Segmentation is Not the Answer

I’m starting to cringe every time I hear the phrase, “We could segment our audience based on that data”. People hear that phrase and eyes light up and heads bob in agreement. In meetings with the CMO/SVP, the phrase is carefully proffered as a goal about to be fulfilled, and the CMO/SVP solemnly nods and pats everyone on the back for having done a good job. What utterly useless, well-intentioned…

Read More

Why I Hate “Did You Know”

A useless Did You Know fact

I cringe whenever a newsletter makes sense for a brand’s overall communication strategy. Not because I dislike newsletters – they have their place, both online and offline – but because in the ensuing conversation someone always offers the line, “we could have a ‘Did You Know’ section”! A few observations on this: It is best practice to always avoid asking yes/no questions. This one begs a “No, nor do I…

Read More

Why Facebook Search Will Never Replace Google

Facebook has teamed with Microsoft to create Graph Search, and they’re betting it will replace Google as the number one search provider. The premise (nicely articulated by Dave Williams in a recent AdAge post) is that by including what you say you like on Facebook into a search algorithm, searches will be better targeted to your needs. Better results will then yield more interest, ultimately dethroning Google as king of…

Read More

Good News for Analytics Teams

Most companies see SAS and similar skills as part of the IT department, and so some of the most critical marketing tasks – understanding customers based on analysis of data – are relegated to a cost center and understaffed. A new report from eMarketer (“Big Data Has Arrived, but Executives See a Monetization Lag“, August 22, 2012)  signals a change in attitude that enterprise analytics teams would do well to…

Read More

Sign up for Text Messages from Pottery Barn Kids

Just when I had nearly given up on SMS marketing, here’s an invite from Pottery Barn Kids to join their program. It’s especially interesting because PBK targets the ever-popular and ever-busy mom demographic. Of course I signed up. I did it online just to see what extras they’d ask me to provide, and of course they asked for full name, email and zip as well. No surprise there – and…

Read More

Does Klout work for CRM?

Those of us working on the direct marketing side of CRM love our data. So whenever we find a new snip of data, we try to find ways to use it to add color to our analyses. Klout is especially tempting since it speaks to that whole social CRM thing which we’re all buzzing about but which no one has quite figured out. Yesterday, Esteban Kolsky of destinationCRM.com called Klout…

Read More

Smart triggered marketing

Kevin Hillstrom over at Mine that Data blog often has great suggestions for marketers. While he focuses on catalogers, his posts are often relevant to a broader audience. That’s the case with his post “Triggers: Website Visits“. His suggested analysis is spot-on for any site that sells product or services with a reasonably short purchase cycle, and can be adjusted for longer purchase cycles or for sites that focus on…

Read More

Are Foursquare’s “local updates” a smart move for local businesses?

Foursquare is rolling out “local updates” to it’s service. These allow businesses to more proactively offer deals on the service. But is it a smart idea for local businesses? This is a long-standing debate about which customer segments should receive the best deals. Do you reward your best customers with a deal? Or by doing that are you giving up revenue, since your loyal customers would have spent with you…

Read More

13min Batman Infomercial is the Usual Missed Opportunity

AdAge asked, “Would you watch a 13 minute infomercial for ‘The Dark Knight Rises?’” They asked the wrong question. The real question is, “What could Warner Bros have done for their marketing with a 13 minute infomercial?”  And the answer is, “Anything would have been better than the nothing they did.” There is a schism between the two camps of advertising: brand and demand generation. The brand folks deal in…

Read More

Personalization requires navigating between generic and creepy

Here’s a link to a great NYTimes article from June 23rd that discusses how retailers are implementing personalization to help increase sales without being creepy. It’s a nice articulation of the dangers of both sides. Over-personalize, and you can lose sales. Under-personalize, and you leave sales on the table. What I thought was missing from the article was any mention of the benefits of random offers in the midst of…

Read More