Monthly Archives: June 2015

Data Driven & Targeted Advertising….Enhancing Marketing Campaigns Since The 70’s #DailyDilbert

Daily Dilbert 5-18-15

There is something about reading a comic strip like Dilbert. Not only is there humor in the social awkwardness, but you can also find parallels to data driven marketing.

How often do you stop and think about how much personal information you’re volunteering every day? If you’re like me, its not often until you realize how much you’re sharing with people. The new employee in this Dilbert comic was a bit creeped-out by how much Dilbert knew about her.

Everything from the stick figure family that you put on the back window of your car to how you spend your time online tells us a lot about you as a consumer. Marketers love self reported information, because we know it is accurate because it was freely volunteered.

Our data is used in a variety of ways. Some of our clients use it for very broad campaigns like market research where they are simply looking to target a specific demographic in a targeted geography. Because our data includes more than 500 fields, of which more than 100 are specialty datapoints, many of our campaigns drive highly targeted and niche campaigns.

Here are a couple of examples from specific industries:

Automotive

Our automotive data is quite powerful. Being able to target based on the year, make and model that a consumer is driving has enhanced the campaigns of our local, regional and national automotive clients. We can also target based on odometer miles, drive train and fuel type to execute even the most niche campaign.

Laser Eye Surgery

The best candidates for a LASIK procedure have bad eyesight, are between the ages of 20-50 and make enough money to afford the procedure. For this we target people that have purchased glasses/contacts that fall into the age range and above the average household income level for a specific geography.

Clinical Research

Ailment data, and being able to target people with specific diseases and symptoms is incredibly valuable to the medical industry. Unlike targeting people that have purchased corrective eye wear we can reach out directly to people that suffer from ailments like diabetes, gout, COPD, certain STDs and many more.

B2B

Refining a business list is incredibly simple, yet many B2B companies are not aware that they can get a targeted list including decision maker titles and contact info. This list can be further narrowed down based on the types of expenses a company sees, credit worthiness, building size, number of employees, revenue and more than 50 other filters.

Do you think it would be helpful to have your perfectly defined audience receive your messages? Our clients see encouraging results because they choose to work with our experts. You can too, give our team a call and ask about how we can help make your campaigns more efficient! They are available during the week at 402-991-5517 to answer your questions and share our successes with you.

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Marketing Strategy, Lightbulbs And What They Have In Common

Daily Dilbert 6-23-2015

Thomas Edison had a goal of creating a lightbulb. He knew what resources were available and began testing to see which would achieve his goal – the incandescent lightbulb.

As he was working to achieve his goal, he failed many times. However, he viewed these failures as learning opportunities and they served him well as he successfully met his goal.

strat·e·gy

ˈstradəjē/

noun

  1. a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.

-the art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a way or battle

How much effort goes into building your marketing strategy? In working with my clients, I have learned that most of them have a rudimentary understanding of what it means for their business and business goals.

Very rarely have I come across a new client that has had a plan in place to meet their marketing goals. Sometimes they don’t even have goals in place!

Why am I harping on strategy so much? Because if you don’t have a detailed strategy in place your efforts are going to be wasted. The time and money you are spending on your marketing be about as productive as trying to get a rear wheel drive vehicle out of a foot of snow without shoveling a path.

IMPORTANT: read this before you start building your strategy

Its important to keep in mind that a sound strategy doesn’t need to be perfect. Part of your strategy should account for analysis of tactics and making adjustments as necessary. Your strategy should not be based on assumptions. Instead, take your experience and make educated decisions to help you achieve your goal.

There are 2 things you need to know in order to start crafting your strategy. Know your end goal, and what resources are immediately available to you (your starting point).

Your end goal is important because without it, your strategy could lead you anywhere. Knowing precisely where you want to end gives your strategy the direction it needs to stay on track.

Taking stock of the resources currently available tells you exactly where you need to start your campaign.

Once you know where you need to start, and where you want to end it is time to start building your strategic roadmap.

These need to be the foundations of your marketing strategy.

Build away!

Now that you know where you are starting, and where you want to end you can start mapping out your “trip”. This part of your plan needs to be fairly flexible and include benchmarks that will help you track progress to your overall goal.

The tactics that you choose to implement will need to help you meet the benchmarks that will help you get to your goal. Some of them will work very well and others will fall short of your expectations. The important thing here is to make sure you’re not losing sight of your goal. Take the knowledge that you gain from the tactics you use to help you get to your goal sooner.

Taking out the guesswork

There isn’t ever going to be a way to know in advance what will work and what wont help you achieve your goal. That’s where some trial and error come into play. If something works well for you, try to determine how you can make it work even better! If something doesn’t work well, learn why and use that knowledge. You may have done it wrong, or its possible that tactic doesn’t work well for the specific benchmark you’re working on.

This part is one of the most important part of your strategy because it will allow you to continue moving forward just like Edison did so many years ago.

Do you need help building some marketing strategy? Our experts have years of experience and they would love to work with you on achieving your goals. Give them a call today and let us help you look good by achieving your goals faster!

402-991-5517.

9 email hacks

Whether you are new to email marketing, or have more than 1,000,000 sends under your belt it is important to revisit the basics. These #EmailHacks can help build an email marketing expert in no time!

Your List

Your audience is everything! The right message to the right people is the foundation for success when it comes to your email marketing campaign. Make sure that the people you’re emailing will be interested in what you’re offering.

Timing/Frequency

There are statistically proven days and times to broadcast that will result in higher engagement. Starting with those and experiment with others will to maximize the impact of your messages.

Engaging Content

Showcasing your sense of humor, using easily relatable analogies and providing shocking statistics are particularly effective ways of giving a consumer a reason to engage with you. Make sure your message is visually pleasing too and you will become dangerous with your campaigns!

Subject Lines

The guide to good subject lines is simple.

-Be quick

-Be informative

-Be personal

Call To Action

This needs to blatantly obvious. Make sure that your end goal for the email is easy to find and prominent, otherwise you will struggle to achieve the results you want. Your message should draw the eye to you call to action and show the consumer as plainly as possible what their next step should be.

Consistent Branding

Make sure that your email reflects your brands image. People don’t engage with emails that seem unfamiliar, they see those as spam. Use your logo, colors, image and voice to stay consistent. Use similar templates and designs in your email marketing to help add to the consistency.

Images

“A picture speaks a thousand words” is something we have all heard. You don’t have room for 1000 words in email most times so why not incorporate a specific image that conveys your message also? Images give you an easy opportunity to stand out and can leave a longer lasting impression

Social Integration

This gives your audience another opportunity to engage with you, but this time it can be on their terms. They can go to you social media accounts when they want to and that is powerful. Don’t miss out on a convenient channel for communication that your audience may prefer over email.

Results

Analysis will help make your campaigns more effective in the future. Look at when you had your highest open and CTR, the content you used and do what you can to replicate success and improve your engagement.

Want to learn more about how to build a successful email campaign? Our friendly experts can help you come up with a campaign, or work with concept you have already been using! Give us a call at 402-991-5517, we would love to speak with you.

What does selling a pen have to do with marketing?

Selling the pen

If you have seen the movie Wolf of Wall Street you probably already know where I’m going with this. For those of you that haven’t seen it, this will provide some valuable insight to what marketing has to do with selling a pen.

There are many different ways that this exercise has been used in a sales interview. However, one of my favorites is captured in Wolf of Wall Street. We see it done a couple of times where Jordan Belfort (Leonardo Dicaprio) asks somebody to sell him a pen. Once is when Jordan asks his employee Brad to sell him the pen (we’ll come back to this one in a moment), and the other is when he asks a couple members of his audience to do the same.

The people who try selling the pen to Jordan focus on its features and benefits “Its a nice pen”, “you can use it to write down things…” and so on. These people were doing a lot more talking than necessary.

In a separate scene, the Stratton Oakmont employees are sitting around the table eating a meal. Brad is handed the pen and asks Jordan (who doesn’t have a pen) to write his name down and to do so he would need to buy the pen. He increased demand and had the only supply.

If all your marketing does is talk about your features, you will still sell products but only to people who want to and are currently ready to buy from you. On the other hand, If you can create a sense of urgency and show that your product can add value (you can ready about why thats important here) your sales and engagement will increase.

Which would you rather buy?

A – A pen that writes well and looks nice

B – The only available pen to endorse a check that is made out to you for $10,000?

I bet you would be more excited to buy pen B, and you would probably pay a lot more for it also. That is because there is now very visible value and a strong sense of urgency associated with its purchase.

I’m not suggesting that you go and include a large prize for each customers purchase. However, your marketing should reflect a similar value proposition. Your customers need to see the value in what you’re offering, otherwise they will go somewhere else.

Value – the forgotten metric for making decisions #DailyDilbert

Daily Dilbert 6-15-2015

Value – valyo͞o – noun

1. the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something. “your support is of great value”                                                                                           Synonyms: worth, usefulness

Dilbert learned that by selecting the lowest price here, he made his life substantially more difficult. The decision brought him very little value. That’s not to say that a low price always translates to low value, but in many instances you get what you pay for. There is a common theme in business where decisions are made strictly based on the cost associated with them. Unfortunately this thought process fails to take into account the more important standard of measure, VALUE.

Before we dive into business, lets take a quick look at consumers. They purchase based on perceived value that is measured in product quality, brand perception, whether or not their friends/family have purchased them, how easy it is to purchase and a host of other factors with price typically being less important. The brands that have a higher perceived value sell better. The product may cost more, and it may work better but the reason it was purchased was based on the perceived value.

On the flip side it is all about the money with lots of business owners. That leads to decisions being made largely based on what the financial cost of a decision instead of these other value adding factors. When did business owners stop thinking like the consumers they are so busy servicing?

There is a balance between the cost, and the value that will be received as a result of that cost. The most important question to ask, is what VALUE do I want to receive from my marketing efforts. Once you know how to quantify the value you want, its time to decide how to achieve that value.

There are a host of marketing vehicles available and some provide more value than others. With that in mind, here are some of the ways our clients have shared that they measure VALUE regarding how they market themselves.

Here are some of the the value additives that our clients have found from working with us.

Ease of use

We are very easy to work with. Whether a client has a full blown marketing and IT department, or is just a couple of inexperienced marketers, our expertise coupled with full service design and development makes us a quick one stop shop for email marketing campaigns.

Our clients tell us what they want done and we make it happen.

Effectiveness

Our methods are innovative and our expertise is vast. Because we have experience working with just about every industry, we know what will work well and what hasn’t worked well in the past. That knowledge coupled with our nationwide database capabilities and robust email/multichannel platform has helped deliver massively effective campaigns for our clients.

Trackability

Our services offer instant and complete trackability. We can tell you who engaged with your offer, what device they were using, when they saw your message and can run a match report to determine the exact ROI and impact from our campaigns.

Degree of control

Everything is 100% customizable with our platform and can be adjusted based on what we have learned on previous efforts.

Cost

Our services can cost as little as pennies per consumer that you target.

Would any of these add value to your current marketing efforts? We would love to discuss how we can add value to your brand. Give one of our experts a call today at 402-991-5517 to learn how we can make your marketing life a bit easier!

The Changing Landscape of How Consumers Shop

We have had clients say “We’ve been doing it like this for years and its working great!”. Our team used to say ‘Awesome!’ and move on but we have since realized that is only performing our clients a disservice.

If you want an easy to visualize case study, take a look at the Automotive industry. Consumers have changed how they purchase vehicles which is why companies like Scion and Carmax have built business models around this new era of consumerism with things like their No Haggle Pricing.

Marketing is another area that leaders in the Automotive world are adjusting. The ones that have adjusted are growing and taking more market share from the competition while quite a few others are still advertising how they were 5 or even 10 years ago.

Sure, everybody has a website and most dealerships have their inventory online now, but I’m talking about the bigger picture and making sure that marketing matches with how consumers engage with a brand.

Me: “Where do you think that your customers go to do their car shopping, or to learn about what vehicle may fit their needs?”

Dealership: “Mostly online”

Me: “How much of your advertising budget is focused on cultivating these online shoppers, vs what you’re spending on traditional media?”

Dealership: “Probably 80% traditional with about 15% direct and maybe 5% digital”

Me: “Does it make sense to have 5% of your advertising spend be in the space that most of your customers are doing their research and decision making?”

This is one of those Homer Simpson “DOH” moments. It just takes a bit of a reminder to realize that any business needs to adjust their marketing model as their consumers adjust.

I do not know a single person that has gone to a newspaper and tried to see what deals I can find on a new vehicle. That’s what the internet is for!

Maybe I’ve been thinking about getting a new vehicle for a month and I hear a radio ad or see a tv spot. That would probably still be impactful for me when deciding where to purchase a vehicle. But I am still going to look into their website and the websites of any other dealership I think might have what I need.

I am part of a trend that has been growing for years. Consumers are shopping for vehicles online. So why are most dealerships still focusing their advertising spend on things that have worked in the past?

While TrueMail Marketing focuses on digital and direct marketing, by no means am I suggesting that a brand drop EVERYTHING they are doing for advertising and switch to 100% digital. It is important to maintain a mix of mediums. However, that mix should reflect where potential customers are spending their time.

At TrueMail Marketing, we understand the changing landscape of consumer engagement and focus on helping our clients navigate to a maximized ROI and market share. Is your marketing plan out of date? Give the experts at TrueMail Marketing a call at 402-991-5517 and let us talk with you about how we can help build your marketing plan around the things you already know about your best customers now!

Tony Robbins Quote

The wrong social media question to ask #DailyDilbert

Daily Dilbert 6-1-15

The Pointy Haired Boss asks one of the many questions that people have when working with social media now. “How do I get followers?” However, this question is not necessarily the question that should be asked.

For a time all people cared about was getting followers, which became big business for social media fraud. There are millions of Bot accounts that look and act like real users, but are just a computer program designed to look human. You can read more about them here, but essentially $10 can buy you 1000 non-human followers. All this does is put your message in front of computers and programs that do not make buying decisions.

What you should be asking, is “How do I get the right followers?” (or brand evangelists) and I would take it a step further and say that you should be asking how to get them to engage with you. Getting them to follow you is worthless if they’re not going to engage with your online community. Lets look at how to answer the right questions now.

What do my ideal followers look like?

Knowing who you want to engage with should be the foundation of your social media plan. It will help you determine content, voice, frequency and format for your social media.

If you are trying to engage with college aged males, your entire approach will be different than if you’re audience consists of a middle aged men and women.

Ask yourself who your best customers are now, and use that model with social media. Put yourself in their shoes and make sure you’re constantly making sure you’re social media-ing from a perspective they will engage with.

How do they interact? Is that what I want to get out of them?

Different audiences digest and engage social media differently. Knowing who your audience is will make it easier for you to know how they will interact with you. Do they want to read a long article, or a 140 character message? Do they prefer images or videos?

Being aware of how your audience chooses to interact is going to make it much easier for you to determine how to measure success with your efforts. Align your goals with what you know about your audience and it will yield dividends as you continue interacting with them how they choose.

If you don’t interact with your audience how they want to, you won’t have much of an audience left.

What do they want to see?

Content is key in building a following of brand evangelists. While your content will probably be about you, it should be audience-centric. The tricky thing about focusing your content on your audience, is that you truly need to put yourself in their shoes to know what they want to see.

One of the easiest ways to navigate an ever changing sea of consumer trends is to be constantly testing. See what content is generating the highest engagement, and when it is being posted.

Trial and error? Seriously, thats what you’re suggesting? Yes! There is not a magic formula or cheat code that will give you ultimate social media power, or infinite lives (followers). However, with some educated trial and error and patience you can become a master of social media engagement!