Far too long ago to mention, I listened attentively as my marketing professor elucidated the Four P's of marketing. It was a different world then; smartphones and tablets weren't en vogue, virtual events and Spreecasts didn't exist, and Facebook and Twitter were rarely used for business. Magazines and newspapers flourished and face-to-face events reigned. On that foundation today's marketing leaders are challenged to think differently about the marketing mix.
In today's reality, customers and prospects are multitasking across several different devices in a multitude of channels. At the same time, countless other marketers are vying for their attention. As a result, inundated customers are tuning out--or worse, opting out--from messages that fail to engage them. Now more than ever marketing leaders are under intense pressure to improve the customer experience, increase brand affinity, and demonstrate ROI. Albeit advances in marketing technology have made once untenable processes easier to navigate, only 25 percent of leads gathered should ever reach sales, reports Gleanster. And 79 percent of CMOs are not satisfied with sales conversion rates, according to the CMO Council.
Modern marketers take full advantage of data analytics tools to understand customers' needs and preferences, as well as to understand marketing's contribution to the organization's revenue goals. We've gone from marketing to the masses to hair-splitting precision in targeting the right customers at the right time with the right message. Indeed, a study by Caslon consulting found that personalized retail campaigns generated 18 percent higher response rates than generic messaging.
The modern marketer understands his or her brand's purpose and carries that through the execution of marketing strategies. Mark Addicks, CMO of General Mills, reasons that for marketing to be effective, a brand's purpose must be outlined, and then engagement with the brand can be shaped around that purpose. For example, Chevrolet's purpose is "For every customer to feel like family no matter where you are in the world. And no matter where you're going, we want you to enjoy the ride in a Chevrolet." That purpose comes across perfectly in a near tear-jerking TV commercial featuring a dog named Maddie.
Despite all of the tools available to us, most marketers feel inadequate in their integrated marketing competencies such as technology, analytics, conversion, engagement, and targeting. Industry research has found that today's marketers rate themselves at only 65 percent of what the ideal modern marketer is, and where they would like to be. Today's marketers may feel even more vulnerable due to highly influential and connected customers that are not afraid to speak their minds in reviews and blogs about experiences with companies. Listen to this podcast featuring Emanuel Rosen, author of The Anatomy of Buzz, discussing his new book The Absolute Value of Marketing.
Modern marketers are focused on programs that garner quality leads, and email is often the channel of choice. Great email marketing can be incredibly rewarding for companies, as well as for customers, especially if the messages are personalized and interesting both visually and contextually. In this email communication, USAA not only personalized the email it also included a live counter showing customers how much time they had left to save on high-rate balances.
Here are additional examples of creative and engaging campaigns:
- Loved this use of YouTube and Twitter in a tweet-for-free-Starbucks campaign
- Fiat used video and rich media for a campaign that supported its four-door 500L
- To drive in-store traffic and online sales, Macy's ran an interactive mobile game with word recognition
Given the proper budget, resources, and strategy, marketers can use an incredible mix of new and traditional approaches to connect with customers where they live and breathe. Aligning the marketing strategy to the brand purpose, and then making sure that goals are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) is key.
Finally, since the old rules of marketing no longer apply, we must interact with customers based on their individual needs. This will help foster trust and demonstrate how valuable they really are to us. "Identifying what's important to a specific customer along with the most effective channel and time to engage with her can result in a more contextual customer experience and a more likely path to success." --Don Peppers, Founding Partner, Peppers & Rogers Group
About the author:
Vanessa Saulsberry is Senior Project Manager, Marketing and Client Delivery, at 1to1 Media. Follow Vanessa @1to1_Project