Target Marketing March 2010
Are you ready for a break from reading about social, digital, mobile, online and other media? A colleague who is a social media maven recently reminded me that, "Media is meaningless unless it's delivering a compelling message of personal relevance to your targeted audience." Amen, sister.
While 94 percent of surveyed marketers agree that personalized marketing would result in better performance, only 16 percent of best-in-class companies actually execute one-to-one direct marketing campaigns, according to Aberdeen Group. A fundamental reason for the low rate of implementation is the lack of data quality disciplines and the limited personal attributes on file to support personalized marketing communications.
It may not star Jeremy Piven and it may not be as entertaining as the 2009 movie "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," in which the actor plays a used car salesman who saves a dealership from ruin. But Dealer.com's video for the TotalControl Dominator (TCD)—a paid search product aimed at helping new car dealerships sell pre-owned vehicles—puts the fun in B-to-B calls to action.
As I write this, the media are alive with the great tragedy of the 7.0 earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti. With shaky electricity and phone service in that beleaguered nation, communications are problematical.
If flat is the new up, then those economists and industry analysts predicting that we're seeing the first indicators of a slow recovery are right on the money.
Measuring the impact of marketing campaigns has become both complicated and enhanced in a multichannel world. Traditional methods of looking at cause and effect relationships between a set of activities and a set of behaviors no longer give marketers a complete or accurate picture of events.
As fast-paced professionals running departments or full-fledged businesses—managing people and projects and schedules and products—listening can sometimes fall off our to-do lists. We don't have time to really pause and listen well. While we may see the value in making time, few of us actually do.
You cannot control your customers anymore. Instead, it's time for you to enter "the conversation" or risk becoming irrelevant to them. And when you start conversing, you must be transparent and humanize yourself. It's imperative to assess the sentiment of your fans and detractors on the Web—take the pulse of your brand image. It's also time to map customers' social graphs and architect personas to keep them within your control.
The results of Target Marketing's fourth annual Media Usage Forecast are in. While offline channels like direct mail and telemarketing still factor significantly into most respondents' plans, the love affair with all things digital grows. New media that cast the widest nets of audience reach at lower costs per thousand are being given budget money, taking slivers away from traditional vehicles like direct mail, DRTV, space advertising and insert media. E-mail has come out on top for a second year in a row, but even this golden child now has to share the media spend with its online cohorts social media, search engine optimization and mobile.
The traditional marketing funnel is outdated, lopsided and broken, with its gaping mouth acquiring many, sometimes not qualified, customers but retaining few. "What happens to the chosen few who make it through to the other end of the funnel? They fall to their grisly deaths in the vertical drop of attrition," writes Joseph Jaffe, author, consultant, keynote and chief interrupter of the social media agency Powered.
Online market research surveys have long been a staple in the direct marketer's diet. But now they appear to have become the main course—all but replacing face-to-face focus groups in helping companies determine long-term direct marketing strategies.
The small and medium business (SMB) market is huge. Almost all of the businesses in the U.S. are in it! But while the opportunity is unlimited, SMB firms also are volatile, nomadic and subject to varied definitions. Thus, our first imperative for achieving greater rewards and reduced risk when selling to this market is:
You're on your third round of budget cuts and your fifth cup of coffee. You're asking yourself, "Can I really afford privacy compliance in this economy?"