Response Media: Bringing CRM to Life

Response Media: Bringing CRM to Life

Josh Perlstein, CEO, Response MediaJosh Perlstein, CEO
“Customer is king” is a frequently heard business mantra, and the king demands much more than just commendable customer service. Marketers are well aware of the fact that consumers, particularly in today’s data-driven and social media-influenced economy, hold immense power in terms of promoting a brand and want the best value for their money. Driven by a mission to empower retailers/e-commerce and manufacturers going D2C, Atlanta-based Response Media is dedicated to helping companies understand, create, and quantify CRM by “bring[ing] it to life.” The CEO of the company, Josh Perlstein, emphasizes, “We are a solution provider—a full-service digital and direct agency—whose cardinal role encompasses recommending sound strategy, alongside the right platforms and technology to marketers for building meaningful relationships with customers, all from a platform-agnostic perspective.”

Response Media highly emphasizes framing path-to-purchase for consumers into a multi-directional highway wherein customers can have utmost flexibility while buying. As an agency partner, Response Media is focused on collaborating, creating, and implementing a custom solution set for each client, which perfectly aligns with their business goal, and efficiently and effectively delivers the maximum value for them. The agency is open to all platforms and recommends the right ones based on a specific client’s requirements. “We plug in and synchronize different platforms while automating the interchange of data between them. We tie systems together by design and make them more efficient to operate through intelligent APIs and automation that we build,” explains Perlstein. With an aim to build consensus among different departments like sales, marketing, and IT, which is no small feat, Response Media conducts alignment workshops to congregate a client’s sales and marketing teams for discussing their primary goals and what CRM should deliver them accordingly.

Another agenda of the workshop is to quantify the value of an activity. “For instance, if we create a process to send personalized product recommendations to a consumer, we determine the value of the investment,” says Perlstein. Most importantly, by working with these teams transparently and collaboratively, Response Media brings unrivaled productivity in the solutions it creates and builds. Perlstein sheds light on the fact that the Response Media team is second to none when it comes to drilling down to the pain-points of the client with its listening skills. As consultants, the team partakes in listening training and is adept at synthesizing thoughts from different sources together to comprehend a client’s business better and develop a deep level of trust.

Response Media collaborates with the client’s teams to visualize the entire customer journey from awareness-to-advocacy before proposing a platform or capabilities for meeting the client’s objectives. In the words of Perlstein, “Tying together media and customer acquisition into the full customer communication and messaging cycle is critical. However, without a clear understanding of how to acquire customers and to fully comprehend their mindset, delivering relevant and personalized content to them is far from possible. We find most CRM solutions specialize in either acquisition or retention capability.”

We are a solution provider—a full-service digital and direct agency—whose cardinal role encompasses recommending and implementing strategies, platforms, and technology to marketers for building meaningful long-term relationships with their customers from a platform-agnostic perspective

Response Media, on the contrary, melds these entities together into a carefully coordinated combination and emphasizes the intersection of the two. This helps its clients to understand the different customer journeys from the beginning and enables them to scale those upfront, which allows for both Response Media and the client’s team to correctly budget and discern the methods that are working throughout the process.

At the core of the entire approach is first-party data. On the front end, Response Media assists in aggregating critical consumer data and their permission to utilize it at scale. But, that is not all. To drive advocacy, the agency recommends platforms and solutions that encourage customers to rate and review products and share those reviews on social networks. “We move them all the way from loyalty to advocacy, which at scale, opens up a whole new organic funnel of customer acquisition. It is a looping cycle,” adds the CEO. The Response Media team then comes up with a fitting solution set for each client from an agnostic perspective and handholds them through flawless execution. For clients that have teams to do the work, the agency coaches them with accountability for completion, which makes its job even more rewarding.

As a testimony to Response Media’s consulting efficacy, Perlstein recounts an instance when a global food and beverage client found that their retail and D2C sales plateaued. While the client partially addressed the issue through CRM and the development of an exhaustive catalog of content that they hoped would drive more sales, their efforts ultimately failed to meet their goal. That’s when Response Media stepped in to assist them in understanding the different customer journeys of their potential buyers and current consumer segments. To help the client test and understand what content resonated with its customer base, Response Media customized a few existing solutions and brought new tools to the table that enabled the client to drop the customers into the appropriate segments and deliver them the right content on the right channels. “In this case, we facilitated the sharing of content through email, direct mail, SMS, and in-app notifications. We also helped them build a structure to properly attribute sell-through, conversion, or purchase from this activity,” mentions Perlstein. Response Media helped the client create a model for utilizing personalized content to attract more customers to sign up for their loyalty program. The digital CRM approach that Response Media built contributed to incremental sales of the global brand, dramatically increasing the base of new customers joining the program and buying for the first time.

With the goal to continue evolving its strategic capability to stay ahead of the curve, Response Media’s future looks promising. While clients often focus on specific short-term goals, the agency goes out of its way to help clients implement new tactics and advocates focusing on long-term goals. “We are committed to helping clients tackle long-range goals, test new technologies, and develop innovative capabilities, primarily in the areas of automation and predictive marketing,” concludes the CEO.

Response Media News

LeaseAccelerator Creates First Automated System to Validate Accuracy of Lease Accounting Calculations

Reston, Va. - LeaseAccelerator, the pioneer in the Enterprise Lease Accounting software market, has developed a testing application called the Lease Accounting Validator that automates the testing of leases under the new ASC 842 and IFRS 16 standards, as well as frozen GAAP. With the initial deadlines passed on January 1st, 2019, public companies need to know that the lease accounting software they selected works for their specific portfolio, and not just for a handful of generic or illustrative examples.

When the combinations of rent, classifications, financial variables, fiscal calendars and contract options are considered, there are almost 100 billion possible scenarios that can occur in real estate and equipment leases. Examples of the various elements which drive the different scenarios include the timing and frequency of payments, rent and contractual modifications as well as the planned and actual end-of-term options.

The Lease Accounting Validator analyzes each lease in a customer's portfolio to identify the permutations of lease terms and fiscal periods as well as the expected and actual events that occur during the life of a lease. It then automatically executes the processes and reporting needed to calculate and then validate the accuracy of all of the journal entries throughout the lease from the initial commencement to the end of term. The Validator also automatically analyzes test results to ensure that the calculations tie out.

"Most software vendors are focused myopically on achieving 'day one' compliance with accurate beginning balances at the Effective Date. Their test plans are limited to the handful of illustrative examples included in the new standards," said Jonathan Crawford, CTO of LeaseAccelerator. "However, real-world leases involve a variety of changes that must be collected, accounted for, and tested within each close period. They present a much bigger challenge," noted Crawford.

Without an automated testing system like the Lease Accounting Validator, customers, partners and software providers alike would need to hire staff to perform time-intensive test planning and execution activities. Test plans and scripts would need to be updated periodically as the composition of the lease portfolio changes and new use cases emerge. Test results would also need to be manually validated to ensure that account balances tie out when expected and that calculation results are accurate.

"This is a game-changing innovation for our clients", said Michael Keeler, CEO of LeaseAccelerator. "The Lease Accounting Validator provides quantified evidence of the accuracy of our accounting calculations, which gives our clients and their auditors the transparency and confidence they need. LeaseAccelerator is the only vendor in the market able to meet this critical audit requirement for ASC 842 and IFRS 16 quality assurance metrics, which is why many companies have switched to LeaseAccelerator," noted Keeler.

The new lease accounting standards, which began to take effect for some public companies at the end of 2018, change the way public companies report leases in their quarterly and annual financial statements. Many real estate and equipment lease obligations, previously only disclosed in the financial statement footnotes, will now be capitalized on corporate balance sheets. The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) estimates that over $2.2 Trillion of assets and liabilities will transfer onto corporate balance sheets in the coming years.

John Kuett Joins LeaseAccelerator as Vice President for Lease Accounting

London - LeaseAccelerator, the pioneer in Enterprise Lease Accounting solutions, announced today that IFRS 16 lease accounting expert John Kuett has joined the company as its new Vice President, Lease Accounting EMEA. Kuett brings over 20 years of experience leading financial reporting, accounting and compliance for multinationals.

Based in Switzerland, John Kuett was most recently the Reporting Specialist at Nestlé, a $100 billion international consumer products manufacturer, where he was responsible for the implementation and application of changes in the International Financial Reporting at Group level. At Nestlé, Kuett established and updated the company's internal and external financial reporting guidelines, as well as provided vital advice and support on how the guidelines applied to specific issues and transactions across the global businesses.

Most recently, John led Nestlé's early adoption of IFRS 16 on the company's SAP platform using a full retrospective transition approach and then set up a leasing global centre of excellence in the firm's shared services organization. Prior to that, John led the project team for IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. He also directed training of the global Nestlé Finance & Control community. John Kuett's previous roles include Controller and Assistant Treasurer at Jenny Craig, Inc. and Vice President and Controller at Frederick's of Hollywood.

Kuett is a leading industry IFRS expert, specialising in topics such as IFRS 15 Revenue, IAS 16 Property, Plant & Equipment, IFRS 16 Leases, IAS 36 Impairment of Assets, IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets, and IAS 38 Intangible Assets.

"John's extensive experience will be invaluable in helping our clients succeed with their IFRS 16 compliance projects," said Michael Keeler, CEO of LeaseAccelerator. "He understands the interrelationships and dependencies among all of the IFRS standards – not just IFRS 16. As a former corporate controller, he can brainstorm and collaborate with our customers at all levels and at every stage of their implementation project and long-term operations."

"To adopt IFRS 16 without breaking the bank, companies need to substantially change how they manage, control and account for leases by automating the processes as much as possible," said John Kuett. "I joined LeaseAccelerator because its mission is to take costs, risks and time out of the global close process through automation. This is what controllers need right now. In my new role, I'll help customers and partners with all aspects of their LeaseAccelerator IFRS 16 implementation projects."

John will be speaking at the IFRS 16 – Application in Practice conference on 5 March in Amsterdam. His presentation, IFRS 16 Leases - Beyond Day 1, will explore the challenges and best practices associated with maintaining the integrity of the lease database, capturing ROU activity for reporting and disclosure, and achieving efficiencies and cost savings.