Target the Right Contact
Targeting the right individual at an organization does two things: It delivers your message to the decision maker you want to reach, and it reduces postage, printing and production waste. Even the best creative becomes waste in the hands of a non-decision maker. After all, while necessary to grab the reader’s attention, creative accounts for only 15 percent to 20 percent of a direct marketing campaign’s success. Getting the material into the right hands, however, can mean the difference between a sale and no sale. And the ability to target the right contact relies on the data.
Many areas of the business depend on accurate customer data. Customer service, order processing, shipping, invoicing and, of course, sales and marketing all look at the same data, or segments thereof, to do their jobs effectively. So, the “right” contact for one person or department may not be the same for another, but each group needs access to accurate and current information. That begs the question, “Does my company have all of the relevant contacts in my marketing database to support all areas of the business?” Often, business information has a one-sided view—the view of the person who entered the data—which can be very limiting and results in a “No” answer. Therefore, the accuracy as well as the completeness of a “customer view” is even more important to get to the right contact.
Get Relevant Information
Because customer information is a source of knowledge for multiple business areas, the data has to be relevant for each purpose. When asking a list manager, for example, about the types of business professionals they can target, marketers also may want to consider additional contacts at the company, whether at the same location or a different one, who influence the decision-making process or who will be involved at some point during or after the purchase. The value added by marketing through this process is immeasurable and saves a tremendous amount of time for the sales team as the customer relationship progresses. However, it’s important to note that the relevance of this information is directly related to the timing of the information delivery.