The Death of Spray and Pray: Marketing with Precision - Marijke Timmers

The Death of Spray and Pray: Marketing with Precision

Marketers have traditionally been praised for our creative flair and communication talents. But with many businesses now focused on disruptive models and digital transformation, we’re increasingly under pressure to prove real commercial results for our campaigns and resources.

The blurring of lines between sales, marketing and even HR further adds threats or opportunities for the modern marketer. Can we deliver more leads, of a higher quality while surprising and delighting existing customers at the various stages of their journey with us?

Does the best customer experience start with the employer brand / employee engagement and if so, can we service our internal customers without losing sight of those that pay the bills? Can we do all this while also maintaining an emotional connection with our audience and staying true to our creative values?

In the words of a famous cartoon builder: ‘yes we can’.

How? By being more precise...

1. Targeting with precision.

Whether needing to re-engage lost leads or close your most engaged prospect, you’ll need to start with the data. Knowing who they are, where they are, how they like to be approached and when they’re most responsive, is key. Plugging your automation tool into your Customer Relationship Management database, website, social applications and your Data Management Platform (DMP), will provide insight into your targets’ digital body language.

You can then use that to personalise your messages to the right people at the right times, in the right places. Want to get really clever? The best tools enable you to adapt to the in-the-moment digital behaviour, personalising your messaging and automating actions that apply the context of the behaviour, all the while continually learning about your lead in real time. If you’re paying for search and display advertising, being able to target with such precision will also eliminate media waste.

Gone are the days of ‘spray and pray’. Marketing technology now enables you to precisely target and segment your audience based on profile and behavioural data.

2. Converting with precision.

The same rules apply for conversion. The more you know about your prospect, the more tailored and personalised your messages can be. This is important because there’s a direct correlation between personalisation and conversion, as outlined by the JD Williams example below:

JD Williams is the leading home direct shopping company in the UK and an Oracle Marketing Cloud customer. It increased email click through rates by 268% for automated campaigns by identifying customer preferences to improve personalisation and increase engagement.

But, if you find your leads are still not converting online, an automated nurture campaign to educate and engage them may be required. Tie that to an intelligent scoring model that prioritises prospects based on their profile and engagement, and you’ll ensure you only send the hottest leads through to sales to follow up on.

3. Retaining with precision.

None of this is worth it unless you can keep the customers you work so hard to acquire. Having a clear view of your customer lifecycle and constantly measuring engagement throughout will enable you to plan retention strategies for deployment at the most relevant points of the journey.

Start with automating and personalising your welcome and on-boarding campaigns to build brand loyalty from the outset. Track and optimise your marketing channels and campaigns to stay on the pulse of customer sentiment. And, look for triggers to surprise and delight with cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, or simply to maintain loyalty. Is a renewal coming up you could offer a discount on? A birthday or anniversary you could make a big deal about?

Gathering insights on your customers throughout their journey with you gives you competitive advantage, but many brands don’t use this data wisely. With this intelligence, you should be able to precisely predict which of your messages and/or products will resonate with specific customer segments. Combine this with co-dynamic scoring, and you can automatically route your customers through to more relevant and timely offers.

If we want to keep our seat at the boardroom table, we need to keep up with the pace of change. Not just within the industries we work, but across evolving marketing techniques and technologies.

Being more precise doesn’t have to mean more work. It means adopting a newer, more innovative method of marketing. And that doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right strategy and tools in place, precision can be tackled step-by-step through automation, personalisation and quality data management.

The topic of Marketing with Precision was originally published on the Marketing Cube Blog.