Personalization is a hot topic. Retailers and direct marketers must do more for less while providing concrete proof that their programs deliver results. That brings personalization to the forefront. Marketers are experiencing a large shift in how they think about print. Done right, personalization consistently delivers higher return on investment. But “done right” is the operative phrase.
Routes to Revenue, a recent IBM/Ricoh-sponsored study by the Chief Marketing Officer Council, reveals that customer churn is higher than 5 percent annually for almost two-thirds of its members, and higher than 10 percent for 31 percent of the group. Here’s one reason why: An alarming 41 percent of surveyed consumers indicate the irrelevant emails they're receiving not only cause them to opt out, but also to consider completely abandoning the brand.
Mass Marketing Tactics Irritate Consumers in Every Channel
Clearly the basic precepts of knowing your customers and delivering the right message in the right channel at the right time aren’t always executed well. Marketers continue to gravitate to inexpensive electronic media with broad-brush campaigns that garner 1 percent returns while turning off the rest of their clientèle. It’s not the media that has customers annoyed; it’s the message, the frequency and ill-conceived timing.
Back to Database Basics
There are increasingly advanced technologies available for precise targeting and content delivery. Yet, many marketers still underleverage and underutilize their data. As a result, they fail to realize the full potential of personalization tools, services and solutions that can elevate their success.
One of the problems is that many organizations view their data as “imperfect.” While likely true to some degree, most organizations have more than enough usable customer information to launch an effective personalized marketing program or take an existing program to a higher level.
Consider trying the following before launching a personalized marketing campaign:
- Get your data out of silos and into a clean, centralized database that gives a common, actionable view of customers.
- Create a customer profitability optimization model that includes communities of interest, product propensity, customer life cycle and value scoring. This provides a standardized process and framework for optimizing the intelligence from the data at an individual level.
- Integrate the model’s components to create personalized communications that perform at optimum levels. Understand that it's an ongoing process of refinement, and strive to add sophistication at the greatest speed your organization can absorb.
If the data task seems too daunting, get outside help. Your future success depends upon effectively leveraging personalization.
Check back in two weeks for the second and final part of this series, where I'll reveal my top five tips for better leveraging personalization to grow your bottom line.
Bruce Jensen is group vice president of sales at Transcontinental Printing, a Saint-Laurent, Quebec-based provider of a full range of print and online personalization services. Reach Bruce at email@example.com.