Target Marketing July 2012
It turns out Mom may have been right: Don't be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. Instead, master one marketing channel and then present customers with the illusion of integration. That's what 83 percent of top performing companies do, according to a research report released in May by Evanston, Ill.-based market research and advisory services firm Gleanster.
Anyone involved in target marketing knows that a landing page can make or break a campaign. Getting people to click on your email link or banner offer is irrelevant if they don't see what they expected to see, can't find what they came for or are just plain turned off by your landing page.
Direct marketers have been managing consumer data for decades. But as technology has increased the ways consumers interact with brands, marketers are confronting the prospect of "Big Data"—data sets that have grown so large and complex that they've become increasingly difficult to analyze, but offer greater rewards and competitive advantage for those who do.
In the 80s, it was the publisher's job to create an editorial calendar and the corresponding articles. It was the marketer's responsibility to create advertising that sold. We reverently separated the two sides of the business to maintain integrity.
Websites: Do you remember a time before you had one? Remember when customer communications were monologues, not dialogues? If you don't remember, you should probably start talking to some of your more "experienced" colleagues about how we got to know our customers before the Internet—before customers could indicate their preferences with a clickthrough or actually "like" us on Facebook. In the debate over cookies, marketers have much to lose.
One of the savviest women I know is a lawyer at an A-list Philadelphia law firm. Recently, she invited a new young male associate to join her to observe a meeting with two very important clients.
Direct response writers (and their readers) know that one of the most powerful motivators in the English language is a four-letter word. It's the word "free." Free nudges fence-sitters by eliminating risk. It rewards the deal-seeker in each of us. And it's a tool for separating you from the competition. It's also a faster read and more engaging than words and phrases such as "complimentary," "at no charge" or "courtesy of."
Unsurprisingly, envelopes remain the dominant format by far, taking up 90 percent of all insurance mail—which was a small decrease from last year, according to the Who's Mailing What Archive. An industry that needs to provide plenty of information in order for a prospect to make a decision, insurers are simply far more likely to go with an envelope than a self-mailer.
Check out the new marketing titles publishing in July, August and September 2012 from Que, McGraw-Hill and Portfolio Trade.
I had an interesting month while working on this issue. First came the disappointing Facebook IPO following the announcement that GM was pulling its Facebook ads due to ineffectiveness. That led to a hellacious backlash against social media marketing. All of a sudden, every marketing news outlet was either piling on stories about how social media is a waste or trying desperately to justify the dozens of social media marketing articles they'd already run.
Prior to widespread use of the Internet, the purchasing process was simple: An individual first became aware of a product or service through a direct mail piece, print ad or TV commercial. Then, the person filled out an order form, called a toll-free number or visited a store to make the purchase. Today, marketing is much more complex.
Wisdom may come with age. But the propensity to choose large print books and enlarge print on Web pages seems to arrive at the same time. Marketers at The Scooter Store, headquartered in New Braunfels, Texas, were hoping to capitalize on both of those tendencies when they decided to dominate the paid search listings for "Scooter Store." The reasoning was that consumers interested in the motorized wheelchairs and scooters it sold might only see the paid results—three of them—and the organic listing with zoomed-in text.
Web analytics are notoriously difficult to reconcile with other reporting sources, as well as to comparative Web analytics. So let's explore why this happens and what can be done about it.