Last week, I was asked to to give my opinion on some marketing stats by GetResponse. My response was pretty short on Twitter, so here a little about why I wasn’t surprised to see mass digital marketing alive and well.
Mass marketing is not just traditional
Many marketers believe that by virtue of marketing in the digital space it cannot be mass marketing. They believe mass marketing is reserved for traditional channels like TV, radio and direct mail pieces that are pushed onto audiences, regardless of their interest.
Listen up, if you send emails to people who don’t expect to hear from you or an email message one-size-fits all, you are doing the same thing. You are chucking messaging at the proverbial wall hoping that something will eventually stick. Worst of all, you are annoying potential buyers by interrupting them and non-potential buyers by offering them something they will never buy. It’s plain bad marketing.
4% of marketers use behavioural and survey data
86% of marketers don’t know anything about their target audience that goes beyond basic demographics? That can’t be true. I do not accept that a vast majority of marketers are unable to compile a working buyer persona that allows them to understand the pain points that potential customers have, where their potential customers spend their time online and off, etc. (more on buyer personas here).
I believe most marketers know more about their audience than the usual male / female, 35-60 age group kinda stuff. We can all build buyer personas. I actually think, most marketer have.
8% the lowest adaptation of advanced segmentation is among vacation, hotel & leisure marketers
An industry that can learn about behaviour and preferences is the travel industry. Data can be gathered about the pages a prospect viewed before converting to lead. This means offers can be sent to them based on the location, price range and style of travel they are interested in. Emails are much more likely to be successful if you tailor them to what the prospect actually likes.
And before you think, it’s just the travel industry….other industries are are not much further ahead!
Think about how you can track and learn from behaviour and use your knowledge to segment more powerfully.
42% of marketers don’t use segmentation in email campaigns
Imagine, a clothing shop sends out an email with their newest male fashion to their entire database. 50% of the database is female and, although some may buy for guys, they are generally more interested in ladies fashion. That’s 50% of the email wasted. 50% of their database annoyed about yet another email in their inbox that is useless to them. And they unsubscribe. The door to future marketing is now closed.
42% of marketers do this. One size fits all. Mass marketing.
How to banish mass marketing
In my opinion, there are two main reasons this is type of marketing still goes on:
1. Lack of knowledge
Although inbound marketing has been around for some time, it’s still new to a lot of marketers and there is simply not of enough experience out there.
How to solve for this:
Learn. If you want to create marketing that actually delivers great results, it’s time to learn about inbound marketing, effective segmentation and how to apply it. There are great resources out there. Check out blogs from HubSpot, Inbound.org, GetResponse and your own marketing tools. There are so many resources out there that have 'how to guides' and more for you to learn from.
HubSpot even has some great training courses for you - free and accessible any time.
2. Lack of tools
Only 4 short years ago, I worked in an organisation where we worked with Lotus Notes (a great programme in its day!). I couldn’t test our own email campaigns properly in my inbox (no HTML capability). Our CRM was bespoke; we couldn’t add behavioural data. Any segmentation had to be ordered and performed by a special department. This is painful and a lot of marketers have this problem.
How to solve for this:
Convincing the powers that be to increase marketing budget to buy new tools can be difficult. Often, the proof needs to come before budget is there - does this inbound stuff really work?
You need to think a little outside the box. For example, if your CRM system doesn’t allow for any segmentation, work with a smaller segment of your customers on a spreadsheet. Pull these contacts manually, based on behaviour and demographics that form a distinct group (in our example above, the clothing shop may pick a group of men in a particular location). Create a small but mighty email campaign to these contacts. Our clothing shop may decide to promote shorts to male customers living on the coast. Measure the results. Show them off.
There are also a variety of tools that have free or trial versions available. If you dream of having a marketing automation tool, think first about a small campaign that you would run. Then speak to potential providers about a trial. Run the campaign during the trial - did it work? There is your proof to take back to the powers that be to get more budget.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised by the report and the stats GetResponse sent me (btw, check it out here). I’m sure neither are you. We all get dozens of emails every day that are marketing something to us that we don’t want. We get interrupted with messaging that is one-size-fits all and not tailored to us. Yet, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to create effective segmentation that prospects will enjoy and that will drive some quality marketing results. Let’s see if this time next year the tide has turned and we see the bulk of marketers performing segmentation.