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Targeted E-mail: From Spam to Choice Part 5

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Posted March 10, 2003 By Bruce McCracken     Feedback

Without proper and timely business intelligence, businesses can not determine the effectiveness of an e-mail campaign. Bruce McCracken continues his series on targeted e-mail with a look at ASPs that offer analytics solutions which can help companies boost the results of future campaigns.

A sound permission based e-mail strategy is not only a wise business decision, but also an integral component of marketing and customer care. Actually, as we look forward, it is but one piece of the puzzle to bring the enterprise into the future through business technology. The future belongs to the swift, the agile, and the nimble that cannot only offer first-rate products and services, but can do so with deft precision at high speed.

Be certain of this, your target audience, be it B2B or B2C, knows their needs more than you do. They are also much more sophisticated as consumers with very high expectations and requirements. In competing for their business, what was once a very fine line has become a razor's edge.

What is required in business technology to meet these needs is the synergistic convergence of data and knowledge. All too often within segments and channels of the business, there exists dissonance. Much of this can be attributed to the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. Actually, disconnect often extends to none of the fingers being on the same page. A wise CEO may well instill a serious message via comic relief by echoing the famous line from the 1967 movie "Cool Hand Luke," "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

In the February 2003 report, "What WorksTM: Best Practices in Marketing Technologies," Kent Allen, research director, for Aberdeen Group of Boston writes, "During the last few years, a new range of marketing technology has emerged including point solutions for campaign management, e-mail marketing, customer analytics, collaboration, digital asset management, and workflow and project management. Although each of these tools shows demonstrable promise -- indeed, marketing applications are currently one of the fastest growing domains of enterprise software -- marketing point-tools' potential has been limited by their lack of integration: Optimizing one or two elements of the marketing engine falls short of the promise of empowering the entire marketing process."

Pain and Problems
David Daniels, senior analyst for Jupiter Research of New York addresses the need for organizations to become organized. "The lack of coordination within a marketing organization is a huge issue. We find that the majority of companies, for example, select lists and execute campaigns at the business unit level, with no guarantee that a different division or unit didn't use the same list previously." In the September 2002 report, "Relationship Marketing: Improving Campaign Revenues Through Behavioral Marketing Tactics," Jupiter Research concludes, "Marketers fail to move beyond simple segmentation tactics, may miss key behavioral data." The criteria and usage is detailed in the figure below from the survey that queried 710 respondents.

Types of Customer Data Marketers Use to Select Campaign Audiences
Question asked: In the past six months, which customer data attributes has your company used to segment and select audiences for marketing campaigns? (Select all that apply.)

Types of Customer Data Marketers Use to Select Campaign Audiences
Daniels adds that the ability to do deep analytics is a major problem. "Although many marketers state that inadequate data and insufficient staff hamper their management of campaigns, the real obstacle for most is a lack of technology, as only 19 percent of companies surveyed by Jupiter have an e-mail marketing analytics packages deployed capable of customer-level analysis." The same report details what the respondents felt were the biggest challenges (multiple selections permitted) to improved e-mail campaigns.

Biggest Challenges to Improving Results of Companies' E-mail Campaigns
Question asked: What has been the biggest challenge for improving the results of e-mail campigns to your company's house list? (Select all that apply.)

Biggest Challenges to Improving Results of Companies' E-mail Campaigns

Daniels continues, "There is an effort in coordinating traffic management not only in data, segmentation and business intelligence but also in list selection and prioritizing which units get the data. Very large organizations are making moves to deal with that issue now to synchronize the marketing and operations. Organizing and centralizing the data is the easiest part, getting everybody on the same page is the harder part."

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