These five strategies will help you get the most out of your campaigns this year and maximize one of the emerging themes of 2015 - personalization.
If there is a marketing theme for 2015, it’s "personalization." The definition of personalized content has changed a lot in the past 10 years, from a salutation to completely custom and well-timed content. We have finally arrived at a market position when there is enough technology to meet the needs of modern marketers – the problem is not getting more on board, it’s using what we have more efficiently and strategically.
To get there, and based on lessons from the past year, here are my five campaign management opportunities to apply in 2015.
1. Revisit Segmentation.
Our multi-device browsing habits and constantly shifting interests will break traditional segmentation models. Broad segments like "gadget enthusiasts" or "Millennial" will no longer work. We must use the automation technology to create dynamic and agile models that can adapt to behaviors as they occur, and personalize the content at the individual level, not the segment or campaign level. Our goal is to target individuals based on a collection of identifiable characteristics and behaviors, rather than targeting a collection of individuals who share characteristics. As I’ve often said in planning meetings, "The way customers act, you’d think each one was a different person!"
2. Revisit Content.
Content must sell. Always. Too much of the marketing content out there is merely interesting. That has value, except it isn’t realistic to think that anyone has time to read everything that is interesting. We’ve got to set the bar higher. Content must be viewed as part of (or at least aligned to) the product – it must help solve the same problems that the product solves. This includes rethinking how offline media assets get turned into digital experiences. For example, break up a TV spot into dozens of snackable visual elements with hyperlocal additions for price, store locations, and availability. That turns content into commerce, and brings our content marketing closer to the analytics-driven marketing that drives revenue.
3. Revisit Cross-Channel Data Collection.
This is still hard to do, however, cross-channel data is starting to become more actionable. A big part of the early success has nothing to do with technology, but with people. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) are realizing that there are efficiencies and opportunities if all channels are working toward the same goal, with the same view of the customer. To improve the maturity of these solutions, we will likely need more experimentation around both data collection and insights-driven campaign management. This unified, actionable view of the customer is still ahead of most companies, but most of us can get started by combining channels at key moments of the lifecycle.
4. Rethink Media.
Several campaign management vendors are tackling the challenge of analysis and customer engagement across owned, earned and paid media. Ask your vendors about their plans for improving customer journey mapping. Traditional linear customer journey maps are obsolete – you need technology to help you dynamically associate content and campaigns across the myriad individual experiences. At the same time, media buying is increasingly at the customer level, via hashtag identification and CRM-based targeting. Bring your own data to Facebook and Twitter, and find your key audiences across the Web – in the context that makes sense for your product and brand. 2015 will continue to see integrations through the various data services platforms (DSPs) and ad retargeting programs.
5. Rethink Brand Promise Ubiquity.
Every interaction with a brand must live up to the brand promise – not just the how and what we do, but the why we do it. Marketing data can’t stay in the marketing department; it’s got to be utilized throughout the organization. Marketers are more curators of experience than controllers (broadcasters) of message, and our brand promise must be the banner under which every employee, agency and partner interacts with people. A recent study by research and consulting firm Software Advice found that using big data to match sales and service reps to the individual needs and personalities of customers will significantly increase satisfaction, call efficiency, and sales revenue. That is just one example of how marketing must collaborate with other departments to optimize customer experience across every touch point.
What are the campaign management resolutions you plan to keep for 2015? How is marketing automation helping you better connect your brand with people? Please comment below or ping me with ideas for future columns.