Thursday, January 10, 2008

Event Triggering, Data Mining, Multi-Channel Marketing -- Oh My!

We've often cited the tremendous impact that event-triggers can provide to direct marketers. In fact, we've worked with several clients to design event-triggering programs that have resulted in response rates of up to 2.1% -- much higher than utilizing traditional data sources to fuel acquisition programs.

This continues to be the case -- not only here in the US, but also in other countries. In fact, The Wise Marketer has just reported on the results of some research conducted by UK marketing firm CDMS. The firm looked at using event-triggers with an existing customer base -- and the findings were quite interesting. The first finding was a no-brainer -- that "customer marketing -- as opposed to prospect marketing -- generates a significantly higher response." I think we've all seen this -- I mean the customers that already buy from you are definitely going to be more open to reading and responding to your messaging than those cold prospects who you are trying to acquire.

More interestingly, CDMS reported (in this survey of UK-based senior marketers) that event-triggered customer marketing produced an average of 35% more responses. Now, this is something that we can all chew on! So, how did these savvy UK marketers accomplish this? "Rather than simply processing regular customer marketing campaigns in batches, some marketers have begun to use their database marketing systems to target offers based on specific, defined customer behaviour patterns."

So, with the use of data-mining, and utilizing the information that you collect on your customers, you can create highly-responsive, event-triggered direct marketing programs for your customer base. Here are some examples of the events that were utilized:

  • A customer service call
  • A type of transaction
  • Passing preset spending levels in a particular time period
  • A customer's birthday

In addition to utilizing these event-triggers, the survey also examined the use of integrating this concept with a multi-channel approach to further increase response rates. This also proved to be quite interesting:

Direct mail with response via post and a freephone number was gauged as producing a 20.8% uplift. Direct mail with response via post and e-mail was gauged at 20.2%, while direct mail with response via post and a personalised web link was 18.9%. Direct mail with response via post and a web site stood at 14.3%, while direct mail with response via post and telephone scored 14.1%, and direct mail with response via post and SMS (text message) scored 12.4%. In all cases, the addition of extra response media was felt to produce a significant uplift.
For us, this is some compelling data -- the kind of stuff that makes us excited! When you use intelligent direct marketing techniques hand-in-hand, the results that you can expect are truly phenomenal! As this research suggests, you can increase sales with your existing customers just by capturing some pertinent data from them as you communicate with them, then employing some very simple data-mining techniques to build a triggering program. In addition, you can build on that success -- significantly -- by using a multi-channel marketing strategy in conjunction with the triggering. The up-ticks in response are very impressive when you utilize these tools in conjunction with one another.

Just imagine what you could accomplish if you made a point of capturing your customer's communications preferences in that marketing database, and then added some slick segmentation schemes to really target the creative by segment. Wow!

This study demonstrates once again that if you really think through your marketing strategy, and then use all of the tools available, you can increase the effectiveness of every single marketing campaign.

If you have a case study that illustrates your intelligent direct marketing, please share it with us. We'd love to highlight your success and share it with all of our readers.

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