Social Media, Email, Direct Mail, Texting, Telemarketing, Mass Media, Web-sites, micro-sites… There are a lot of different ways to communicate with customers. There are more options today than ever before. So, the real question that has to be asked is, “What is the overall goal of all this communication?”
For me it’s simple: I want to increase the overall value of a customer, which in the end produces a much higher return on investment.
Today, things should be more efficient, effective and selective. Are they?
Today, you run the real risk of alienating or accomplishing the polar opposite of what you really want. Over communicating or saturating your customers with information that is irrelevant to them will cause them to become callous to everything you send them. Everyone knows the statistic that a mere 5% increase in customer retention can result in a 75% increase in customer value. The problem is most people haven’t figured out how to improve their retention by 5%.
The relevance of your communication is a key ingredient to any loyalty or retention marketing program you have. Trying to be everything to everybody will have a negative impact. Think of it this way…
• Increased relevance creates increased engagement from the customer.
• Increased engagement creates increased satisfaction with you and your company.
• Increased satisfaction creates increased behavior (and isn’t this what we need our marketing to do?)
• Increased behavior creates increased value.
• Increased value creates increased ROI.
The exact opposite happens when your message is irrelevant. Marketing should not be about “getting your name out there.” It should improve the relationship you have with each and every customer. When this is done, your marketing will start to lead the customer’s behavior.
So how do you do this? It all starts with the data. Make no mistake about it, the most important asset you have is your customer database. The more information you retain and collect, the stronger your marketing efforts can become. Good data is only half the battle. You have to have a reliable data analytic team or partner with the skill set to create profiles specific to each customer; that way, you only send information that is timely and relevant to their needs.
A reliable data analytic team should be able to provide opportunities to:
• Increase customer activity and spend during the customer’s lifecycle.
• Retain more customers.
• Prevent or at least reduce defection.
• Win back customers.
• Increase your profitability.
Data analytics has never been more important. In the (insert month) issue of AutoSuccess Magazine our lead analyst, Sowmya Iyer, authored a great article entitled, “‘Target Audience,’ ‘Narrow Down’ and ‘Right List’ are the Most Overused Phrases in Email and Direct Mail Today: How You Can Really Move the Needle with Your Direct Marketing.” I recommend reading it or requesting a copy. You can also read Sowmya’s article on the J&L Blog at http://blog.jandlmarketing.com/blog/2011/2/16/how-to-move-the-needle-with-your-direct-marketing.html