Filed under: Marketing Theory
Today’s post comes from Bridgz President and CEO, Jim Bergeson, and originally appeared on B2C.
By accident, companies seem to find ways to upset some of their best customers. You’ve heard the stories of companies sending customers emails or direct mail pieces inviting them to become a customer – when they’ve been a loyal one for years. Or asking them to check out a new product – one they already own. Or pelt them with so many messages generated by so many databases that they say, “No thanks!”
Those accidents are definitely avoidable. Here are eight marketing communications improvements to prevent perturbing customers to the point where they go from brand advocates and loyal customers to a frustration level of unsubscribing from the communications flow.
- Cleanse your databases. Properly managed data will help avoid the embarrassing faux pas with customers. Customers will believe you’re listening to them only if you get the facts straight on all the details, from the correct spelling of their name to communicating knowledge of how the customer has already interacted with the brand. List hygiene is critical.
- Upgrade data quality. We all have enormous technological resources available to us when it comes to data management. It’s simply a matter of putting them to good use. It’s really not that hard to stop repeat mailings or emails that ignore a customer’s relationship with the company if you invest in data management software or services.
- Cultivate relevancy. The technology is available to fully understand where each recipient of your marketing communications resides on your customer lifecycle, starting with raw prospect and going all the way to passionate brand advocate. Your customer expects you to know them. Use the database management solutions available to customize and optimize communications to each critical market segment.
- Vet your data. Don’t assume that data you’re purchasing is perfect — that’s an awfully dangerous assumption. Use your database management system – or your marketing agency – to carefully blend new data with your existing data structure.
- Listen to your data. Data is a sure-fire solution to driving customer insight, engagement and ROI, if only you’ll listen to it. Smart data analytics will help you coax secrets from your customers.
- Use the right channel. Customer data will tell you volumes about the channels that your target audience prefers. Then, it’s up to you to deliver via the preferred channels.
- Timing is everything. Use data to help you figure out the right timing for your marketing communications. You can time communications to arrive when customers might be ready to replace an item previously purchased or at the time of year when they’ve been receptive previously.
- Measurement improves quality. Concrete, measurable data about your customers will improve your relationship with them. Collect customer data everywhere you can – from customer service calls, online comments, warranty data, enrollments, purchases, dealers or retailer data partnerships. Gather it all. And supplement it with data that exists in the public domain, including public registrations, license applications or government regulatory requirements. The more complete your data set, the better you can communicate with the customer.
Who can afford to make a customer angry? Nobody. With the right data, you have the opportunity to make your marketing communications connect with the target audience – achieving relevancy with the individual and making the customer feel valued.
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