How to Make Your Data Driven Marketing Campaigns More Sophisticated - dummies

How to Make Your Data Driven Marketing Campaigns More Sophisticated

By David Semmelroth

Data driven marketing is more than a simple mail drop. You actually have a great deal more flexibility in how you structure your campaign when using data driven marketing. A campaign can have several stages. It can use multiple channels. You can even set up a campaign to run continuously.

How to use data driven marketing in communication streams

College students won’t really absorb a concept until they’ve heard it several times. Three seems to be the magic number. A similar idea applies in marketing. It may be necessary to communicate more than once with a customer to really get the message through. This is one reason why, with the exception of certain Super Bowl commercials, TV ads run more than once.

The idea is also valid in database marketing. It’s sometimes helpful to follow up a message with a reminder. Direct mailers send announcements for upcoming sales. Sometimes they send coupons or an offer of $50 toward your next purchase of $100 or more. These offers and sales are all limited in time. They all expire.

But the retailers don’t just mail the offers and leave it at that. These data driven marketing campaigns have a second phase. They usually send one or more e-mails reminding of the offer. They will often send an e-mail informing when the offer is about to expire.

Each of these communications has a slightly different purpose. The first is meant to inform and pique interest. The reminder is meant to reinforce the first message. The final, expiration-related message is intended to impress a sense of urgency. In many cases, this last message is the one that actually pushes the customer into action.

This type of multiphase and multichannel campaign produces significantly better response rates than a simple one-time mail drop. The multichannel part is important. Because e-mail is so much less expensive than direct mail, the later phases don’t add significant cost to the campaign.

Some industries have another reason for using multistage campaigns. Sometimes products have multiple components that need to be purchased over time. For example when booking a Caribbean cruise you might respond to a direct mail offer that offers a discount. When you call to book the cruise, you are told you can’t book many of the things you were interested in at that time.

Over the next few months, the cruise line sends you a series of e-mails. One told you that you could now book fine dining reservation. Another tells you that spa appointments were now being taken. Yet another told you that shore excursions could now be booked. And ultimately they send you a personalized packet that includes your luggage tags and all the details of our reservations and bookings.

This whole process is really impressive. It serves to reinforce your purchase. In the travel industry cancellations are a big issue. The cruise line’s multistage post-booking campaign confronted your potential cancellation head-on by continually reminding you of all the great things you are going to experience.

How to use data driven marketing in event-triggered messages

One of your biggest advantages as a database marketer is that you can see what your individual customers are doing. You can also tell when something about the customer has changed. This puts you in a position to recognize and act on opportunities as they arise. Messages that are sent in response to a customer’s behavior or status are known as event-triggered messages

Event-triggered campaigns are typically small. They tend to run continuously. Communications are sent every day or every week. Some sophisticated campaigns are executed in near real time as some customer event occurs.

Automobile leases provide a simple example of an event-triggered campaign. The dealership you leased your car from knows when you leased it, and they know when that lease is up. In other words, they know when you will be shopping for a new car. This allows them to send you a message about their latest models, offers, and rates at the time when it’s most relevant to you.

A bank may recognize strange transactions on a credit card and take action to mitigate the risk of fraud. That’s a near real-time event trigger. The bank may also communicate investment information to people as they near retirement.

Event triggers can take many forms. They can be based on transactions, product expirations, changes in age or income, birth of children, retirement, and more. Almost every customer trait that you track on your database changes over time. Using those changes to your advantage is what event-triggered marketing is all about.

The power of event-triggered campaigns lies in their timing. Often the window of opportunity is fairly small. By striking when the iron is hot, you can address your customers’ needs in a way that your competitors can’t.