Target Marketing April 2013


Blogs for Fun and Profit

Blogging. For one contingent of marketers, pumping out posts on the company blog is their favorite part of the day; an opportunity to muse about industry news, highlight their products and release creative fuel that is otherwise bottled up. For other marketers, blogging is the chore in the way of getting "more important" work accomplished. To them, writing daily posts is an endless nuisance, like listening to "The Song That Never Ends."

Direct, Data and Brand United

It's a dream that United Airline's loyalty program can make real, says the message on the poster that's whiter than the clouds: "MileagePlus ranks No. 1 in award seat availability among U.S. global carriers." But what's unusual about this poster is there's no overt call to action, no trackable URL—nothing but the brand message. This is unusual because before summer 2010, when brand entered into the marketing mix, MileagePlus was purely direct marketed, says Mark Krolick, managing director of MileagePlus at Chicago-based United Airlines.

Games: The New Loyalty Marketing?

Would you like to play a game? Most people would. The psychological buttons games push, similar to those involved with love or drug addiction, are universal. That makes gamification a powerful tool in direct marketing.

Great Book. Sloppy Prose.

Since acquiring a Kindle, I have started buying and reading books, big time. Being a World War II buff, I am continually looking to fill in my understanding of how the U.S. and our allies conquered half the world in just 4-1/2 years. More to the point, why has the U.S.—for more than a decade—spent billions of dollars with thousands of soldiers getting shot up in two third-rate Middle East countries?

Is Your Online Marketing an F?

Question: Do any of the following keep you up at night? "I don't know what to test, so I don't test," "Our customers are leaving our website," or "Our market has dried up"? If these resonate with you, your marketing is probably failing. And you're wasting marketing dollars that could be working for you instead of against you. I'll show you five ways to fix this by leveraging the principles of conversion optimization and testing.

Love Your List

Most B-to-B marketers are drawn to practices that are simple and proven to work. In a deadline-driven, fast-paced world, marketers need to rely on proven techniques to avoid paths that might cause them to stumble. This is especially true when it comes to building a direct marketing list, whether it is for a calling campaign, direct mail or email.

Nexos Makes Augmented Reality Sing

Margaret M. Boller adheres to the first rule for most content creators: "Know your audience." As publisher of Nexos Latinos magazine, the president of Morristown, N.J.-based eclipse marketing services also knows an important statistic about her publication's 1.6 million readers—they're U.S. Latinos, and U.S. Latinos are leading the nation in mobile device ownership and use.

Room for Improvement

This month, I'm going to share some of my all-time favorite tips and resources for effective email marketing. I hope they will help make your campaigns more successful. 1. Enhance the Data on Your List: Marketers know applying segmentation techniques to email messaging makes programs more relevant. Best-in-class marketers use targeting and see a much stronger ROI. Collecting data that you can use starts with registration forms and preference centers, and continues with monitoring clickthrough behavior.

Stop That!

As a merchandising and branding strategist, I abide by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen's profound axiom: "A product has a job to do for your customer." In addition, I remind my clients their products (or services) either enhance their brand or detract from it. Right now, I am in the midst of finishing my upcoming book: "ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Your Merchandising Muse," and I am living in a verb-saturated world, contemplating all the ways a multitude of products and services from a vast collection of industries live up to Christensen's advice.

Strolling Down Memory Lane

In 1980, I took a position as the advertising manager of Koch Engineering, a firm in New York City that manufactured industrial process equipment. The company used a small Madison Avenue ad agency, RSMK, and our account was handled by an account executive named Lansing Moore.

USPS Considering Peer-to-Peer

Americans love to anthropomorphize the United States Postal Service, ascribing such attributes to it as being a fuddy-duddy in the age of digital commerce. But the authors of those riffs about "snail mail" clearly haven't read the latest from the USPS Office of Inspector General: "Peer-to-Peer Commerce and the Role of the Postal Service."