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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The ABCs of ROI

ROI. Return on Investment. If you are even a casual reader of the marketing press, you will find yourself flooded with recommendations, tools and strategies that you “must use” if you are to achieve this holy grail. But before you become a lemming, you might want to consider what’s behind those three little letters, because it’s probably not what you (or those marketing articles) think. This is not child’s play.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DMA in Boston - What's Trending in Direct Marketing

Last week thousands of marketers met right here in Boston at the 2011 DMA Conference and we were there.  So what was everyone talking about?  There were 2 key, recurring themes that we noticed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Your Customer is Not a Number. Using Persona Development to Breathe Life into Otherwise Deadly Dull Marketing Statistics.

To a lot of marketers, statistics are just about dull, one-dimensional numbers. If they see any nuance to them, it’s in varying shades of gray along a black-white scale. So many marketers struggle to make effective use of stats in their efforts to move past the limited and limiting world of statistical gray-scale. The ones who “get it” of course, are thinking not about numbers but about the humans behind the numbers. And no, I am not talking about the overreach of behavioral targeting-I’m talking about persona development, one of the most difficult, yet (ROI) rewarding strategies a marketer can master.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Google+ ‘A-ha!’ Moment: We’re All Relearning What Database Marketers Already Know: Segmentation Stops Training People to Ignore You

It seems like it took forever, but social media is finally catching up with something that database and direct marketers have known for years: consumers aren’t all alike.
As social networks continue their march toward world domination, a big part of their appeal is that they allow people to share their thoughts and opinions with an ever-increasing number of friends (think Facebook) as well as strangers (think Twitter). And while social media may have brought simplicity to sharing, the truth is, it hasn’t really brought the best marketing smarts to the equation. Facebook and Twitter both default to a scatter-gun approach when it comes to messaging. This doesn’t work incredibly well for engagement on a personal level, and from a marketing perspective, the leading social nets intrinsically ignore some of the strongest components marketers hold dear — like timely, relevant messaging.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Social Media Marketing or Traditional Marketing? It Depends...

One question I constantly get from CMOs and other marketing pros these days is “How much of my spend should I be shifting to social-media marketing?” I’ve read a ton of stuff lately about this topic and I’m happy to recommend an excellent thread on Quora entitled “How would you measure the ROI in social media?” To date, 42 contributors have supplied answers to the question, along with links to many great additional resources. But what’s perfectly clear is that the answer is more or less “It depends.” It depends on what your program objectives are (e.g., cost savings in customer service vs. revenue enhancement?), and as importantly, it depends on what your tactics are to achieve those objectives. So that’s just it, it depends.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why Marketers that "Like" Results Must Spend With Care in Social Media

There is no denying that Facebook has changed the very nature of engagement on the web. So, it is no surprise brands are looking to Facebook as a new, potentially fruitful channel for reaching consumers- as they should. So why haven't marketers put more significant resources into Facebook advertising and fan pages? The answer is in the numbers. 
Consider this:  1 million Facebook fans only generate 826 likes and 309 comments per post, according to  data from social-media brand monitoring platform Simplify 360, which examined "50 Facebook fan pages with a random mix of brands from all over the world from consumer brands, to sports teams, to celebrities" (Starbucks, Lady Gaga, National Geographic, Red Bull, Mashable, etc.).

Monday, May 16, 2011

If Email Use Is Supposedly in Decline, Why Keep Doing Email Marketing?

In a recent post, we talked a bit about concerns that the consumer attention span may be drifting away from email in favor of other communication channels, particularly social media. Some people are very alarmist about the trend, but as we pointed out, while email use is in decline for certain demographic segments, it's actually increasing among others:

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Four Things Killing Email Marketing - And What You Can Do To Rescue It!

1. One-size-fits-all, or one-message-fits-all, messaging is boring the heck out of consumers

Most marketers who do email marketing use a simple “blast” strategy. Actually, calling it a “strategy” is overstating things, because the blast approach is anything but strategic. It’s all about expedience: doing the minimum amount of work needed to just get an email message out to all customers (or potential customers) on a schedule (daily, weekly, whatever).

Unfortunately, in our age of hyper-personalized media, consumers quickly tune out one-message-fits-all email blasts. A lot of times consumers can’t even be bothered to unsubscribe; they’ll simply trash your email messages without opening them.