Every year, without fail, marketing experts release their lists of the ‘hot marketing trends’ that marketers must pay attention to in order to be successful. For 2019, artificial intelligence, influencer marketing, and chatbots seem to be the most popular new additions. What I find interesting is that personalization, the use of direct mail as a viable medium, and customer intelligence also appeared on some of these lists.
Wait… so you’re telling me that gathering information on your customers in order to gain insights that are then used to personalize direct mail communications is a trend? I’ve been a direct marketer for more than 30 years, and I’m here to tell you, being able to use data to personalize your direct mail packages is table stakes, not a trend. Successful marketers have been using customer intelligence to complement their overall advertising and marketing plans since the late 1960s, thanks to the late, great Lester Wunderman.
Customer Intelligence Data Powers All Marketing
Let’s focus on the main driver of all direct marketing strategies, which is customer data. Like most of the marketing terms that Mr. Wunderman coined or used, customer data has been renamed “customer intelligence.” (I would argue that it’s not ‘customer intelligence’ but rather ‘marketing intelligence’ that marketers glean from the customer data.) In 2019, most marketers have a plethora of customer data they have gathered through the acquisition and activation process, but unfortunately, they just don’t know what to do with it. According to SAS’s Maximizing Moments of Truth white paper, “only 23 percent of companies are able to generate real-time insights with customer data.” That’s not good.
More often than not, we run into that very situation with the prospects we’re calling on, and in most instances, these companies just don’t have the right resources. We are able to assist by having our Enterprise Solutions Experts help corral all of the data into one holding pen and our Marketing Strategists derive insights, which then inform the creative development process. This is all standard operating procedure for us. In other words, it’s what we do for every marketing services engagement and what our clients have come to expect from our services.
What separates IWCO Direct from our competitors are the results we achieve for our customers, like higher response rates, lower cost per acquisition, and greater Return on Marketing Investment.
The hot trends that are here today eventually cool off and are replaced with the latest and greatest. So when you’re developing your strategies to achieve your business goals for 2019, build your foundation with the basics: actionable customer data that generates insights to help make your communications more relevant and personalized.
Need help making your customer intelligence actionable? Contact me here to help generate real-time insights.
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