As I considered the topic and post subject for the first blog post, I made a huge list of ideas, as I'm wont to do. And I decided to use this post to give context to what I believe to be the overall theme of this blog: creating communications that get customers.
The general term for this used to be "Direct Marketing," but it makes lots of people start thinking about "Junk Mail," and so now it's not a particularly fashionable way to refer to targeted communications.
That said, the budget allocations for this tactic have not ever really been revoked, because if you do it the right way, it works.
Digital platforms and tools have evolved (and are evolving) more slowly than the promises they make to marketers who want to find, segment, and sell more product directly to their customers.
But they still offer more than what direct mail alone ever could.
The Rise of "Performance Marketing"
Same wine, new barrels? Not really.
The goals certainly are the same. But when you look more closely, it's easy to see that the right combination of digital tools and techniques nets you increased sales, along with some surprising information about how, where, when, and why your customers buy--or don't buy--your products.
It's easy to become maudlin about the fact that the number of channels and tools have exploded, and that marketing budgets remain relatively flat. But that's sour grapes, as far as I'm concerned.
Re-allocating spend to boost performance by combining the marketing communications that your customers respond to is the key focus.
For example, why would you spend all of your time and money in social media if no one looks at the pretty pictures you're taking? Especially because every time you email your customer list, you see a bump in sales?
Maybe it's not that your social channels are irrelevant. Maybe it's that they aren't being used in conjunction with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program to boost your sales even further.
This, folks, is where the art and science of "Performance Marketing" comes into play, and as frustrating as it can be to find the right combination of levers to flip at any given time, it is a great way to "move the needle," and see some success.