What is it about digital marketing that chaps our hide?
My colleagues and I are in the marketing business, so when we are browsing the web, we understand the marketing and advertising we encounter. We know how it was created, and how it gets delivered to us on our screens and in our searches. But, at the end of the day—well all day actually—we are consumers just like you, and sometimes the pervasiveness and invasiveness of these ads are at a minimum annoying, and sometimes a bit anger-inducing.
So much so, that some of us do everything we can to block them by installing ad-blocker extensions to our browsers, and turning on every privacy and security options we have on our phones. Sometimes, we just defiantly refuse to even glance at them.
Although embracing these anti-ad measures offer us brief reprieve, doing so hides us from the goods and services that we need or want to know about. We essentially disconnect ourselves from the businesses and providers that we have good relationships with. Let’s simply define the issue as a communication strain between provider and consumer—a continual and dynamic struggle for comfortable digital conversation.
There are as many solutions to the struggle as there are providers and consumers. We all have a threshold of comfort that is unique to us as individuals.
Tell us what chaps your hide! We’ll continue to find zones of comfortable digital conversation so providers and consumers can stay connected.
A Huge Mistake That Will Kill Your Profits Immediately
At first everything was great. Tens of thousands of customers accept offers and cash in on coupons. The customer analytics data pouring in is an absolute gold mine.
Any company would love to have these solid, specific, fresh details: what offers people are actually responding to, when, what they’re buying, how they’re buying, what they’re ignoring and what they buy again.
But then the bottom dropped out…
The marketing director suddenly decided to ignore all this precious response data and go in a new direction. Months later? Sales are stagnant and everybody wonders what happened.
2017 was a bloodbath for companies making stupid mistakes like this. And sadly, the trend will continue. Why? It doesn’t have to happen, but people simply refuse to learn to market. “You’re selling from your heels,” the well paid expert explained to the nearly dead company. How does he explain the advice?
“It means you don’t 100% believe in what you’re doing.”
Despite all the hard work they put into marketing, tracking customer behavior, analyzing the data and sending out more offers… they threw it all in the trash.
Let’s say you have an employee. He’s a likeable and friendly salesman. But there’s a customer with deep pockets standing outside your door. And a whole week goes by. The customer still passes your door, pausing, waiting for an invitation to come in and buy. But your employee does nothing.
How long would you keep this employee?
Do you make this same blunder with your response data? It cost you real time, effort and money to execute marketing campaigns, track customer behavior and then store the data. Yet if you do nothing with it, this will cost you far more money than you ever spent to get the data.
In one study, 93% of businesses say data is important (or very important) to their success. Yet some companies lie to themselves: “Oh yes, we use our data.” But the truth is, they don’t send out any marketing until the next quarter. Data from the last quarter or last year?
It’s actually rotten by now. Unusable.
Nobody can deny it. Our business environment is changing so rapidly it takes real focus to keep up. It’s vital to know exactly who your target audience is… this month, this week, today. And it’s becoming essential for survival to use behavior data to narrow your focus down to who is going to buy right now.
Let’s say your analytics find 100,000 people who look just like your current customers. Yet predictive modeling shows that only 15,000 of these people will buy immediately. You’re smart. You don’t dismiss the other 85,000. You simply market to them differently than the 15,000.
You keep on digging. You find 5,000 among the 15,000 who become the prime focus of your marketing initiative. And you send out offers to them at least every month.
Companies who will dominate this year have a strategy and a plan that includes action like this. Are you starting to appreciate why it’s absolutely critical that you use really reliable data?
And then act on it?
The biggest mistake companies make is failure to take action. Enough action. Often enough. To grow their business and achieve the results, success and freedom they want.
Don’t make this mistake. Guard your data. Use your data. Refresh your data. Profit from your data.
Let’s make this year the best one yet.
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Why Behavior Data Is The New Unfair Advantage You Need
Two, 5 or maybe 10 years from now, the story of you and all the other companies in your industry will be exactly like Amazon vs. Walmart, Target, Sears, KMart, etc. There will be a couple who turned out sort of okay. There’ll be a lot of losers and one amazing success story. You can be the success story, and here’s how.
Everybody’s talking about mobile device data, big data and behavior data. But the real question is: How should you be using this data right now? (And yes, you should be.)
Think for a moment about how people act and what this tells you. For example, the armed forces know they’ve had a lot of success recruiting young people who:
- Have a veteran (or someone currently serving) in the household.
- Visited an armed forces website.
- Are taking some responsibility (looking for a job, getting a car or planning for college).
This is a great example of propensities. In this case, a person with a high propensity to join the military. People who behave a certain way are more likely to take an expected action. The more criteria they fit, the higher the propensity they have (the more likely they are) to act.
Notice the first item (veteran in the house) is a simple demographic. Marketers have known about and used demographics for years. And what about the website visitors? Cookies and targeting pixels can often be matched to specific people with their consent. (They entered their email, filled out a form or requested information.)
But what about the last item? Back in the day, there were only desktop and laptop computers. Now, almost everyone uses their mobile device.
Keyword tools can tell you what searches people type into Google. But can you see how the apps people install on their phones tell you so much about them? They tell you people’s lifestyles, habits, even the purchases they are about to make.
How can you use this information? Well, you could make a list of certain apps and target anyone who uses them. One little problem with that: tons of brand new apps are popping up on people’s phones every day. Your criteria is obsolete before you can use it.
How can you solve this? Categories. Every app falls into a finite number of categories. In the example above, some apps fall into the job-seeking category. Other apps are for college planning.
If you sell cars, imagine how useful it would be to know that someone in your area is searching for a car right now. Either on your lot or a competitor’s. Even if they’re searching for Fords and you sell Chevy – wouldn’t you like to know about them? And as you can see, behavior data not only tells you who – but can tell you when to make people offers.
It gets better. To get the best deals, consumers are happily revealing their location through their devices. And even the purchases they make. Can you see the opportunities here?
Yet there’s another reason you should be using behavior data now. Earl Nightingale, one of the first business philosophers said something really powerful:
“If you really want success…you can get a head start by looking at what everybody else is doing and do the opposite.”
It’s strange advice for those not familiar, but it’s a great strategy for those who are serious about improving their business. Let’s deal in reality here. Most people want 100% certainty before they dive into a marketing method. (And most people make excuses instead of progress, too.)
Mobile device data, behavior data and propensities are still new. And yes, there will always be a bit of unknown in any marketing strategy. Yet the risk behind behavior data is far lower, far safer than just using demographic data or all those marketing tactics people used in past decades. When you use methods like behavior data to narrow your focus and target a specific audience, you don’t just get a little better – your marketing gets exponentially better.
Not everyone will act on this. Some will just talk. Others will wait and see. And that’s why some companies will sort of do ok. Most of them will fail. And only a few will win big.
What will you do?
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