John Wanamaker famously remarked:
Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.
Fortunately, marketers in 2012 should no longer find themselves sharing the same quandary as Mr Wanaker as it will be possible to get the answer through three key moves in consumer marketing technology.
Marketing is More Interactive
The dynamics of marketing have changed drastically over the past few years.
Before, we would set up a campaign to run for a year based upon demographic and marketing information gleaned from focus groups and market researchers. It was a one-way message blasted out indiscriminately with no possibility of getting an individual response or correlating the message with the outcome.
Now, campaigns are launched and technology provides feedback in real time. Our message can respond and evolve to become more effective throughout its life-cycle. With social media such as forums, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook, our audience lets us know what impact we are having. Trends and memes can be built upon. Actionable data bubbles up from the interactions between business and prospects, and allows us to tightly target our marketing efforts to the most qualified customers.
Marketing is More Personalized
The ability to target our efforts leads to more personalization. Each marketing message can be directed in ever more appealing ways to an individual or narrow niche. According to HubSpot, one-third of marketers believe personalized marketing is highly effective and measurable. Another 14% found it to provide a better response than mass-marketing, and over the next 6 to 12 months 68% of U.S. marketers plan to use more personalization.
- Interactive marketing also allows us to segment our audience efficiently.
- Responses to an initial message can give us insight about our audience’s needs and desires.
- Subsequent messages can be tweaked to more closely align with those needs and answer more specific questions for different groups. For instance, one subset values convenience while another is more concerned about cost. One niche is made up of casual users while another is populated with super users.
- Each subset responds to different stimuli requiring marketing to adapt the message.
Marketing is More Measurable
In this highly competitive and challenging economic atmosphere, we need to be able to show ROI, or return on investment, for the funds we spend on marketing. The technology that allows us to interact and more highly personalize our marketing also provides us with the numbers we need to determine what works and what doesn’t.
- What works is what converts readers into buyers, or buyers into more loyal buyers. Maybe not instantly, but at some point. Anything that can’t do this goes into the “Doesn’t Work” column and needs to be tweaked or scrapped. It’s rather like going through one of those de-cluttering exercises. We must be willing to let go of a favorite campaign if it is not producing.
- Through content analytics and data mining we can see trends and count conversions. We can link conversions directly to a specific piece of marketing, what channel it came from, and what type of buyer responded.
- We are able to measure nearly all aspects of the buyer journey and make changes on the fly to increase effectiveness. We can draw a funnel showing the path each buyer takes from realizing their need to deciding on the resolution and making a purchase an assign the best marketing content to the different stops along the way.
Marketing in 2012 brings these three key moves into a cohesive set of tactics to further our marketing strategy and increase ROI. Here’s to a banner year!