Rak Rants

Are You Marketing Like It’s 1999?

marketing1999For all of you marketers who are still blasting out “one size fits all” campaigns without doing any sort of segmentation and customization, the ‘90s called and wants its marketing back.

Oh how I loved the 90s, don’t get me wrong, but things in the marketing world are so…much…better today!

Let’s start with you data.

Getting your data organized and using marketing databases or, preferably, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and data mining to segment, target and personalize outreach to your audiences is the foundation of great marketing. It’s part of the process of omni-channel marketing; and if you’re not doing it, then you should switch gears – and fast.

I always stress the importance of good data first and foremost. Everything hinges on it. My mantra is, “Bad data. Bad results.” And I successfully convince them to let us start by building their data foundation before any campaigns begin. This effort alone saves thousands and thousands of dollars in the long run by ensuring their campaigns are launched with good, clean and targeted data.

Today, marketing is about the return on customer, maximizing the lifetime relationship with an individual. It’s about getting that one person who purchases your product once to purchase it again, purchase it more often and purchase new things, and doing so repeatedly until they become more than just a customer – they become an advocate for your brand.

Data is a tremendously powerful tool that, if used properly, can create ongoing dialogue, e.g., marketing, that people respond to. But data mining can be tricky, and it consists of four key elements: knowing what you want to know, developing use cases based upon each of your target roles, creating a reason for your customers to tell you what you want to know and, finally, using that information to create meaningful messages.

For example, CommuniTech utilizes marketing automation for part of the integrated marketing services we deliver. Marketing automation enables us to customize demand generation campaigns, personalize them based upon data segmentation, trigger sales instantaneously and measure results. When using this type of system, we see a 2-5X increase in responses and results.

Why? Because we’re creating an ongoing dialogue with our target audiences. We no longer “sell” to them; we “talk” to them and build loyalty and trust.

Campaigns like this say to a person, “Hey, you’re my customer and I don’t just want to sell to you, I want you to be happy. I want you to enjoy what you buy from me! Now tell me what else would make you happy and watch us deliver according to your needs and expectations.”

Now how much more does that make a brand stand out? And as time and technology continue to hurtle forward at greater and greater speed, new ways to personally touch people are already emerging—and will continue to evolve, along with more streamlined, automated means of evaluating a campaign’s effectiveness.

But how do you start? It takes an understanding of the fundamental value of data and marketing professionals with the knowledge to harness it and implement a strategy that will ultimately lead to a successful omni-channel marketing effort. Like most initiatives, failure to lay a proper foundation will ultimately lead to its failure.

Omni-channel marketing is not a passing trend. To compete and survive, it’s a must do. It makes a statement about your brand, and allows you to present a specific, relevant personality.

And the better news? The technology is here. It’s not expensive. Reports and analyses can be done in real-time. And people are responding. So reach out to your customers. Engage them. You’ll be surprised at how willing they are to tell you what they want.

But it all starts with good data. So if you’re spending money on campaigns and your gut tells you that your database is old, outdated or incomplete, then I’ll tell you to stop marketing until you get that under control. You’re wasting time, money and, most importantly, you’re wasting your best opportunity to segment, target and personalize your campaigns.

When you start a dialogue with your customers – and see the results – you’re gonna party like it’s 1999 and finally leave old-school marketing in the past, where it belongs.