Strategy: Data-Driven Sleuthing
David Ogilvy once said of direct marketers: "We sell, or else." Ogilvy was a very smart man. However, many of today's professionals still are not aware of how their marketing performs. They don't know if it sells or, if it does, they don't know why.
This is why there is no substitute for evidence-based marketing. Evidence-based marketing can be defined as the combination of proven marketing methods with intensive and meticulous testing, all tied to the commitment of measuring the impact of each message in each medium. Hard evidence trumps intuition every time. Successful evidence-based marketing is based on: statistical evidence, studies, research, trend analysis and industry best practices.
To implement evidence-based marketing in your organization, follow through on these seven phases:
1. Situational Analysis
First, establish the current state of the market and the company. Ask the following questions:
- What are the current results? By media? By segment? By product?
- What were the key quantitative benchmarks for success?
- Were there any kinds of profiles and predictive models used?
- Which media should we be putting more marketing dollars against based on ROI?
- Which segments performed best?
- What benchmarks were missed and what were met?
- Was the model successful?
In this phase, you also need to concentrate on the data. Improving targeting by identifying the best prospects will help optimize your marketing spend by reducing cost per lead.
Data also helps drive ROI. You should take a deep dive into the information about individuals who made a purchase, those who didn't and those who switched from/to a competitor. Additionally, data can drive not just your front-end efforts, but also determine how much time and effort you spend on follow-up efforts.
What if there is no data? If this is the first time out of the gate for this product, you should commit to a process that will enable you to have the "evidence" needed for the next campaign. Use profiles and/or ?qualitative online research, grassroots intelligence from sales channels, etc. to do this.