I spent the last week of the old year reflecting on the many things we learned in 2014. A few ideas might qualify as real breakthroughs, but most are refinements or reminders of what we already knew.
After all, human nature changes slowly – if at all. And marketing is all about people and what makes them tick.
#1. You are what you do.
It’s unfortunate that advertising became so enamored with demographics back in the Mad Men era. Direct marketers have always known that age and gender aren’t nearly as predictive as actual behavior.
Here’s our 2014 refinement. For one client, we discovered that those who had responded (but hadn’t bought) in the past were our best prospects. Handraising behavior is a win – not a waste – because we confirm that the name we targeted is a real person, we confirm they are the right person and we know they are interested. We may just need to sweeten the offer – or approach them at a better time.
We track these handraisers relentlessly. We know who they are (down to the individual level) and where they came from. And they always are the top-performing group.
At the other end of the spectrum, we also track our low-performing leads. Unlike handraisers, we rest these lists regularly, compared to the rotation for average-performing lists. That can give the results a 40% to 50% boost when we do contact them.
#2. Do this, get that.
Besides targeting, nothing is more important than the offer. Without an offer, there’s no good reason to respond now. When response is delayed, it’s usually forgotten.
When a client has only a limited selection of offers, fatigue is a real issue. We always rotate a mix of two to three offers between touches. We also help our clients come up with new, better, more exciting offers. This is at or near the top of our to-do list.
#3. Hit them where they live.
We’ve been saying you should be seeking out your target audience on mobile devices for what feels like a decade now. Has everyone finally gotten on board with that?
Doesn’t look that way.
It’s a mobile-first world. And that means even your emails – particularly your emails – should be responsively designed.
#4. Customer journeys are not linear.
Because of this, it is essential that the marketing be precise. It takes precise data, modeling, targeting, segmentation, media, production, development and optimization to develop action-oriented CRM that delivers consistent, compelling customer experiences.
What are the things you learned or re-learned in 2014 that will impact your marketing in the new year?