Q&A: John Lee, director digital marketing and analytics, Flightpath

John Lee, director of digital marketing and analytics at digital agency Flightpath, discusses the best ways to marry print and digital marketing and how email can hurt customer relationships.

Direct Marketing News (DMN): Given your role at Flightpath, do you think brands can derive analytics from social media to build better customer relationships?

John Lee (Flightpath): Social media is all about engaging with your customers. Social media has been an extremely important tool for that. It allows you to respond immediately and reach new audiences through their friends, which is powerful. What you can learn depends on your industry, but it enables you to get direct feedback from consumers about their interests to shape your promotions around those needs they’ve expressed.

DMN: What can offline marketers learn from digital?

Lee: They can learn that having analytics readily available is an important part of understanding your marketing. The data they’re working with through digital channels is much more quantifiable. Digital data is easier to directly attribute to the successes you might have and it allows for a much quicker response time.

DMN: Can email still be used to build customer relationships or is it simply a way to make offers?

Lee: Email is still very important and it’s still great for prospecting. In terms of measurement, you’ve got to measure response, how those customers convert to whatever metric you’ve defined as a success. And you’ve got to measure the other different types of engagements that you’ve defined as successful engagements.

DMN: How can email be misused and damage relationships?

Lee: The most important thing is to be sure that your lists are accurate and that you’re complying with Can-Spam regulations, and that the people you’re emailing have opted into your correspondences. Don’t flood their inboxes with things that don’t pertain to them. Digital marketing is always about relevance and targeting.

DMN: How can traditional be mixed with print to form a complete multichannel communication?

Lee: With print, if you have digital efforts to support those campaigns you can be more comprehensive. Can you transcend the gap? People use QR codes in print or a billboard, which can lead them to a mobile site where you can get an immediate conversion. A multichannel approach is always beneficial.

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