There are probably two important developments that helped evolve the media mix concept into what we now think of as multi-channel synergistic marketing campaigns:
• A transition by marketing and advertising professionals toward integrated communications.
This marked a shift in focus from transactions to customer relationships. Even outside the marketing arena, engineers and statisticians were contributing by following the lead of successful Japanese industries that re-engineered business processes around customers’ needs. Power was then shifting to the consumer and the management of communication processes was being elevated to strategic levels to help build customer relations and drive business results. In addition, other market realities continued to fuel the trend toward relationship marketing through expanded communication and sales channels, such as:
- Competition increased while the cost to acquire new customers soared, making it increasingly important to establish solid customer relationships, especially with those who projected high lifetime values.
- Customers in a satisfied business relationship became clearly recognized as the best source of new business.
- Privacy concerns and governmental actions placed greater focus on establishing true relationships rather than trying to blindly attract buyers with hit or miss, mass-communication tactics.
• The number of channels available to marketers increased.
Not only was there now recognition of the importance of building customer relationships and integrating communications, but new electronic media such as web sites and e-mail also added channels. What’s more, there was less distinction between pure communication channels and sales channels. Increasingly,the two were becoming one and the same. What is evident is that consumers prefer personalized communications:
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The New Era of Marketing: Personalization Über Alles
New methods of marketing are emerging that seek to more effectively use prospect and customer data to filter target lists, construct personalization rules and produce and execute marketing campaigns across and among the full range of media channels available. The most successful campaigns reach consumers in a sequenced and extremely consistent manner. This creates an indirect benefit of enforcing and enhancing corporate branding.Therefore, organizations that can harness the power of other marketing channels and produce more personalized communications could put themselves in a good position to capture market share from those that don’t. There are two critical components to effective multi-channel marketing campaigns: Creating relevant offers via personalization and coordination and management of multiple marketing channels.
In a multi-channel marketing context (emails, newsletters, printed brochures, social media, etc.) personalization means using what is known about the recipient to create the offer, customize the messaging and deliver it to them in the form at requested. For channels other than telemarketing, this can include personalized greetings, relevant messages based on demographics and compelling graphics. Actually, response rates increase dramatically with an increase in the number of personalization elements. As the number of personalization elements increases from one to seven ,the click through rate more than triples, increasing from 4. 7% to 14. 8 % .
The other critical element lies in the design and execution of campaigns that coordinate among the full breadth of channels available to reach prospective buyers. Much like personalization, this requires strategic and tactical planning. When marketers can sequence communications and “hit” prospective customers with consistent communications through various media channels, the effectiveness of campaigns increases greatly.
Data and Content Management
More than half the battle in effective marketing campaigns is acquiring and maintaining good prospect and customer data. It is important for sellers to build a repository that allows them to effectively utilize unique attributes to segment prospects and customers. Using these attributes, marketing managers can build the personalization rules and determine which prospects should receive proscribed offers, and more specifically, which messages. Once the campaign is designed, in many cases the seller (and often a third-party service provider such as an advertising agency) creates the content to support the marketing campaign.
Traditionally, sellers have created content specifically for each campaign in a tactical fashion, failing to leverage the messaging and graphical elements for other channels. Sellers are increasingly developing and managing content in a more strategic, collaborative fashion that enables content to be shared not only among media channels, but also across campaigns.
Strategies for Synergistic Marketing Campaigns
The Customer is King
Just as an oil company would not blindly drill small holes in the earth in search of oil, your organization shouldn’t contact millions of consumers blindly, banking on a very small portion accepting your offer. Rather, seek out or build a repository that identifies which consumers are more likely to find your offer compelling.
Get Customers to Opt-in
Companies that can build their own opt-in lists, or use qualified industry opt-in resources, are in a better position to communicate and market to both consumers and businesses. Explore methods, such as periodic e-mail newsletters, that provide valuable information and purchase opportunities simultaneously.
Invest in Personalizing Communications
The overwhelming response to the “do not call” registry underscores consumer frustration with intrusive, irrelevant communications. Research shows that by a ratio of over 3:1, recipients prefer personalized communications. Research also shows that the more personalized an offer is, the higher likelihood of response. It will require an increased investment in creating content and designing campaigns, but you can expect double-digit response rates.
Leverage More Effective Customer Channels
Design and execute new marketing campaigns that leverage the full spectrum of marketing channels. Personalized direct mail, permission-based e-mail and Int e r n e t technologies can be employed to dramatically increase the returns on the marketing dollar. Coordinate marketing campaigns using multiple channels and take advantage of the “multiplier effect.”
Simplify the Transition by Using Service Providers
Personalizing communications and running multi-channel campaigns can be a challenge for those selling organizations that do not currently have the technology or process infrastructure to develop multi-channel strategies, manage customer data, manage marketing content and execute integrated campaigns. Sellers will find that there are several service providers that can help them transition from their current practices to leverage more effective marketing practices.