In the column, “The Relevance Imperative,” I examined the need for marketers to embrace relevance and targeting to improve their top and bottom line, not to mention the customer experience. However, my firm’ s recent surveys continue to indicate that while marketers aspire to become more relevant, this notion in practice continues to elude the majority of marketers. An executive marketing survey conducted by my firm reveals:
- When asked about segmentation techniques, 61 percent of marketers said they used demographic -based segmentation. This was the top response, indicating that many marketers don’ t use any audience segmentation at all.
- Marketers stated that their top priority for the next 12 months is to improve relevance through segmentation and targeting.
- 35 percent of marketers cite that lack of budget is their biggest challenge to improving their marketing programs. Optimizing marketing requires having adequate staffing resources, which 29 percent of marketers said they lacked.
So there you have it. By the numbers, marketers are challenged. Yet, they still have a deep desire to improve the customer experience and results through the notion of becoming more relevant. It is daunting to figure out where to begin to optimize your program, so here are a few ideas to jump-start your marketing optimization journey:
- Get your data organized. Use solutions that allow for a flexible data-schema and provides the ability to roll up multiple customer records to one identity. Consumers use multiple email addresses; ensure the customer identifier a unique ID that is not the email address. This represents the first step to associate that email customer with the customer’ s identity in other channels, such as social and mobile.
- Understand the value of your subscriber. There are several ways to do this, but it is the most important element to win more budget dollars for your marketing program. Fellow ClickZ columnist Jeanne Jennings wrote a great column on how to calculate revenue per email. Additionally, there is a great Excel template to calculate the value of an email address.
- Understand subscriber preferences. Collect preference information during the opt-in process. Permit the customer to self-segment himself based upon his interests. An e-Dialog study, “Manifesto for E-mail Marketers Consumers Demand Relevance” shows that consumers are not only are willing to share preference information, but many of them expect to be asked for their preferences.
- Begin testing. Currently only about one-third of marketers are employing simple A/B testing, indicating that most marketers are guessing at what might be driving or hindering campaign performance. Marketing is an art, but it largely a science and testing is a critical element of optimization. Refer back to this column of mine for tactics on how to begin testing.
In future columns I will dive deeper into different segmentation tactics, but for now begin to embrace these best practices and start your journey of marketing optimization.
Until next time, keep on mailing.
David is off today. This column was originally published on August 1, 2011 on ClickZ.
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