Mining for Creative Ideas
Anyone familiar with database marketing is aware of the cultural divide between creative types and data types. It’s as if the two groups speak a different language. While maximum response and ROI are shared goals, how the two groups go about understanding the audience to craft campaigns that achieve these goals often is completely different.
Data analysis typically is targeted around one goal: selecting the “best” names, the names that will bring the highest response. Different audience segments may be selected, but in the end, a name either is selected or it’s not.
The challenge is left for the creative specialists to fit the right creative message to the right offer that fits each segment of these best names.
Simply put, if the people creating messages and offers don’t clearly understand what each segment is, why it’s unique and what sort of behaviors are most likely for each, it will be very difficult for them to appropriately fit messages to each segment.
Data analysis should support all three aspects of a direct marketing piece: list, offer and creative. Maximizing these synergies can increase ROI, but first the analyst’s goals have to change to supporting all aspects of a direct marketing offer, not just tracking and list selection.
A Behavioral Database
While we often think of a database as a record of transactions, it is actually a record of customer behavior, and as such can provide critical marketing insights. While in a technical sense the database is built to track information, the real purpose is to understand the behaviors being tracked. Any list selections, messages and offers then are based on that understanding.
The behavioral database perspective is especially powerful when used to explicate a new marketing model pioneered by Dr. Neale Martin, founder and president of Atlanta-based Ntelec Inc. His model explains why customer behavior often conflicts with customer attitude, especially the weak link between customer satisfaction and repurchase. Recent research in the fields of neurobiology and cognitive science reveal that the mind divides up tasks between the conscious and unconscious mind. The unconscious mind is responsible for up to 95 percent of our actions. This means the database is a more reliable tool to understand customer behavior than surveys or focus groups.