Nestled in Lancaster County, Pa., is the unlikely headquarters of Listrak: a digital marketing company set in a new, industrial-style office space that specializes in automation tools for maximum consumer engagement.
Jumpstarted in 1999, cofounder and chief executive officer Ross Kramer recalled that e-mail marketing — a key focus for the company — was uncommon at the time. When discussing the idea, Kramer had cautioned, “You know they are going to call us spammers.”
Nevertheless, the idea for Listrak took shape — and today the company offers digital marketing solutions to brands and retailers looking to move their digital and e-commerce strategies forward.
The company provides a customer-centric, personalized multi-channel experience that aims to drive revenue and growth for retailers whilst helping build relationships with their customers. Accordingly, Listrak recently hosted a “Path to Power User” training session for its clients, ensuring retailers understand how to best leverage what is on offer.
Advances in technology mean e-mail marketing has come a long way since Kramer first started working on a web-hosting business in his dorm room at Penn State, but the channel’s evolution does not mean its lost relevancy. “It is still an effective and efficient mode of marketing for the market that we serve,” confirmed Kramer.
The ceo attributed the opportunity for brands and retailers to tell their stories in full format (as opposed to being limited by a banner ad format, for example) as one reason for that success. Brands are increasingly looking to sell direct to their consumers, he added, and e-mail marketing — where a brand can reach millions of inboxes — is a way for them to tell their story in a cost-effective manner.
But the company’s reach extends beyond e-mail marketing. Providing a true omnichannel experience (one that offers “a single version of the truth,” as Kramer put it) is one of Listrak’s key points of emphasis.
Fittingly, SMS is a new focus for the company and according to vice president of sales Kara Surrena, client response has been tremendous. “It brings a sense of urgency to customers, and client response to that immediacy has been fantastic,” she said, explaining that Listrak’s priority lies in seeing business results for its customers.
Technologies in the works at the company are progressive and fueled by artificial intelligence. Kramer highlighted building a 360-degree view of the customer, predictive content and trend spotting as just a few of the things that Listrak has dug its heels into. The continued result of these efforts will be even more personalized recommendations over time, with a continued focus on reaching customers at just the right time and place.
Mike Hartman, senior director of product strategy, added that Listrak is diving deeper into data science, mobile and push-notification technologies and mobile wallet experiences. The company is actively building prototypes to explore functionality opportunities.
“We’re working on how we can bring the best of those experiences to existing customers as well as prospects, and we see that as another opportunity where we can drive engagements and results,” Hartman continued.
“We’re helping marketers sit in the pilot’s seat,” explained Tawnya Amdor, chief strategy officer. “We give them the dashboard and tools through the different channels to pull the levers that make sense in a given time frame or in certain consumer segments that allow them to be most effective and get from one destination to the next.”
Amdor said the company focuses on serving its clients by taking into account the way the world has changed. “We’re in a pivotal period in our evolution,” she noted. And, the ability to attend to these changes, she concluded, is what sets Listrak apart.
“A lot of folks would call us a growth engine for digital marketers,” summed up Kramer. “That’s where a lot of our customers love us, for that growth that we provide — incremental and profitable growth.”
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