A Buzzword Is Born: Consumer-Requested Marketing

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CHICAGO -- Matt Moog, CEO of Q Interactive, had a lot of advice yesterday for direct marketers attending the Chicago DM Days & Expo 2006 show at Navy Pier.

The common thread through his data-packed presentation was something the audience already knew: know your customer and serve his or her needs in this environment where marketers are ceding control to buyers.

"Consumer-requested marketing: We really see it as the way things are moving," Moog told the audience of Chicago-area DMers attending this event organized by the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing.

Relevancy, permission and privacy were the three prongs that constituted consumer-requested marketing, yet another catchphrase that enters the business lexicon.

Segmentation of a database to target appropriate offers at the right consumer at the right life stage is critical, Moog said. He cited Best Buy Co.'s use of customer profiles to remodel its 660 stores nationwide and boost per-store sales as customers felt more comfortable shopping there.

Moog served his $100 million company up as a paragon of what he proposed: a generator of leads for 1,500 advertisers who receive information requests from the 10 million consumers in Q Interactive's database. These people sign up for offers, updates, coupons and samples.

"Consumers are in control of what media they consume," Moog said. "Technology is what is enabling this."

Certainly, advances like broadband Internet access have helped brands like NBC, CBS and MLB.com and are proof of changing habits. MLB.com generates $200 million a year from 800,000 subscribers who pay $80 a year to watch baseball games on their computers.

Another cable network, ESPN, recently launched an ESPN cell phone with full-motion video directly sourced from ESPN broadcasts, Moog said, referring to ways companies are reaching out to consumers. Also, ESPN parent Walt Disney Co. will spend $50 million on a national television campaign to launch its own wireless service. Expect synergy with Disney properties in this branded effort.

Of course, Moog trotted out a longstanding lament of interactive marketers. Advertisers still don't properly allocate ad dollars based on time spent.

He said consumers spent 34 percent of their time consuming interactive media but that advertisers allocated only 6 percent of their budgets to that medium. By contrast, consumers spent 32 percent of their time watching TV, which got 43 percent of ad dollars.

"There's a huge disparity of where consumers are spending their time and where advertisers are spending their dollars," Moog said.


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