With many marketing departments shrinking over the past year-plus due to the struggling economy, it’s become paramount to execute programs as efficiently as possible. That means increasing the productivity of all marketing activities. Tom Ratkovich, president and CEO of smartFOCUS ASTECH, a Denver-based provider of marketing automation solutions to the publishing industry, shares his thoughts on how publishers can do just that.
1. Automate Marketing Efforts
“For example, a new start of a print subscriber might generate an automated start verification e-mail, might generate a customer service questionnaire within a certain time frame, etc.,” explains Ratkovich. This contact provides opportunities to cross-sell and engage consumers across platforms. The more you automate your communications to connect with prospects and customers in every channel they use, the better chance of getting or retaining those consumers.
Ratkovich offers the example of someone who buys a personal classified ad to sell a car in a newspaper. A marketer could “very easily integrate that data, and hopefully automatically have that data integrated with subscription data to identify whether or not that person is a print subscriber. And if not, ideally there would be an automated process to generate a communication to No. 1 thank that person for placing the ad, and No. 2 provide them some sort of offer or incentive to bring them on to the print product. And that goes for other channels as well.
“Those that engage across digital channels, whether it’s Web sites or e-mail newsletters or SMS, hopefully generate that information to thoughtfully engage [active consumers] in other ways.”
2. Gather and Monitor as Much Customer Information as [Necessary]
“What are consumer preferences? Do they look at you as trusted infomediaries? Are you in position to prompt consumers to share information that they may not otherwise share with other vendors or merchants? And if so, how do you then take that information and deploy it through the right channel to deliver relevant messages on behalf of that merchant to the consumer?” asks Ratkovich. “A lot of it is about data on the advertising side and using that data to replace revenue streams that are migrating elsewhere.”