High performing relationship marketing programs driven by experience.
The Concinnty team delivers cutting edge
strategy and planning. Our clients’ goals
become our goals. We implement quickly
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Target the RIGHT prospects by using data and predictive analysis to find customers that are similar to your most loyal and profitable customers.
Onboard new customers effectively to build trust, engagement and loyalty during the honeymoon period.
Increase customer’s lifetime value by introducing new products and services that are relevant to each individual customer.
It’s that time of year again. Pitchers and catchers reported in mid-February and Spring Training games started this week. One of the great things about sports is that we start over again with each new season. If you won the World Series, or if you came in last place in your division last year, you will start the season with a 0-0 record. Your record from last year only provides experience that you can use to apply to making this season more successful.
There are some great parallels between marketing and the world of sports. Here are some of the ideas you can borrow from the world of Mike Trout, Brice Harper and Buster Posey.
In baseball just about every aspect of the game is captured in statistics. It is very easy to compare one player against another and see where they may fall short. Comparing a leadoff batter’s on base percentage versus other leadoffs is an objective tool for evaluating this one aspect of the player’s performance. Perhaps the player can work on strike zone discipline in Spring Training and see if he can improve his walk rate?
One tactic to use in business is to ask “Can we do this better?”. Benchmarking against folks in other industries that you think handle a task better than you can provide some insights on how you can improve.
In baseball, each team compiles statistics on every player, both on their squad, and their competitors. Each team has a spray chart which indicates where each batter is likely to hit a ball based on the game situation. In 2014 only a few teams used severe shifts on defense based on the hitter’s spray chart. Now, every team has customized spray charts that adjust the defense on each pitch. In marketing, the people that follow your marketing more closely than anyone else are you competitors. They see what you are doing, decide if it is a good idea and copy it if they can. As in baseball, marketers must continue to evolve each year by trying out new ideas, reacting to competitors strategies and refining.
Getting better at any skill involves working on drills that focus on making each skill feel natural. Many times it is said that you drill not until you get it right, but until you can’t get it wrong. This drill work is often done on the back fields at spring training far away from the stadium and fans. This drill work is what makes fielding ground balls look effortless during a game.
Developing a marketing plan based on data that is timely and accurate is critical to making your marketing plan work. Working on data quality issues is certainly not as exciting as web/email/direct mail creative but is just as critical to the success of your plan. Standardization, NCOA, preference, data enhancement are the critical skills that you need to develop in the “back office”.
The baseball season last 6 months with 162 games. You can’t play every game as if your whole season depends on it. You prepare the best you can for each game and make decisions each day that put you in the best position to win that day.
Similarly, in marketing you can’t win every customer. But what you can do is make the best decisions for each customer that put you in the best position to satisfy their needs. If you pay attention to how consumers react you can adjust your strategy to meet the next customer’s needs.
As a consultant, I am often asked by small business owners for marketing ideas to help their company grow. I love these requests because I learn more about marketing from these small business owners than I do from my Fortune 500 clients. Don’t get me wrong, I realize how difficult owning a small business can be. Cash flow, staffing, supplier management and essentially every other detail is the responsibility of the owner. But local business owners are some of the most creative and innovative marketers out there. That got me thinking – what can we learn from local business owners? Local Owners Have to Build Their Customer Base One Customer at a Time All businesses must build their client base, but at large marketing firms there is a tendency to look at volume and forget the individual customers making unique purchase decisions. A marketer has to compete for each purchase decision. A local business owner looks at each person that comes in the door and wonders how to serve them best. That means sometimes ending up with a lower total transaction but with a much happier customer. Satisfied customers are much more likely to be repeat customers, repeat customers are much more likely to be loyal customers, and loyal customers are the foundation of success. I am reminded of my recent purchase at a local bike shop. I went in looking for a specific model. The owner was happy to show me the model I was looking for, but made sure to ask me about what type of riding I did and how often I was in the saddle. He ended up recommending a different model, which I ended up loving and purchasing. Turns out the model he recommended was a bit less expensive than the one I had requested. While he reduced the overall basket size he increased the customer satisfaction. A national marketer may look at that transaction and decide that the owner missed out on several hundred dollars of additional sales. The owner knows that selling a customer a product that better fits his or her needs means a much more satisfied and loyal customer. The bike owner’s commitment to my satisfaction paid off in this example, as I have since spent way more on accessories than I saved on the initial purchase.
Super Bowl commercials were once tightly held secrets, locked away in a secure location until they were aired. Until recently it was easier to steal the coach’s game-plan than it was to catch a clip of the commercials before they aired during the Super Bowl. Now companies want to create buzz about their commercials by posting teasers or asking fans to vote for a spot. With Super Bowl ads costing up to $3.5 million per 30 seconds (prices vary based on when the ad runs), companies are looking for additional ways to create value from their advertising spend. Most marketers however, don’t have $3.5 million to spend on a Super Bowl commercial. Instead, a lot of companies use event marketing to showcase their brand to the masses. From a marketing standpoint, isn’t that what the Super Bowl is— just a really, really, expensive version of event marketing? Think about it:
Measuring ROI for Relationship Marketing With more focus than ever on budgets and program expenditures, it is crucial that marketers show a positive return on investment for their efforts. Unfortunately, many of the traditional marketing success measures typically used by marketers are not relevant to the corporate finance people down the hall. To sell relationship marketing internally, marketers must be able to convey to management how their relationship marketing strategy is going to help the company. The key to achieving this is in the way you measure, and more importantly, how you present that data to senior management. The Pitch to Management for Relationship Marketing “We have a 3-year plan for Relationship Marketing. We want to spend 20 million dollars, and we’re going to send X pieces of mail and get Y hits on our website.” “How does that help the company?” Well, how does that help the company? More importantly, how do we communicate to management how it helps the company? Measuring Along the Loyalty Continuum The goal of relationship marketing is to move customers along the Loyalty Continuum towards advocacy for our brands. As we execute our campaigns, our competitors are doing the same, working to pull these customers back towards advocacy for their brands. How do we know when we are winning? How do we know when we are losing? How do know our efforts provide value to our brand and company? To answer these questions, we must measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the programs targeted to customers along the continuum. As we work to measure the effectiveness of our Relationship Marketing campaigns, we are primarily interested in people. Do people recognize our brands? Are they willing to try our brands? Can we incent people to use our brands more than our competitors? For relationship marketing campaigns, the 2 key ingredients in measuring effectiveness of our campaigns are custom research and a comprehensive customer database system. Custom research allows us to benchmark customer attitudes, usage patterns and acceptance rates of our programs. This research will provide the basis for customer segmentation strategy and will help shape the specifics of our campaigns. A comprehensive customer database solution enables us to track customer positions along the loyalty continuum on an individual basis. The database is updated constantly, and customers are moved seamlessly from one campaign (such as awareness & trial) to another (such as conversion) as updated information dictates. At each step along the continuum, the combination of research/survey methods and data captured on your customer database will lead to a clear understanding of how your relationship marketing programs are performing:
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