As business marketers, the pressure to engage and retain customers in a challenging economy while communication channels are exploding presents a daunting dilemma. The cacophony of marketing messages has risen to a deafening level, with the advent of a multitude of new, online marketing channels—social media, mobile, email, blogs—adding to the already crowded world of offline marketing—direct mail, print advertising, TV, radio.
In response, consumers are voting with their dollars and their attention. Many consumers have made it clear that it's all about relevant, targeted messaging, rather than about the medium. The era of cookie-cutter content is clearly over.
"Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue through Relevance" by Sandra Zoratti and Lee Gallagher helps crystallize the perspectives, capabilities and skills necessary to deliver more powerful marketing results. Case studies from companies such as Fiat, Amazon, Tesco, ING, and others show how today's leading performers are capitalizing on many of the concepts of precision marketing to reach a whole new level of growth. Rather than devoting marketing budgets to mass campaigns, precision marketers are mining customer data for predispositions to spend so that they can target buyers in sophisticated and individual ways.
The book offers some compelling statistics:
• In 1978, the average American was confronted with more than 2,000 advertising messages per day. In 2008, the number had soared to more than 5,000; and in 2010, reached 16,000.
• Today, 91 percent of consumers opt out or unsubscribe from e-mails. Of that number, 46 percent are driven to brand defection because the messages are simply not relevant.
• 41 percent of consumers say they would consider ending a brand relationship because of irrelevant promotions, and an additional 22 percent say they would definitely defect from the brand.
Finding the Answers
Thus, marketers are confronted with crucial questions: How do you engage consumers who are flat-out ignoring you? How do you confront buyer backlash? How do you attract new customers, strengthen relationships with existing ones, and deliver an impressive return on your marketing investment? How, in other words, do you drive profitable growth in today’s attention-starved economy?
The answer is deceptively simple: in a word, relevance—now a critical requirement for marketing success.
Yet marketers continue to lag in acting upon the urgent need to align marketing and messaging to customer interest, putting their companies—and their jobs—in jeopardy. They are pursuing obsolete marketing approaches even as the outcomes associated with those approaches are clearly in decline.
That consumers are tuning out noise is obvious. Not only does research validate this claim, but it also resonates with personal experience. People are more likely to pay attention to a message that speaks directly to their own concerns than to a message that speaks broadly to a mass audience.
In the book, the authors provide a pragmatic and actionable “how-to” framework for implementing precision marketing techniques aimed at addressing today’s consumer environment. The six-step process shows marketers how to begin using data and takes them all the way through to leveraging the data to drive revenue, customer engagement and loyalty.
The new approach—proven to strengthen customer and brand loyalty and, in turn, build business—revolves around leveraging buyer insights to produce relevant messages, offers, and solutions. It blends data technology with the creative process as it concentrates on engaging customers in an increasingly targeted—often individualized—fashion. Precision marketers mine customer data for predispositions and propensities in order to target buyers in sophisticated ways with all communications, both online and offline. They set themselves apart from competitors by delivering the right message, at the right time, through the right channel.
Consumer interest is directly proportional to the salience of the message. The more relevant your messaging, the more likely your prospective and existing customers will respond. As you present your brand in increasingly relevant ways, you drive increases in revenue, response, and ultimately, return on investment.
Relevance is a requirement for marketing success. "Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue through Relevance" empowers marketers with the knowledge to achieve that success.
Sandra Zoratti co-authored this book with Lee Gallagher. Zoratti is vice president, marketing, executive briefings, education for Ricoh Americas Corporation.