Direct Marketing, an essential tool in your communication strategy
The concept of Direct Marketing has evolved significantly over the past years. This evolution has been aided by the introduction of complex data mining solutions coupled with flexible production technologies. Successful organisations have understood this and are embracing the solutions offered.
Complex data analysis in no longer in the hands of “geeks” behind partitions in the corner. The advent of client-directed modelling exists. Dashboards permitting organisations to segment their own data and test different communication pieces across multiple channels are commonplace now. “Real time” campaign management is available and should be used as part of the strategy.
Coupled with data mining, segmentation and analysis tools are a vast array of channels for which the message can and should be crafted. It is not necessary for the same message to be sent to everyone using the same channel. Exceedingly important is identifying which channel your customer prefers. I find many organisations use “SMSs offers”, “bulk emailing providers”, “call centre agencies” and “personalised mail pieces” but when asked which is the most effective they are unable to link the results to their efforts.
The approach appears to be that they should cover all bases and the same message is sent to the same people using all of the channels available to them. This creates and fuels the frustration that the consumer feels towards the organisation.
Often I encounter organisations that feel that the opportunity is too big and that they are not sure where to start. My answer is simple; all you require is the organisational will. If you have the will, the next step is to select partners with which to collaborate with on the journey.
Collaboration is key to fulfilling the organisational strategy. It requires a concerted effort on the part of the marketing departments within companies to drive the ideal. Marketers should be free to drive strategy and not get tangled up in the execution.
It is simply no longer acceptable to add personalisation to a communication piece and expect higher returns. Equally, targeting a single message to all of your clients is ineffective. If the commitment is to embrace the dialogue opportunity, you will be assured of reaping the rewards of a successful campaign.