Do Millennials engage with email? Everyone I know is trying to find the best strategy to reach Millennials. Is the right channel email or social? Do they need tailored content (e.g., user generated for authenticity or curated content that addresses their particular lifestage) to generate engagement? What offers would resonate most with them?
The answers to these questions will vary on your industry, your product and your approach. However, I have found that Millennials are less likely to open or click an email than Gen Xers, Baby Boomers or the Greatest Generation. However, a recent study by Epsilon found that Millennials were using email more than other age groups to find products and services. Perhaps Millennials are less likely to respond to “push” marketing and want to determine when and how they interact with marketing.
Have you read the recent Ad Age article in which Brad Jakeman from PepsiCo is quoted as saying that “digital marketing” is the “most ridiculous term I’ve ever heard”? Many marketing departments are silos with separate work streams, separate analytic teams, and separate strategies. As a joint Marketo and Harvard Business Review report stated, “To address the challenges of the digital age, marketing may have added new departments such as Web, mobile, and digital. Paradoxically, these new departments often add more silos and slow things down further, making marketing even less equipped to meet customers in their micro-moments.”
Customers expect a unified experience. How can marketers provide a consistent experience when analysis, insights and strategies are not shared or coordinated? Mr. Jakeman said it best, “There is no such thing as digital marketing. There is marketing — most of which happens to be digital.”
So what are marketing departments to do? Agree on a common goal, collaborate, integrate insights, and ultimately create a comprehensive customer-centric strategy.
A former colleague of mine always referred to his clients’ customer data as their crown jewels. He had a point. No one else knows as much about your customers’ behavior, attitudes, and preferences. If your customer data doesn’t seem valuable to you, imagine if your competitors had access to the very same information. What would they do with it?
There has been lots of talk about analytics as a source of competitive advantage. More recently, big data has promised to uncover untapped value and insights. However, have you thought more holistically about the resulting customer insights and intelligence? Used wisely, what you know about your customers can be a source of competitive advantage. It can help you increase market share by promoting the right product at the right time to the right person using the right channel. It can provide insights that enable you to improve marketing ROI, conversion rates, and conquesting. It can help you identify customers likely to defect, uncover what you need to do to retain them and help you determine if they are worth retaining based on their future lifetime value.
Finally, if you aren’t thinking about your “crown jewels”, I bet one of your competitors are. They may be able to purchase data about your customers from a third party vendor and use it for conquesting. If you don’t think customer data is valuable, your competitors do and they are willing to pay for it.
Thanksgiving Day is a time that I reflect on all the things I am thankful for and the increased emphasis on analytics is one of them. With a struggling economy businesses want to know the value they are receiving from their marketing dollars. Analysis can help them determine their ROI and optimize marketing efforts. Increasingly, companies are looking at their wealth of data as a valuable asset that can drive revenue growth. With data mining techniques, companies can identify hidden trends and insights that can lead to new customer segments or new product offerings. Lastly, increases in technology have made it easier and easier to delve into data and display the results visually. Thus, making it easier to uncover value in your data.
At a recent road race someone asked me what I did for work. When I told her, with a smile, that I optimize marketing efforts through analysis, she remarked that it was nice to meet someone who enjoyed their job. I enjoy what I do, in part, because I believe in the value of analysis. It is very rewarding that others are recognizing that value as well.
The new year has begun. Now is the time to measure the success of your holiday campaigns. How did your campaigns perform? This is an opportunity to look at their effectiveness in terms of building awareness, generating revenue, increasing retention and aiding customer acquisition? How do your metrics compare to industry benchmarks as well as internal benchmarks? How much revenue did they generate and were they profitable? In addition, what worked and what didn’t? Now is the time to evaluate any tests that were done – date/time, subject line, creative, etc. Finally, compare the results of this past holiday campaign to the one before and analyze the differences. The insights from the holidays can inform your strategy for 2012.