Tap into your knowledge assets: Five steps to insight-driven marketing

In order to succeed at multichannel marketing, we need to create “knowledge assets” or new characteristics that can be stored on a database to help clients understand not only what segment their customers are in, but what part of the customer lifecycle, and what that customer’s value is to the client organization as well. These knowledge assets are insights made actionable by marketing technology, and they really do accrue value over time.

Here are the five key steps to building these analytical insights into your marketing:

Build knowledge assets with strategic profiling: Develop customer-focused and market-focused analytical benchmarks that can be used to help make decisions about new marketing programs and help predict ROI for individual campaigns. You need insights that can come from a 360-degree view of your customers – including bringing together both online and offline data while looking for characteristics such as customer lifecycle stages, customer value and customer segment.  

Care for and feed your customer segments: You may be using a segmentation system that was designed to be helpful in driving messaging tone and focus. Many businesses using systems that were developed through surveys find that appending accurate segment codes to their database can be problematic. There are techniques that add customer value or lifecycle measures that may enhance the ability to make a system more actionable for driving individual campaigns.

Campaign targeting, testing and analysis: Each campaign design team needs a marketing analytics member who will establish a clear methodology for campaign targeting and testing for maximizing results. The campaign design should include a consistent test-and-learn approach that progressively improves results from one campaign to another. Add to this a methodology for building a business case for each campaign to forecast ROI and help with prioritizing the outstanding campaign requests.

Specifically: make sure to carefully document each campaign’s targeting and testing methodology for future replication; develop a protocol for predictive analytics for each campaign; work closely with the creative team to build knowledge of what targeting, offers, formats, components and messages work best for each type of campaign and product; and establish best practices for the different types of reporting on campaigns

Integrate online and offline analytics for response management and attribution: As marketers seek to embrace customer engagement, their online presence becomes singularly important. Multichannel marketers need to examine how to bring direct marketing and Web activity more closely together for fulfilling customers’ needs by providing immediate information personally relevant to them, and also measuring directly attributable and personally identifiable conversion results from campaigns that cannot be easily achieved through more traditional methods.

Identify opportunities for primary research insights: Survey methodologies can be used to collect critical missing data needed to drive multichannel marketing programs, and also to build predictive analytics. Evaluate whether there is data you wished you had for campaigns, but that is not available from any source. Could primary research develop that data? Surveys with conjoint analyses are highly useful for identifying the optimum feature and promotional mix for plans as well as prices that consumers are willing to pay for those features. Determine if there is a proof of concept for the use of primary research to devise targeting strategies and campaign design.

Martha Bush is SVP of strategy and solutions at Sigma Marketing Group.

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