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How to Use Data Driven Marketing Customer Profiles to Craft Messages

To be effective, you need to clearly define the goal of your data driven marketing campaign. That goal needs to be specific. But usually it’s not so specific that it’s limited to a particular product.

You may be trying to sell cars. But you probably aren’t going to run a campaign to sell 2013, black, four-door sedan hybrids with leather interior and chrome wheels. You have a more general goal of selling your brand of cars.

You have some flexibility in what particular products you feature in your messages. As with practically every other aspect of database marketing, your customer data can help.

Past purchases are the obvious place to start. To continue with the automobile example, you can customize your messages according to what type of car each customer is currently driving. If someone is currently in a high performance two-door convertible, featuring a picture of a pickup truck is probably not going to resonate. And vice versa.

When you communicate using e-mail, you have some flexibility in the links you include. This is a situation where you can take advantage of that flexibility. You can send each individual customer to a page that reflects their current taste in automobiles.

If you don’t have past purchase data, you can still customize your product messages. Your customer profiles give you a good sense of the demographics associated with different product types. Minivans are popular with families with children. Pickup trucks are popular in rural areas. Sports cars are popular with single women and middle-aged men.

You know a lot about your customers’ preferences. You may know directly from past purchases what your customers are interested in. Or you may infer it from analyzing customer profiles. In either case, use this information in deciding how to position your product offering in your message. As always, being relevant to the customer is what drives the success of your marketing campaigns.

Designing database marketing collateral, crafting e-mails and direct mail pieces, and writing copy require specialized talents. Most companies have dedicated resources for these tasks. Often external agencies are hired to do this work. So you probably won’t be the one doing the so-called creative development.

Your interaction with your creative team generally revolves around something called a creative brief. This is a document that lays out the business opportunity, goals, strategy, and other details of your campaign.

The point is that your customer data plays a significant role in the development of these briefs in two ways:

  • It’s important for whoever is developing the creative content to clearly understand the target audience.

  • To create customized versions of the communication, the developer needs to understand what data is available to drive customization.

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