Lifecycle Marketing – The online marketing arms race hits its stride
Back when dot.com was the biggest story on the planet, we all thought that marketing was about to be transformed. The ability to talk to everyone, everywhere, all at once would make life simple. The dot.com gold-rush dawned. But that was not the end of the story. In the end, businesses were forced to face the fact that money is the only real measure of success, and so moved towards the end-game where conversion, sales and profits are king!
This demands a huge change in focus, technology, techniques and approach - something which switched-on retailers and businesses are already doing. By raising their marketing game, and starting to run smarter campaigns they recognise that visitors are individuals and speak to them as such.
For many years now the loyalty card programs developed by companies like dunnhumby have shown what personalised ‘relevance marketing’ can do. Without it, Tesco wouldn’t be the online and offline retailing gorilla it is today. It has also demonstrated that it is not necessary to create hugely complex campaigns and segmentations – real-time, trigger-based campaigns that deliver the right message at the right time can deliver great results. And, by combining the marketing team's experience with the latest marketing technology, it really is simple ideas that are required.
But how can smaller companies compete with the mega brands? Few of us are blessed with the huge marketing and technology budgets that the mega brands have been investing in high-end solutions in the last five years.
Once you start looking at the marketing spend in today's online businesses the answer becomes quite clear. Forrester Research tells us that there is a 100:1 relationship between the money marketers are spending on SEO and what they are spending on conversion. Changing this balance is the clue as to how we need to proceed.
The Board are no longer interested in Hits and Google Page ranks; they want to talk about the bottom line. And the freeze that has descended on the broader economy is sharpening that focus, so we need to shift investment into conversion. By doing this we will free up the cash we need to participate in the online marketing arms race, and success in making this change will deliver on the metrics businesses are being measured by today.
To address this need to measure and understand online and cross-channel marketing, the need to optimise and maximise conversion, sales revenue and customer experience, while also measuring the current and future value of your online community demands an integrated solution that can deal with all the complexity, simply, and in one place. Armed with such a solution it becomes possible for small to medium business (SMBs, and even large organisations) to compete with and operate on a par with the most advanced high-end solutions deployed by the mega brands.
The proven success of lifecycle and relevance marketing is a clear route to improved performance.
Identifying and focusing on the individual, personalising their experience, will deliver far improved results.