I recently came across an article on Direct Marketing News that discussed whether marketers and data can ever really get along. The closest thing to integrating data into marketing initiatives is marketers are currently utilizing data with web analytics for example, but what they need to do is start utilizing their data in real time. To truly turn your insight into action, you need to be able to use your data in real time to adjust your campaigns to become more and more relevant.
One key component to successfully integrating data that I think marketers fall short of, comes into play before the data is even collected. Too often we are making assumptions about our consumers based on the collected data. To go into a campaign with a real understanding of what you intend to do with the gathered data, you are able to create content that truly is more relevant to the individual.
Great marketers don’t make stuff, they make meaning.
Seth Godin posted this morning about how while we hear a story about a brand that compels us to say “I love that brand” – what we’re really in love with is ourselves or the emotional connection we have with said brand. What if we went into a campaign with a clear understanding of how we intend to incorporate the data to create that emotional connection with each of our recipients? Truly knowing how the data you collect in campaign A is going to impact campaign B.
For instance, say you’re a history association who sends out a personalized email that guides individuals to a personalized URL. Maybe you inquire about each recipient’s favorite part of history. Then, on your next campaign, you drop in images depicting that era. You’re taking the assumption part out of the equation because they’re telling you what matters most to them. Chances are your postcard, at the very least, will be thoroughly looked at before they either respond to it or toss it.
Too often these days, data is collected and even used without any real purpose. Anybody can slap a name across a postcard, it takes a great marketer to make an emotional connection with the individual. With our digital printing and multi-channel capabilities, we can help to evoke that emotion. It only requires looking further down the pipeline.