6 Ways to Use Precision Marketing to Acquire and Retain Customers
Today's marketers are flooding social communication channels and airways with their mass-reach messages. Throwing messages to the wind in hopes that one's target audience will be on the receiving end is a surefire way to drive your customers into the arms of another brand. The digital world and its barrage of marketing and social messaging components has elevated this pattern of unintentional messaging, further separating customers from brands and leaving business outcomes hanging in the balance.
Mass marketing through social channels is no longer sufficient. Brands that want to cut through the clutter must align their offerings to specific and individualized consumer needs to achieve relevance. It's no longer a question of whether a brand wants to skip over this more defined route; today's consumers demand it.
Marketers need to provide an exclusive solution that fulfills a specific consumer need in order to rise above the messaging chaos. The Social Skinny reveals the bombardment of messages to individual's everyday totals over 290 billion emails, 2 million blog posts and over 530 million Facebook status updates. Further studies expose the reality of up to 3,000 messages a day walloping individuals.
It should come as no surprise that consumers are in revolt, demanding brands and services to supply solutions to their specific and individualized wants and requirements. Brands that don't oblige will ultimately send customers to competitors who are fine-tuning and tailoring their tactics.
With internet marketing it's become even more difficult to rise above the noise, as consumers have the option to disengage at the tap of a button through opt-out and unsubscribe options. The gap has widened between marketers and consumers. Fifty percent of consumers say they disengage with brands due to irrelevant content, while 60 percent of marketing messages continue to be deployed with generic content and unfocused recipient preferences.
Now for the good news: There's a practical and achievable way to combat this problem and re-engage marketing relevance by employing a "precision marketing" framework. Precision marketing is the means of sending the right content to the right person at the right time via the right channel(s). Smart marketers understand that inserting rich insights and scores of data into messaging provides them with a concrete foundation in order to achieve true customer engagement. These marketers will leave their competition in the dust, as time and time again relevance has been proven to drive revenue. The following six-step process will yield lasting and positive outcomes through its data-driven, insight-based structure:
- Determine objective: Decide on customer acquisition, retention or reactivation.
- Gather data: Use in-house data, collect data or buy data externally.
- Analyze and model: Extract insights from the data; outsource as needed.
- Strategize: Design your campaign targets and messaging around the insights you've gleaned.
- Deploy: Run the campaign as test versus control.
- Measure objectively against your campaign goals; compare and contrast test versus control results; append data and repeat the process.
Accessing, analyzing and acting with data at the forefront is a powerful path forward to achieving relevance. Marketers who want to gain relevancy quickly should start with an initial campaign and objective (e.g., acquisition, retention, reactivation), along with in-house data. By performing simple analytics on this data and around the campaign objective (you can outsource this step), you can determine the right targets and the right messages per target for your campaign. Set up the campaign to run test versus control, where test is your data-driven targeting and messaging while control is your business as usual, then measure the results.
Customer-centric marketing is no longer optional; it's become a requirement. Marketers need to adopt precision marketing to remain sustainable and successful. As with all things worth pursuing, precision marketing is a journey. Every journey begins with the first step. A precision marketing, measurable, results-driven approach — across industries, geographies and solutions — indicates that this is one very worthwhile and profitable adventure.
Sandra Zoratti is the vice president, marketing, executive briefings and education at Ricoh, as well as the co-author of "Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance."