Good marketing starts with recognizing a need and getting the message across. It starts off first with the same message to all, and gradually evolves to the ideal scenario where the consumer solicits your opinion. Here are seven steps along the way - see where you are so you can plot out how you can achieve email marketing nirvana.
Stage I: Mass Marketing The Build it, and they will Come mentality; eMarketers broadcast their message and consumers are expected to flock. There is no modeling of data, nor is there any customization in message. Despite the short comings, there is actionable analysis in the messaging – consumers are given offers to redeem, which can be tracked.
Stage II: Segment Marketing After watching how consumers respond to certain offers, marketers leverage some basic modeling strategies to start targeting segments. Uncertain consumers still abound in this segment as marketers often send various mass marketing messages. The offers are beginning to become a little more personal, but not down to the individual consumer level.
Stage III: Target Marketing Using basic click data, the marketer can reach the consumer with a more targeted approach. Clicks (or lack of) naturally move individuals into segments. Preferences drive some of the emails, marketers have a little predictive analysis, yet the communication is still segment-focused. Some micro-segmentation begins to lead to individual dialogue streams.
Stage IV: Customer-Driven Communications Communiqués are becoming multi-channel and focused around consumer type; recipients are grouped into categories based on demographics, purchase history, gender, age etc. These categories are combined to arrive at personalized communication based on individual behavior patterns. There is a little more targeting to individuals and consumers now begin to see relevant offers across all channels.
Stage V: Customer-Driven Relevance Dialogue across all channels with a single consumer is occurring, the application of iterative and progressive communications appear across all channels. A consumer may get a postcard about an offer, with the next communiqué (email,) leading to a call from an agent, driving that consumer to a physical event. The key here is that the channels are now beginning to share information about the consumer and the messaging is coordinated, one story is being shared across multiple channels.
Stage VI: Interactive Conversations This stage is more enhanced; the consumer is now carrying a dialogue with the business. By providing feedback on the various communiqués – the marketer can start an interactive conversation that meets the needs of the consumer and allows the marketer to be prepared to sell the consumer when the consumer needs the product or service.
Stage VII: Consumer Acceptance This stage is one of trust where the consumer has started sharing feedback about their purchases with the business. The business is now leveraging this information to provide the consumer with the best possible service. This is akin to the consumer sharing their personal goals and requirements with a private banker who is guiding them with investment and savings opportunities – the same as telling a personal shopper what you want or asking the concierge where you should eat dinner.
The key is trust, leveraging your journey and best practices of each of the previous stages.