By Sally Crawford
Apparently, Science and Marketing are getting to be really good friends, with CMO's "embracing science because it fuels business growth in a concrete way."
An example that resonated with me was H&R Block's use of data to segment target customers. Whereas they've had customer segmentation data for years, this was the first time they really made it actionable: by overlaying additional data they were able to connect their customer segmentation data to marketing initiatives. This was a game-changer for their growth strategy, according to CMO Robert Turtledove. The additional data overlay enabled them to prioritize their segments and the tactics used to reach them.
"H&R Block has identified eight different customer segments in the past two years," said Ellen O'Connor, account supervisor at WCJ. "This is the first year we're incorporating that segmentation data and using it to guide us in versioning our direct mail copy to include copy that's more relevant to each segment. It gives us a way to really go after our most profitable customers and aggressively retain the ones that have the most value potential."
This goes to show you how the integration of data sources, often data held by two or more different departments in the same company, can mean the difference between just plain information and understanding – or in this case customer profiles and actual customers.
By Christopher Skinner
If marketers really want to get in on a big secret, something that could make them look great and their companies or clients perform even better, they need look no further than the store buyers.
These are the people who have been studying sales and buying trends from Dallas to Detroit, sometimes for years; the buyer knows that Macy's sells one style of shirts more in Chicago, but men in Birmingham like another type altogether.
That's right, the buyer(s) might be all the insight you need to connect to the customer (well, almost.) Because the buyer knows how to buy for their given markets and regions, and if you know what's being bought, chances are you know who's buying.
And if you know who's buying then you've got your profitable customer segment, or segments.
In fact, at MakeBuzz we often start with the virtual buyer when we're designing marketing strategies. We look at what's selling to help define who we need to reach. If big screen TVs are, er, big in Fresno but that same store sells mostly mp3 player's in Tampa, we know we're looking at different customer segments. Segments that need more than a one-size-fits-all marketing plan.
In fact, everything about those two plans are different, from the predicted sales performance, budgets and acceptable cost-per-acquistion, to the media placements and search terms.
So next time you're sitting down to build a nationwide marketing strategy, ask yourself, what would the buyer do?
By Christopher Skinner
In a broad discussion on the future of media agencies, author Dianna Dilworth touches on many of the major themes and conflicts facing the agency today including:
Strategy vs. Execution: the idea that clients demand more than campaigns, rather they want the insight and long-term thinking to frame marketing efforts.
BUT Agencies will (and do) struggle with how to provide both the 'thinking' and the 'doing', all at greater efficiencies.
Marketing Integration: With the proliferation of mediums and platforms, and the increasing complexity cerated primarily by the digital channel, agencies need to provide a big picture view of marketing efforts, to ensure a cohesive and constant strategy.
BUT many of the big agencies have trouble innovating and competing on this level, and the small ones scramble to provide capacity.
The Customer Decision Journey: Connected to above, there's an increasing focus on the consumer, how they engage with media across channels. Brands will look to their agencies to understand how their customers unique attributes effect their media behaviors and how they can better 'flow' their potential customers towards Purchase and Loyalty.
BUT most agencies have spent their 'lifetimes' concerned mostly with media, a little with the Brand, and hardly at all with the Customer. This shift in thinking requires an adjustment not many will achieve.
Attribution of Sales to Media: This is a big demand from brands and clients, especially across digital marketing efforts. Brands want to know what's working, what's not, and they don't want to pay for things that aren't.
BUT while there are a lot of discrete technology solutions to handle some 'media mix'- focused questions, there's very little out there by way of macro-view attribution models. Furthermore, the speed of technology changes actually harm development of most tracking methodologies (hello, IE10).
The need for big-picture thinking that doesn't rely on the latest technology is huge - BUT (and this time the onus is on companies not the agencies) businesses must be willing to accept this new perspective.
For the good of the agency and the Brand.
Posted June 15th, 2012 in Media Attribution, Advertising Spend, Customer Engagement, Customer Journey Marketing, Customer Segmentation, Innovation, Management Learning, Marketing Frameworks, Marketing Strategy, Performance Frameworks, Sales Attribution, Traditional Media,