Cover Story: The Big Qs of 2011
"As marketers seek to implement more data-driven campaigns and marketing strategies across a growing media mix, it will be essential to have immediate access to data that is linked across all channels and insight that is actionable," says Experian's Johnston. "CMOs want to know what channels—and what mix of those channels—drive purchasing decisions. Properly measuring attribution is critical to understanding campaign effectiveness and adjusting channel mix and spend for future campaigns. Leading marketers have figured out how to reconcile channel attribution and apply the correct mix of touches across those outlets."
KBM group has seen the same increase in multichannel touchpoints. "Our clients' marketing plans are more diversified," now than in years past, says Laben. "They are testing more messages in more channels. Because there is testing and experimentation with new and emerging channels, measurement and evaluating ROI are more important than ever."
"Remember the Pareto principle," that 20 percent of your customers deliver 80 percent of the revenues, advises direct and email marketing consultant Reggie Brady. "Even if those ratios are off, it is vital to find multichannel strategies that address your most valuable customers. It's not just about email or catalogs/mailings or the Web—it is all about developing a communication strategy that leverages multiple touchpoints for this important group of customers."
How Do You Balance Consumer Privacy?
"The privacy groundswell is growing and makes good sound bites for the Washington aristocrats," says Ken Lane, senior marketing consultant, J. Schmid and Assoc. "While the direct industry has done much to self-regulate ... all it will take is a documentary on privacy concerns for this to blow up."
In fact, all it took was the Federal Trade Commission's recommendation for new "Do-Not-Track" rules in December. The proposed rules would allow customers to opt-out of being tracked by companies on the Internet, much like they can opt-out of telemarketing calls at home. In many ways, however, this move coincided with a conclusion marketers were already drawing themselves: Getting accurate and in-depth customer information is so important to next-generation marketing campaigns that you need consumers to approve of your activity—you need to get opt-in.