How to Use Data Driven Marketing to Make Your Message Effective - dummies

How to Use Data Driven Marketing to Make Your Message Effective

By David Semmelroth

Data driven marketing is useful in ensuring your message is effective. Once your communication gets past the recycle bin, you’ve got an opportunity to be heard. Books have been written on the subject of creative work and copy development for marketing campaigns.

Advertising and direct-marketing service providers employ stables of people to craft communications. But when you’re evaluating a direct mail piece, there are a few things you should be looking for.

How to use data driven marketing to reflect your marketing strategy

It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the look and feel of a direct-mail piece. The folks who develop marketing collateral are talented artists in their own right. And they can put together some dazzling and visually stunning work.

But you have a specific business goal in mind. Impressive graphics can distract from that goal. You need the message to be simple and clear. Being visually appealing is good, but not if it distracts from the goal of your campaign. Keep the communication on strategy.

You want your offer to be immediately recognizable. And you want it to be clear. Don’t clutter up the mail piece or e-mail with a bunch of unnecessary buildup. Your offer needs to be the star of the show. You will often hear the offer referred as the hero of the message.

One common mistake is to get too cute with your offer. As a general rule, you don’t want to confuse the customer by making several offers at once. If you get your customer comparing different offers, you’ve distracted them from the interest in your product that your communication is trying to create.

For example, if you’re trying to sell car leases, feature the monthly payment prominently. Don’t confuse your audience by also featuring the payment on a five-year loan. This gets them wondering if either one is really a good deal.

How to use data driven marketing to ensure the call to action

Every marketing communication needs to be clear about what you’re asking the customer to do. Be explicit about how the customer is to take advantage of your offer.

It’s okay to give the customer options. You can tell them to visit your store or go online to take advantage of this discounted offer. In fact, most marketing communications these days contain a reference or link to the company’s website. It’s become routine practice.

In addition to being explicit about your call to action, you need to create a sense of urgency. Expiration dates for offers are an effective way of doing that. It’s also common to reference limited inventory with phrases like while supplies last. However you do it, you want to plant a seed in the customer’s mind that there is a downside to waiting.

Direct marketers all learn, some sooner than others, not to overdo the call to action. Decades of evidence from marketing campaigns across all industries points consistently in the same direction. Straightforward is better than clever. Simple is better than complicated. Clear is better than subtle. Understanding your call to action should not require an intellectual effort on the part of the customer.