Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting Personal: Improve Your Marketing Communications

It's been awhile since we had a guest blogger. About a year ago Fred and I had some great conversations in reference to target marketing, direct mail and the technology that is driving the high end of the market. I invited Fred to do a guest blog about target marketing to our Print4Pay Hotel members and readers. Enjoy!

Professional Background
Fred Simonson is President of F. Simonson & Associates with over 30 years of experience in Sales, Business Development, Marketing, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Fred received his B.A. Degree from Rutgers University and also holds a Masters in Educational Psychology from Rutgers Graduate School of Education.Getting Personal: Improve Your Marketing Communications

Getting Personal: Improve Your Marketing Communications

By Fred Simonson,
President of F. Simonson & Associates

Personalized Targeted Marketing, utilizing variable data, has the ability to change the way you communicate with your customers. But, ultimately, variable data personalization is only a “tool”. The effectiveness of this tool is dependent on how skilled and nimble you are at using this tool and leveraging the underlying marketing concepts.

Much of the current literature about this “marketing marvel” that we refer to as “one to one” or “targeted marketing personalization” implies that the use of this “tool” creates a “can’t miss” proposition! However, the reality is that ineffective or sloppy use of these tools can lead to less than anticipated results, with little or no appreciable difference between the traditional direct mail approach and a one to one personalized marketing campaign.

So, what is the secret to “one to one” or “targeted marketing”? What makes the difference between a successful campaign and a campaign that generates marginal results? The keys to success are:
• Understanding your targeted audience
• Planning the campaign
• Executing against the plan
• Tracking, validating, and measuring results.

Planning an effective campaign is much like building a house. A good foundation is a must. It requires preparation and planning, but if the foundation is not solid, you will have effectively built a “house of cards” that will not achieve the desired results.
So what core principles of “one to one” or “targeted marketing” will lead you to the 5x or more return that we have been hearing about? Very simply, if you do the following four thing right, your chances for success improve dramatically, and you should enjoy great results. Get one or more wrong and the impact will be proportional with the misstep.

1. Database Quality - It all starts with the quality of the database you will be using. Is the database current, has it been cleansed, is it homogeneous relative to the targeted audience?
2. Message Value - Is the messaging and offer contained in the piece attractive and pertinent for the targeted audience?
3. Message Appearance - Is the piece itself attractive and attention grabbing? Will the recipient take the extra moment to read further or will it be deleted or tossed in with the re-cycling?
4. Measurable Results - Can you easily track and measure the results to calculate your ROI and validate the success of your marketing campaign?

How can you insure that you master the four components? Engage a professional with a proven track record to assist you with the initial project planning and design. This will have a cost, but the cost will be a lot less than if you don’t get it right. If you are still not sure about “targeted marketing”, hedge your bets and run a pilot so you can gauge your costs and measure your success before you unleash your new full-blown marketing campaign.

This article is not to be reprinted or reused without the express permission of F. Simonson & Associates

Consulting Competencies
Business Development and Marketing Communications
Consulting services for variable data applications and one to one marketing.
Expertise in Establishment & Organizational Design for print and communications operations
Sales Management Training: Process and Results Management & Measurement
Sales Force Training and Development

-=Good Selling=-

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