Targeting High-Value Millennials

Why target Millennials in your prospecting? Because once their loyalty is secured, they are more likely than non-Millennials to share their love of your brand, product, or service with others. Furthermore, once you gain their loyalty, they will often spread the word for you, especially if you help them do it. How do you go about attracting this key customer base?

Use multiple channels. Millennials are multi-channel researchers. One study of their travel planning habits found that Millennials use an average of 10.2 information sources during the planning stage [1].

Don’t provide irrelevant information. Millennials don’t like to be inconvenienced, so target and personalize the message. Know what types of information they are looking for and how they want that information shared before you move them into the sales funnel. Respecting channel preferences is critical to these consumers.

Shorten the timeframe. Millennials use a lot of devices and draw on lots of information sources during the research process, but they make the actual buying decision fairly quickly. If you are selling brick-and-mortar, adding QR Codes to hang tags, product packaging, and in-store displays is a great way to take this audience directly to customer reviews, product comparisons, and feature-rich product videos that can help them make that decision right then and there.

Make it easy to share. According to the Boston Consulting Group, Millennials are twice as likely as non-Millennials to share pictures or experiences online using their mobile phones [3]. So help them do it! Create incentives for social-media sharing such as “Post a picture of yourself in our store on Facebook or Instagram and get 10% off immediately!”

Take the time to get to know Millennials and refine your strategies to woo them.  After all, what could be better than attracting customers who, once their loyalty is secured, will turn around and attract more of the same type of customers for you?

[1] http://hotel-online.com/News/PR2013_2nd/Apr13_MillennialTrends.html

[3] http://mashable.com/2012/04/16/millennial-consumers-study/

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How Much Personalization Is Too Personal?

When you are personalizing print or email communications, it’s important to remember that there are real people on the end of the line. Good use of data can be very effective, but the poor use of data can make people uncomfortable.

One marketer caused a stir, for example, when it targeted men with a personalized communication that used their names with “Jr.” added to the end to represent the son they might have some day . . . if they aren’t careful. Needless to say, plenty of recipients were uncomfortable with that approach! This is something many industry commentators call “the creepy factor.”

So how can you personalize your content in a positive way without crossing the line? Here are three tips.

  1. Protect private data. There is a difference between selling educational materials and selling refinancing offers. If you’re selling educational books to children, for example, you might want to know that your neighbor down the street bought a set of the same materials. But you probably don’t want a mortgage company outing you as a good candidate for a refinancing offer.
  2. Make sure your data is current. Keep your data clean and current. One company was criticized for marketing to recipients as if they were one step from a retirement home when, in fact, many of them were not even retired. Use surveys to stay in touch with your customers and get to know them. If necessary, use third party data houses to fill in critical details.
  3. Be considerate. Use the data in a way that is respectful and considerate of the person receiving it. You may not want to let recipients know just how much you know about them upfront. Some marketers start with basic targeting and segmentation, then layer that communication with name personalization, rather than using highly personal details overtly.

Remember that data is just data. When it comes to personalization, it’s what you do with that data that matters. Need help making sure that your use of data is a good one? Talk to us—we’re here to help put your ideas in motion!

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Is It Time For A Fresh Look?

Rebranding is a big deal, and it shouldn’t be done lightly. But sometimes, the time is right. When should you consider rebranding your business? Here is some advice from the experts.

  1. When something has significantly changed in your business.

Businesses evolve, and there can come a point at which you are a different business than you were a few years ago. Maybe you’ve expanded into new areas. Maybe you’ve had a growth spurt and your local brand needs to grow with it.

  1. When your customers have changed.

Not only do brands change, but also their customers change. McDonald’s customers have become more health-conscious, for example. Harley Davidson’s customers have gotten younger. With these changes have come significant changes in presentation of the brand. Has your customer base gone through a significant and long-term change? If so, does this need to be reflected in your branding?

  1. Your visual brand looks stale.

Eventually, even the best visual branding begins to look dated. What looked cool in the 1970s isn’t going to play today. Color trends, fonts, logos, and entire brand representations need a makeover every once in awhile. How long has it been since your brand had one?

  1. When customers have lost engagement with your brand.

Customer engagement can often be recaptured with fresh, new ways of marketing, but sometimes, there is something about the branding that no longer connects. If you can’t get sales out of a slump, maybe new branding can help prospects see your products with fresh eyes.

  1. You look like everyone else.

When you opened your business in a hot new market 10 years ago, you were unique. But as new competitors poured into the space, that uniqueness is disappearing. If you are no longer standing out from your competition, fresh branding can help you break through.

Think it might be time to rebrand your business? Give us a call and let us help you put your ideas in motion!

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Switching from Static to Personalized Makes Results Soar

With consumers squarely in charge of product research long before they ever contact your company, content marketing is more important than ever. One of the most important forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter—and more and more are moving to personalized editorial.

What happens to results if you switch from a general-education newsletter to a fully personalized one? One community-based healthcare system found out. After sending a traditional newsletter for years, it began matching the content to what it knew of patients’ health conditions. Personalized content ranged from advances in treatments to schedules for clinical trials.

After about a year, the healthcare system conducted a readership survey to find out how the new approach was being received. The results?

  • 93% of respondents felt the articles were relevant and of interest.
  • 73% read the entire newsletter every time it came in the mail.
  • 77% said it was easier and quicker to read.
  • 95% said they became aware of services that were previously unknown.

Not only did the healthcare system solidify its relationship with existing patients, but nearly every one of those patients learned about some of the provider’s services they didn’t know about before. Imagine the impact on revenues!

Not every marketer can track to this level of detail, but there are many simple, cost-effective steps you can use to monitor your marketing effectiveness too. Personalized URLs, barcodes (visible and invisible), discount codes, and multiple landing pages for various iterations of the same campaign are all ways to track and measure results.

Talk to us about converting your content marketing into personalized content marketing! We’re ready to put your ideas in motion!

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Are You Marketing Through Content?

Have you noticed that your competitors are sending out more newsletters these days? Posting more white papers? Increasing their investment in blogs and social media? It’s the rise in the power and influence of content marketing.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing, and according to Curata, 75% of marketers are increasing their budgets for it. Are you one of them?

What exactly is content marketing? It is using content such as newsletters, white papers, video portals, and blogs to increase your website’s visibility with search engines and engage customers or prospects digitally and in print. Timely, relevant information engages the target audience, develops or reinforces brand awareness, and maintains client loyalty.

In a world of print and web templates and stock imagery that, on the surface, creates an environment in which all brands can look the same, content marketing establishes you as the expert in your industry. Content marketing can capture mindshare and create real competitive differentiation.

Content marketing is also profitable. When one provider of security incident and events management (SIEM) wanted to improve its lead generation, for example, it used content to build brand awareness during the early research stage of the buying cycle. It created a library of vendor-neutral information, then used this content as bait to attract potential prospects. The company used the information gathered through content marketing to identify which recipients were interested in which content. Then it used a scoring methodology to determine when prospects were most likely to be ready to buy.

The result? The company improved its qualified lead generation process and boosted revenues by 38%.

Looking for ways to use content to educate your customer base, build brand awareness, and stay top of mind? Talk to us! We can help put your content marketing ideas in motion!

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Three Great Reasons To Use Direct Mail

Image result for direct mail images

There are lots of reasons to use direct mail, and you may have heard many of them. So here are three statistics on the value of direct mail marketing that you may not have heard.

  1. Direct mail has higher value in persuasion.

According to a recent study by Canada Post and True Impact Marketing,[1] direct mail generates a motivation score that is 20% higher than digital media.  The study found this score to be even higher when direct mail creative uses print enhancements (for example, special coatings, dimensionality, and print-to-mobile technologies).

  1. Direct mail is easier to understand.

A wide variety of studies confirm that information provided in print is easier for people to understand and process than information provided in digital form. In the case of the True Impact study, direct mail was found to require 21% less cognitive effort. That means your message is absorbed more quickly and effectively.

  1. Direct mail results in higher brand recall.

Not only is information in direct mail easier to process, but it is more likely to be retained. True Impact found that brand recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to direct mail ads rather than to digital ones.

Need more reasons to love direct mail? Just ask us! We’re ready to put your direct mail ideas in motion!

[1] “A Bias for Action” (Canada Post and True Impact Marketing, July 2015)

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What Are CMO’s Top Marketing Priorities?

Recently, IBM released a study titled “Redefining Markets: Insights from the C-Suite Study,” which surveyed over 700 CMOs from more than 50 countries. CMO’s number one priority, according to the study? Developing better customer experiences. Nearly two-thirds (63%) cited this as their top priority.

When the researchers looked deeper into what made for a “better customer experience,” they found that this referred to the cumulative impact of the multiple touch points a customer has with a company and the effects that the touches have over time.

This has to be done strategically. IBM also found a huge gap between how companies perceive they are doing with their customers and how they are actually doing. Eighty percent of CEOs believe their companies are delivering exceptional customer experiences, while 78% of customers stated that the average brand doesn’t understand them as individuals at all. That’s a huge disconnect.

Customer experience isn’t a guessing game. You have to be smart and proactive about planning your marketing interactions.  This requires understanding and planning across the entire customer journey.

This includes:

  • Understanding the buyer’s motivations.
  • Anticipating the customer’s journey from brand awareness to purchase.
  • Putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.
  • Presenting a consistent, positive brand image.
  • Speaking to people using segmented, targeted, and personalized communications that make them feel valued.

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but it does require planning. Set up a time to talk to us about creating an integrated multi-channel campaign that creates a positive customer experience and brings your prospects all the way to a sale.

CMO Priorities for the marketing organization

Create better experiences for customers 63%
Increase depth of analytical skills 53%
Improve operations and organizational structures 41%
Enhance social and mobile 38%
Better measures of marketing effectiveness 29%

Source: “Redefining Markets: Insights from the C-Suite Study” (IBM, 2016)

When you’re ready to focus on how you can impact the customer journey, we’re here to help put those ideas in motion!

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