Mark Klein

We all make mistakes. They are usually pushed out of sight and you don't hear much about them. Marketing articles are usually about successful campaigns, but there is a lot that can be learned from those mistakes.

Even old-school curmudgeons want to make their marketing communications relevant. They just don't know the best way to do it. Target Marketing's Denny Hatch argued eloquently for the old-school approach in his recent column. Hatch is a smart and experienced direct marketer who is still relying on demographics and behavioral data, which he describes as "Hobbies and interests such as pets in the house, history of travel, etc."

The marketing challenge all companies face can be divided into two parts: customer acquisition and marketing to existing customers. Today, search engine marketing is the dominant methodology for customer acquisition, and Google is the preferred vehicle. The equally important task of existing customer marketing has a growing consensus around a set of best practices called mathematical marketing (MM). MM is the scientific process of marketing to existing customers based on a scientific understanding of how past customer behavior predicts future purchases. Key elements of the process include behavioral tracking, predictive analytics, behavioral targeting, testing, what-if analysis and results measurement. For comparison, the typical elements

By Mark Klein, Arthur Einstein & Amy Grainger Why the rate of change in your customers' behavior can be vital to the pace of your business's growth A few years ago, Bill Gates, in his book, "Business @ the Speed of Thought," wrote, "If the 1980s were about quality, and the 1990s were about re-engineering, then the 2000s will be about velocity." Good point. Today, only six years since the book was published, the speed of business has accelerated as he predicted. But velocity is a measure of both the rate and direction of motion or change. And the business person who isn't

Using data, you can focus solidly on the customer -- not the product -- to make more effective offers. Back in the 20th century, sales and marketing geniuses were American business heroes—they built great sales forces that built great companies, and created great ads that built great brands. But during the past 25 years, technology changed the rules. Now and forevermore, marketing geniuses will be guided not by intuition but by predictive analytics. In the future, marketing geniuses increasingly will use an understanding of customer behavior to offer the right product, at the right price, at the optimum time. Forrester Research analyst Eric Schmitt

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