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Goin’ corporate again… June 4, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Marketing, Marketing Technology.
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4 comments

Well folks, wanted to let everyone know that I’m going back to work for “the man” and his name is Yuchun Lee. As of Monday, I am officially on staff at Unica where I will lead product marketing and strategy (link to press release). I’m really excited about this move. When I left Forrester, I told my friends and colleagues that I was tired of just talking about technology enabled marketing. I said that I wanted to put my ideas into action and go and build something. Who better to do it with than the leading company in the sector? 

I will continue blogging and, although I will no longer be a true independent, I will continue to keep my blog going in the same vein and not use it as place for shameless promotion of my company. It’s also my hope to tap some of the smart minds at Unica and get them into the blogosphere as well.

In fact, check out my colleague Akin Arikan publishes an excellent blog: Multichannel Metrics. Akin also just published a book, Multichannel Marketing (which I reviewed before I knew I was going to Unica). The book includes a lot of great examples and tactical advice. It also does a great job introducing marketers from different disciplines (e.g., direct marketing and web analytics) to one another and making the case for why deeper collaboration can yield multiplicative results. For another reviewer’s opinion on the book, see Jim Novo’s comments on his blog.

Recalibrating The Meaning of “Relevant” March 11, 2008

Posted by Elana Anderson in Customer Experience, Database Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Measurement, Online Marketing.
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3 comments

Have you ever refinanced your mortgage only to be bombarded by offers to lower your mortgage rate for six weeks after you closed on your new loan? This happens because financial services companies are purchasing “triggers” from credit bureaus that indicate you have had a recent loan approval. The problem with these triggers is that they are not timely. By the time the marketing communication gets to the customer, it’s too late.

Relevance = right message + right time + right place

Perhaps it is a cliché, but it’s a good one. Too many marketers focus entirely on the message component of relevance. For these marketers, “place” is typically an outbound channel and “time” is based on the internal campaign calendar – not the customer’s needs. To be relevant, marketers must step outside the confines of the functional silo that they are responsible for and think outside in – from the perspective of the customer. In addition to targeting the message itself based upon a customer’s stated or implied needs, relevance requires:  

  • Timely reaction or response to customer actions. Although some marketers are experimenting with trigger-based communications and on-site customized messaging, the prominence of these tactics pales in comparison to the weekly or semi-weekly campaign pushes. The beauty of these tactics, however, is that they can be automated.
  • Cross-channel integration. Your customers don’t care that you are only responsible for email and not the website or direct mail and not the call center. When a potential customer clicks on a search result or an online ad and lands on your generic home page or receives an offer in the mail and calls customer service to inquire further, he expects a seamless handoff. Yet, creative elements often dominate conversations about integrated marketing rather than a focus on what the customer is trying to achieve as he traverses the channels. The result of this oversight? For the customer, it often means dead ends and unnecessary frustration. For the company, it means lost opportunities and, possibly, damage to the brand.
  • A programmatic approach. Did you know that maximizing individual campaign response might be to the detriment of overall program ROI? That’s right. Sending more messages may generate a higher response, but how many others are simply tuning out? The current industry standard in the retail sector is 1-2 email messages a week. Amazon differentiates itself in the inbox by not always being there. An email offer from Amazon might be, “A brand new Leonard Cohen CD is available. Since you have enjoyed Leonard Cohen in the past, we thought you might want to know…” This programmatic approach requires different metrics than the campaign-centric approach – for example, program engagement over time or revenue per customer (not campaign).