Marketer Technologist

applying Technology-focused disciplines with a Marketer’s eye

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Posts Tagged ‘e-mail marketing’

Digital Marketing Tactics: E-mail Marketing

Posted by jwoodymeach on December 15, 2008

E-mail is not only a communication tool that is used to reach out to consumers, but also as a means for consumers to begin a conversation with your organization – each method, though, presents an opportunity to deliver a marketing message and influence the user experience.

There are guidelines (i.e. CAN-SPAM) that look to limit the exposure of consumers to marketing messages or unwanted e-mail communications. However, a sound marketer can use e-mail to extend the relationship with prospects and customers whether it’s through marketing communications, transactional alerts, or public relations.

The scaling of creation, delivery, and reporting metrics have been stable for quite a while, but there are considerations that one needs to take into account when dealing with e-mail marketing. Below are some of the major factors that need to be addressed with scaling your organization’s e-mail marketing communications:

Outbound

An outbound e-mail marketing program entails not only the scheduling, messaging, creative development, transmission, and reporting on open rates. You have to make some “game changing” decisions at each step along the path (e.g. do you purchase an e-mail technology service or outsource to an e-mail marketing agency?) that can greatly affect the personnel and monetary costs.

The scale opportunity comes from a single source transmission provider like SilverPop, CheetahMail, ExactTarget, and EmailLabs. This is especially true if you are a large multi-department/brand organization where you can realize per transmission savings going out a single entity. Other scale chances come from the performance monitoring through web analytics or competitive intelligence tools like Email Data Source.

Inbound
E-mail received by your organization is often controlled by IT, but there are software solutions like RightNow Technologies that can help you manage inbound e-mail. However, these types of solutions don’t handle the entire job around the timeliness of responding or presenting an accurate marketing message.

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Digital Marketing Tactics: You Cannot Keep Them Separated (part 1)

Posted by jwoodymeach on October 21, 2008

OK. I’m going to tell you something that you may find surprising: Digital Marketing is Complicated. [Insert sarcastic look here]

Whether you are in charge of marketing a specific product or brand or your entire organization, digital marketing has become so much more than building and managing a website.

When I started building websites in 1994, there was no such thing natural search optimization, paid search, mobile web, or social media (we just called them “forums”). Most digital marketing was purely an extension of traditional media; and “integrated marketing” meant making sure your website had the same look and feel as your print ad.

The rapid growth and evolution of digital marketing has caused tactical segmentation that is starting to cause more headaches for a marketer than it probably should.

I was speaking with a digital brand manager for a large CPG firm. For her annual programs, she has needed to manage eleven tactic vendors – not including her Interactive Agency of Record or Public Relations Agency. If you want a job that is nothing but answering e-mail and voicemail and processing vendor invoices, then that’s the job for you.

One of the biggest problems with disparate vendors is you can end up having to fight to make sure that your message is consistent and clear, all the while fending off the vendors who want more money to execute their “most important” tactic.

One way I help clients understand the complexities is through the Capabilities Map (or affectionately, the “Flower Bed”).

Each dot or “pistil” represents a digital marketing tactic that requires some level of management. The lines or “petals” coming out of each dot are either strategies or types of sub-tactics that requirement some level of consideration. Some petals require simple yes/no decisions (e.g. are you going to have a blog or not?) while others may require different strategies altogether (e.g. inbound and outbound e-mails often need different technology and governance).

At the center of Capabilities Map are Engagement Entry Points or EPPs. EPPs are the control points for capturing Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Websites and Mobile have emerged as the leading digital EPPs. However, avenues such as the multiple Interactive Television models are showing promise. EPPs can also be offline such as driving customers to a Brick and Mortar store or live event.

Customer Data won’t be address here – that’s another article.

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CARVER Marketing: Identify and Prioritize Your Targets and How to Reach Them

Posted by jwoodymeach on August 28, 2008

Earlier this year, I had a client who was trying to determine which was the most important of their nine personas (too many IMHO). Senior management thought it was one, Sales thought it was another, Marketing wanted another, and so on and so on. They also wanted to know what they should budget for marketing to reach these personas.

I use to the run the website and do online marketing for a Homeland Security magazine. Through an article, I became aware of a program run by the United States Food and Drug Administration to help farmers determine if their farms were targets for terrorism. The program is based upon a military practice called CARVER that is used to identify and prioritize targets.

After doing some quick online research, I came upon the Joint Special Operations Targeting and Mission Planning Procedure from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I began to modify the strategy that the Special Forces uses into a method that marketers can use to make better decisions around whom they should target and the best means to reach those targets.

Through some pretty in-depth research, I haven’t found anyone else who’s doing this, so, it’s the birth of CARVER Marketing.

Here are the basic foundational elements of CARVER Marketing as it applies to the identification and prioritization of marketing targets and digital marketing tactics:

  • Criticality
  • Accessibility
  • Recuperability (also Return-on-Investment)
  • Vulnerability
  • Effect
  • Recognizability

I used CARVER Marketing to help the client I mentioned earlier rank their personas and provided the back-up data that was socialized throughout the organization to get everyone on the same page. So while personas are often used as a conflict resolution device, CARVER Marketing can provide additional support to keep programs moving along.

CARVER Marketing can remove some of the guesswork and “gut instinct” that litters a lot of marketing which is causing longer timelines and costing more money. Start from an educated position then “fire and adjust”.

I have written a white paper on applying CARVER Marketing to digital marketing tactics. I use this method to help figure out budgeting for marketing campaigns. If you would like a copy, send me a note. CARVER Marketing for Personas is coming along, you should see it in a few weeks.

(BTW: if you’re wondering why I’ve added some of the keyword tags to this post, you’ll see why in the upcoming posts…)

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