When marketers are considering new marketing platforms they often overlook the reporting interface. Reporting is a standard component of every system, but the sales person rarely demos that part of the software. It’s not the thing that closes the sale. The workflow and management of the tool are where the sizzle happens.
Marketing doesn’t happen without context. We need to understand what we are trying to accomplish. It also doesn’t happen without measurable goals. We don’t know where we are going or if we have even gotten there without goals. It is the reporting against those measurable goals that shows marketers whether they are delivering more effective campaigns and increasing customer engagement.
Every customer action creates multiple data points. Every email click is tracked. Every purchase is saved. Every customer service call creates a record. Every loyalty action is remembered. This is true whether it happens within marketers’ own systems and channels or outside of them.
With the change of the calendar, we often focus on making changes in our personal lives to improve ourselves. Many of us need this type of reset to begin eating healthier, exercising, and even reading more books. But visit your local gym on February 1 and you find that not many people have really developed consistent new habits.
Marketers are constantly in review mode throughout the year as they measure the success of campaigns, as well as reporting on weekly, monthly, and quarterly metrics. So the question is what can successful marketers do that can improve their results in 2019? I’m not a fan of resolutions, because they rarely change behavior, but there are several things for marketers to consider in the new year.
Large retail brands want to build relationships with their customers. Once a customer makes a single purchase, it is easier and less costly to keep that customer than it is to try to entice a new customer to buy something.
I recently purchased new running shoes from a small, local retailer and there are some lessons about the experience that apply to all retailers, both on and offline. This is especially relevant to large brands who want to get personal with their customers so they feel more like small brands.
As long as I have been in marketing – which has been most of my career – I have done a substantial amount of traveling. That means that I am a member of many frequent traveler programs. Airline. Hotel. Rental cars. I probably even joined the Amtrak loyalty program that one time I took the Acela, but that is a story for another time.
Personal relationships are all about communication. The more you know about your friends and partners, the better you can communicate with them. Talk about things that matter to them and they will be interested. And there’s no faster way to get them to tune you out than to prattle on about something that they don’t care about.
This has never been more true in marketing.
The subject line is the most visible part of an email. It’s what your recipients see before they open your email. It’s what they see after they open your email. It’s even what they see if they never open your email.
It is often the first thing marketers review as the cause for a drop in open rates. The internet answers the call with help on subject lines. It’s like an old time pitchman selling tonics and potions to cure what ails you. Hundreds of millions of results with best practices, helpful tips, 164 examples of guaranteed to open subject lines.
But what if I told you that a perfectly crafted subject line is not the thing that has the most effect on your open rate?
The marketing landscape continues to change as consumer behavior evolves across multiple devices and channels. Desktops, smartphones, and tablets play a role in discovery, education, and purchase decisions. And consumers expect brands to keep up as they move across that landscape. Ninety percent of consumers expect a consistent experience as they move across channels and devices.
You can look around your organization and try to explain why your website doesn’t talk to your in-store point of sale system or why your emails don’t look like your social channels, but guess what? Consumers don’t care. And they are right.
What is the value of email? Marketers send emails every day. Lots of emails every day. But nobody talks about it. They set up campaigns. Follow all the best practices. Optimize subject lines, design, and copy. Who gets a pat on the back for sending more emails?
Emails are not sexy. Emails are not cutting edge. They are not the latest shiny objects that marketing influencers extol from the stages of marketing conferences. But they are workhorses of your business. Especially retail and ecommerce businesses.