by in Direct Mail

Written by Doug Ainsworth, President and CEO

I think at this point we all agree that relevancy in marketing is here to stay; at least until the iPhone 24 comes out and controls our thoughts and makes our buying decisions for us. It truly is making direct marketing, direct. The more you know about the people you are talking to the more relevant you can make the conversation. You can even customize the offer, copy and graphics. Heck information about your target audience can help you determine the best times to reach out to them, their preferred response channels and how often to contact them.

So if relevancy is king (or queen) how come 1:1 marketing outside of name and address integration is not taking place at a faster pace? I’ll tell you why. At least in the Middle Market segment (the sandbox which we play in) no one is sure what their best customers look like – for that matter they aren’t sure what any of them look like. I know what you are thinking; you know or at least you think you’ve identified them. However, every time we dig deeper into the data we get another story – a different profile.

If this is so important why can’t companies get this right? Every marketing association will tell you the results of your campaigns rely heavily, as much as 70%, on the quality and accuracy of your data. If the data isn’t right, relevancy can’t be right. If you are using a prospect list, the list might not even include the precise people who buy your product.

It’s the data that drives the message.

Without getting too complicated with segmentation, RFM analysis and statistical irrelevance I want to explain the basics.

If you are a business-to-consumer company and you don’t know the following attributes about your customer, you could be wasting a lot of time and money:

• Demographic – Commonly used demographics include gender, race, age, income, disabilities, educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and even location.

• Psychographics – Commonly used psychographics are attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. Psychographical knowledge is extremely valuable.

If you are a business-to-business company you should know the following attributes at a minimum:

• Firmagraphics – Commonly used firmographics include employee size, revenue size, industry, number of locations and location of headquarters.

So what do you do once you have this knowledge? Group the information by common attributes. Decide which groups are growing, profitable and easy to work with. Then market to each group with offers, copy and graphics relevant to them. It’s that easy.

Once you get that down you can move on to true 1:1 messaging. Marketing to all of the groups simultaneously, but everyone gets their own version. Save on paper, printing, e-mailing, set-ups, you name it.

The technology exists, the know-how exists. You just need to know the data. You just need to know thy customer; it will help you find new ones.

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