Here are my top 9 steps to turning marketing analytics into ROI. These are the critical opportunities we remind ourselves of every day. They aren’t ultra-sophisticated, but rather practical, nuts-and-bolts ways to optimize the marketing we do with our clients. Marketers who can make these steps part of their marketing DNA will win. No kidding.
1. Make sure a unified view of your customer is a top marketing priority. You can’t grow what you don’t know. Sure, it’s a huge hurdle! Sure, you need the involvement of your IT department! But you can’t achieve maximum ROI without a truly complete view of your individual customers. You need regular transaction and behavior information from all your channels. You need lifestyle and life stage information, and you need data that can help predict what they’ll do next.
2. Build marketing strategies for each key customer segment. Your customers are not one size fits all. You have segments that are more valuable than others. You have segments that perceive your brand and use your product or service in very different ways from others. To turn your investment into the best payback you need to know where to spend it to create the greatest customer response and value. You need to align your creative and product plans with your segments and find where you can drive the greatest response. Use the best targeting you can afford.
3. Build strategies rooted in deep customer insights. Want your customer relationships to grow and grow? You cannot stop looking for insights that can be turned into strategies. What’s the most relevant thing you can tell them? How can you get them to take action? Traditional advertising leans on primary research and often direct marketers wait to see what will happen in the field. To create the most valuable customer insights, try to integrate the two approaches — tying the customer voice with the customer’s behavior to find the right combination of messages, offers and benefits to create customer action now. Push customer knowledge out and up to all users.
4. Get the Right Message to the Right Customer at the Right Time – without driving yourself crazy. Personalized multi-segment messaging is possible without massive investments of dollars and time. You need to make it practical in your organization. Boiling the ocean with huge campaign management solutions often creates havoc. Before you buy a tool, develop a test and learn strategy that can gradually create skill sets, a solid set of learnings and business rules, and ultimately an investment in campaign management tools that both you and your partners are ready to work with.
5.Bring the right and left parts of your marketing brainpower together. Your database analysts and your creative team eye each other warily. They don’t speak the same language and they don’t really want to. But to get the greatest impact you need a creative team that “gets” the analytics, and an analytical team that knows the kinds of insights that can be at the heart of great creative.
6. Create one relationship strategy – implement across many channels. Oftentimes, different departments own different communications channels, but they all touch the same customer, creating disjointed messages and interactions. Create one sales funnel that can be implemented in an integrated fashion. Create an engagement plan to map out the steps a customer goes through in doing business with you and you’ll keep yourself sane and your customers closer.
7. Measure, Measure, Measure — Adapt, Adapt, Adapt. Find the right metrics that really tell you what’s happening with your customer’s relationships and push for all the marketers on your team to use the same metrics. Make measurement non-negotiable for every strategy and every tactic. Be ready to adapt and respond as customers’ needs and responses change.
8. Focus on the data – clean it, enhance it, and understand it. It’s not the sexiest part of the equation, but the ability to link your data from all the silos is critical to getting to multi-channel ROI. Marketing status should accrue to the people who really know the customer best – they are the ones who are creating the foundation for all the other activities.
9. Create an Engagement Machine. Forget one-shot programs. Stop the ad hoc work. Test and learn until you have proven, data-driven acquisition and retention strategies — and then automate them to force time and cost out of the process.
ROI Marketing cannot be achieved by purchasing the right tool or with one “boil the ocean” project. Step-by-step, test-and-learn, insights-driven processes that can be measured will win the race to a better return on marketing investment.
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