To target customers in a down economy, customer intelligence, data, creative and media integration are always important. But marketers must work even harder—with more symmetry—in today’s economic environment. It’s imperative that marketers use all the information available to them to give their communications more influence with the consumer. Consumers are looking for value, discounts and special offers for the items they truly need and tremendous bargains for items they might consider.
Customer data on purchase history, frequency of visits, transaction value and response can help marketers target their efforts to the most important customer segments with direct mail. Additionally, using the media that customers rely on for discounts, such as advertising inserts, can help reach a less targeted audience with greater frequency. And now that more than 75 percent of all U.S. newspapers offer some targeting, those advertising inserts can be zoned to your most receptive audience.
Finally, marketers’ creative needs to stand out more than ever. Targeted and versioned creative, based on attitudinal segmentation, can have a greater impact than non-versioned creative, while helping to increase ROI.
To meet the bottom line in a tight economy, marketers must ask their advertising vendors for help. Many times, an advertising provider can recommend cost-saving solutions without making major changes to the program, and also provide tools to marketers to help them fight for their budgets. Consider working with marketing partners that provide end-to-end solutions, which help reduce costs.
Ask customers how they’d like to be communicated with and make modificiations based on their responses. If the information isn’t available, use any available media research at-hand. For example, research such as Vertis’ 2008 Customer Focus® Study shows that marketers trying to reach one customer segment multiple times may use direct mail and newspaper inserts, yet for a different group, they might consider TV, billboards and magazines. Another Customer Focus finding shows that the consumers most affected by today’s economy turn to advertising inserts for help with their puchases.