Campaign Execution

Budget cuts – What happens to Marketing

It’s coming towards the end of the year and for many, that means the process of reviewing the budget for the next fiscal year. Reviewing every line of that budget becomes a tedious and necessary job. What gets cut? What stays?

Going department by department often leads right to the marketing department. At first glance, this seems like an obvious place to reallocate. The ROI is hard to prove. There typically is a long tail on any marketing efforts. And marketing efforts don’t always seem mission-critical.

I would like to argue that they are indeed mission-critical and there is never a more crucial time to invest in marketing than during economic downturns. But why?

  • Reputation in the market place. Consistency is always key. Don’t let others speak into the market place. Be the expert that you are and prove to the market why you are the front runner.
  • Keep your existing customer base. Your current base is your best place for repeat sales. You should be reaching these customers more than any other pool of people. Don’t let your current customers out of your sights.
  • Find new customers. The constant problem everyone has is attrition. Customers fall off. It’s a natural process. So if you are not attracting new customers, you are losing market share naturally. And if you are not actively marketing then your chances of gaining new customers is just that…chance.

So how do you handle this in a room full of mission-critical personnel? You need to come with data to prove your effectiveness. It always comes back to data.

And if you are not using data to market your goods or services, you certainly can’t use data to prove it’s effectiveness. Here’s how:

  • Start with good clean data. Bad data that hasn’t been hygiened can lead to a waste of money. You end up marketing to vacant homes, deceased people, and even prisoners.
  • Unify your data. If you are like most companies, your data is scattered across many platforms creating data silos. How do you really know about who your best customer is if their data is spread across multiple sources?
  • Segment properly. Prioritize your customers based on who has bought or is more likely to buy. The more you know about your customers, the better the segmentation can be.
  • Know your matchback numbers. After you run your campaigns, know where the responses are coming from. Don’t stop at the campaign level. Drill down to the segments and even to the customers. Determine which campaign worked for what segment and what customers and then analytically dig into the “whys”.

Ultimately, a good matchback will prove your ROI, especially if you bring that matchback into the cost of goods sold. Operationally it makes complete sense to marry these numbers and prove your ROI.

So as you walk into budget meetings, if you don’t have all of this data, why not suggest invoking a platform that can bring you all this data. At Valurity Analytics, we can help you with all of these marketing data issues. As data scientists, we are the perfect complement to your creative marketing team.

Is Direct Mail Dead?

Since the introduction of email and digital marketing, direct mail marketing has slowly dwindled. Clearly digital marketing is cheaper.

Let’s really take a look at that though. Is it as effective? Is the ROI the same as direct mail?

Here’s a great article we found from Forbes that makes it clear that Direct Mail shouldn’t be ignored.

As stated in the article, direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email. That’s a substantial difference. The article goes on to talk about the emotional response to physical mail and the feelings people get when anticipating the trip to the mailbox.

So when considering your next campaign, don’t just go to the easy solution of email. We can help you get that next campaign in the mail and increase that response rate.

Market Segmentation & Strategy

One of the most important marketing decisions a company will make is figuring out which market segments to focus on. Each segment has unique needs and in most cases, certain products stand a much better chance of success when marketing strategy focuses on the needs of those unique segments vs trying to market and fulfill the needs of multiple segments.

What’s even worse is not doing the proper data analysis and going after the wrong segment. For example, a leading distributor of liquid vitamins was shocked to discover that their marketing effort to and perceived leading segment was not 65+ adults because they were easier to swallow but actually middle-aged adult business travelers who were always on the go.

Of course, a segment should be big enough to be profitable but the smaller and more unique the segment, the more precise the marketing strategy and message can be.

In this day and age, a marketing strategy that includes a marketing database can make it much easier to reach these smaller segments and individual consumers. For example, a large retail website has a marketing database with 60 million existing and potential customers and over 400 data points on each. These data points include hobbies, age, credit, marriage status, birthday, as well as # of children just to name a few. This marketing database allows them to send individualized catalogs when a consumer is most likely to buy.

Combine that with a 360-degree view of the customer and you will get even more accurate insights allowing you to reach the right audience with the right personalized message at the right time.

Millennial Target Market

Proper market segmentation can lead to more effective ROI. Determining which particular segments to market towards is always the trick. The current trend is to target the millennial generation.

The millennial generation is the current largest segment of the United States population. Therefore it must be the best target market. But is it really?

This particular article is fascinating as to why it might not be the most effective marketing strategy.

Take a look.