are available?
Plays include a host of strategics that are tried-and-true drivers of revenue, including:
- Lapsed Customer: Re-engage your lapsed customers to win them back
- Post Visit: Generate reviews, brand loyalty and future visits
- Pre-Arrival: Lower cancellations, build brand loyalty and upsell customers prior to their arrival
- Post-Purchase: Build an automated stream to incentivize the next purchase
- Prospect Conversion: Build automated streams to encourage first time or repeat purchases
- Re-engagement: Re-engage customers and drive new purchases
- Renewal: Drive past purchasers to renew products and services
For a full list of plays, consult your CSM.
What is an A360 Play?
An A360 Play can be a couple of different things. Most generally, it is a way of grouping specific messages together to more easily track revenue and performance of those messages.
Where in the Platform can Plays be found?
Plays can be found by navigating to Execute > A360 Plays.
What are the types of Plays?
Most commonly, a Play is a series of automated messages that is sent to a specific audience or segment of customers.
Alternately, a specific Segment of customers that are communicated with on a regular basis, but not necessarily in an automated fashion can be considered a Play. This allows to track performance of the communications to that segment in total, rather than message by message.
What is Mapping a Play?
Mapping a play refers to the process that is done by Ascent360 on the backend of the platform to tie together the schedule from Ascent360, the Audience, and the emails from the ESP.
Who creates a Play?
A play can be created in collaboration with a client and Ascent360.
- Audience Creation for Each Touchpoint – Client or Ascent360
- Touchpoint Creative – Client would create the ad creative whether it is an email, a Facebook ad or Google Ad.
- Campaign Automation/Schedule in Ascent360 – Client or Ascent360 can create this.
- Automation of Email Delivery – This is done in the client’s ESP and is most commonly set-up by the client. Ascent360 can support this as well.
- Mapping the Play – Ascent360 maps Plays on the backend, so clients must notify Ascent360 when they have created touchpoints and schedules for a Play.
How many Plays can a client have?
There is no limit to the number of Plays a client can have as long as they are unique.
Is there a cost to Plays?
Flash360 Clients get 3 Plays as part of their subscription. Additional Plays can be purchased. New Plays are charged at our hourly rate of $165 per hour to set-up.
How is Revenue Attributed to Plays?
Revenue is attributed through our standard attribution model which can be found in detail in Flash360 Revenue Attribution 2020
What Plays are available?
There are numerous Plays available, and new ones added regularly based on feedback from our clients. The full list can be found in the Platform in Execute > Available Plays.
Can a client have more than one of the same type of Play active at the same time?
Yes, more than one of the same type of Play can be running at the same time. You can differentiate with the Play Subtitle. So, for example, there can be a replenishment Play for “Energy Bars” and there an be another replenishment Play for “Recovery Drinks” running at the same time to unique audience and on unique schedules. However, if you’d like to track all replenishment together in one Play, each product could be set-up as a touchpoint rather than a different Play.
How long is Play Revenue available?
Play Revenue will be attributed as long as a Play is running. If a Play is de-activated, they Play will remain in the A360 Plays section forever for tracking and reporting purposes.
Can one touchpoint be attributed to multiple Plays?
No, a touchpoint has to be unique to a Play and cannot be attributed to multiple Plays.
How are emails that are not part of Plays handled?
Emails that are not part of Plays still have revenue attributed to them and they can be found under Ad hoc in the Execute section.
Definition of Terms:
- Play: A series of touchpoints to a specific audience or segment.
- Touchpoint: One of several individual communications to a specific audience or segment that is part of a play. 1 email is a touchpoint, 1 Facebook ad is a touchpoint
- Audience: The customers that receive the communication.
- Segment: Created by applying specific criteria that narrows the audience down to a smaller portion of customers.
Marketing Play Example:
Pre-arrival series of 3 emails:
- The Play is the entire series of 3 email communications that are automated to send at specific times. In this example, the "Pre Arrival" play is used, with the subtitle "Lesson Cross-Sell Rentals"
- Each of the 3 emails is a Touchpoint. In this example, the touchpoints are named "(1 Day) Before Lesson", "(3 Days) Before Lesson" and "(1 Day) After Purchase"
- Audience is comprised of any of the customers that received the communication.
- The Segment is created by adding the parameters such as Arrival Date is 3 days from today or Arrival Date is 10 days from today.