Mass customization: The next step in the evolution of marketing

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1 white papers Mass customization: The next step in the evolution of marketing Introduction. The studies and statistics continue to support the fact that remains the top performer among all other direct marketing tactics. With a return on investment of $48.29 for every dollar spent (DMA, 2007) how could you go wrong? Nonetheless, marketers today face significant challenges. Competition for the inbox remains fierce and SPAM continues to impact reputation and deliverability even for marketers who follow industry best practices. The most successful marketers recognize that marketing constantly evolves. Now that the industry established best practices based on permission, the most savvy marketers have begun to move from one-to-many or broadcast tactics toward establishing one-to-one relationships with customers and prospects. Personalization, addressing s directly to recipients by name and the technology for automating this approach, played an important role in this. But today s consumers continue to demand even more relevance and timeliness from the marketing messages they receive. In a consumer-driven world, one-to-one targeting now means reaching individual customers at exactly the right time in the buying cycle. This requires more than just personalizing your messages with a name, but also segmenting your lists using demographic, behavioral and transactional data. Achieving this level of sophistication in your marketing campaigns is a daunting task. Thankfully, as we enter this next phase in the evolution of marketing, new approaches and technologies have emerged that will allow businesses of all sizes to take their marketing programs to the next level. This new approach requires what is becoming known as mass customization. Mass customization can only be accomplished through automation. This white paper provides practical information for helping marketers make their already successful marketing programs even more profitable with mass customization tactics through automation.

2 Contents The case for automation page 3 How automation enables mass customization page 3 Event or action-triggered automation page 3 Trigger campaigns in action page 4 The challenge page 4 The solution page 4 New solutions for overcoming adoption barriers page 4 and CRM a perfect marriage page 5 Finding the right service provider partner for mass customization page 6 Conclusion an action plan for getting started page 7 About Campaigner page 8 2

3 The case for automation As the impressive ROI numbers from the DMA clearly indicate, drives significant revenue and leads for businesses large and small. And continues to thrive as one of the most popular forms of communication, as proven by a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey that found 91 percent of Internet users between the ages of 18 and 64 send or read . Amidst all of the accolades, some obstacles remain, especially when it comes to deliverability. According to the DMA s Q National Marketing Benchmark report, delivery rates for retention s declined by 80 percent and acquisition s decreased by 68 percent. The DMA reported this as the second decrease in a row and advised marketers to improve their sender reputation, content and authentication; otherwise the delivery declines could develop into trend. This is where automation can help. automation not only helps marketers address deliverability issues, but can also boost the success of already strong marketing programs by improving targeting and open rates. Getting the right message to the right person at the right time means that your recipients will look forward to receiving your s and will open them. You will build stronger relationships with customers and prospects while receiving fewer spam complaints. The result a better overall reputation and higher deliverability rates. How automation enables mass customization Mass customization of your marketing campaigns dramatically improves campaign performance by enabling you to create highly defined segments based on demographic, behavioral and transactional data. Integrating all of this data and setting up such campaigns manually would be a daunting task, and until now, only large enterprises with complex and costly solutions have been able to implement campaigns at this level of sophistication. Advanced automation tools and technologies make mass customization possible, and today new and affordable automation tools have been developed that enable businesses of all sizes to quickly and easily design automated campaigns. With these new tools, marketers can create and design campaigns in minutes that will automatically deliver customized messages to individuals based on their stated preferences, a specified time, date, event or action. Whether you re a retail, hospitality, business services or technology company, your customers and prospects will be getting the exact message they want from you at the right time. Reaching individuals in this way will open up many more opportunities whether persuading an existing customer to make a repeat purchase, closing a sale by getting a prospect to buy for the first time or nudging an important lead one step closer to becoming a loyal customer. Mass customization can be achieved through a variety of technologies, tools and approaches. Event or action triggered campaigns and integrating marketing with CRM data to automate the lead process are just two approaches we ll examine in this article that are beginning to gain traction among savvy marketers. Event or action-triggered automation Event or action-triggered automation allows marketers to automatically send relevant s to customers at exactly the right moment based on a specified time, date, event or action. Marketers today use segmentation to target specific content at unique list segments. Deploying automated event or action-triggered campaigns allows marketers to take marketing relevance even further by ensuring that every is not only targeted but is also being delivered at the right time. Marketers using trigger automation solutions are able to map out each element of the campaign, including: - The event, action or specified time that initiates the sending of an - Filters to include or exclude contacts - Timer delays for scheduling and initiating message delivery - Select customized campaigns to send to specific contacts or contact segments - Post-condition settings to assign value fields for tracking specific contacts once the campaign series has been executed 3

4 Trigger campaigns in action A brief case study illustrates how event and action-triggered campaigns can benefit a business. The challenge A regional health club chain wanted to reduce membership churn and increase customer loyalty, a challenge for any fitness organization that sees memberships ebb and flow throughout the year. The marketing team decided that an marketing campaign would be the best way to reach members in every club with an attractive promotion or offer. Unfortunately inconsistent data collection processes from the various clubs in the chain meant they had a poor quality list with very little specific profile information about individual members. seven different messages. The campaigns also used dynamic segments which meant a weekly could be created that had different logos, different club locations, and different messaging based on the member s club location and join date. All of this could only have been accomplished through an advanced automation solution, which not only eliminated the physical management of the follow on campaign processing and execution, but also assured that the s would go out with the right message at the right time to the right club member. Automated Week 1 More detailed member profile information would be needed to run an effective cross-chain promotion. The solution The health club marketing team crafted a promotion that would help them improve the quality of their database while simultaneously engaging members with an attractive fitness program through a series of highly targeted automated trigger campaigns tailored to individual member interests and preferences. The promotion began with club managers and directors informing existing members across all of the clubs in the chain about a new eight week in-club weight loss initiative. Interested club members filled out a sign-up form that encouraged them to provide their addresses along with additional information regarding individual health and fitness preferences and interests. An was automatically triggered welcoming them to the 8 week weight loss program. content dynamic, displayed based on join date and geographic segments Automated Week 8 Automated Week 5 Automated Week 2 Response to Campaign Automate dynamic segments based on: Membership join date, Geography New York, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia Agency Account for Sports Clubs New sports club member Members interested in participating in the promotion benefited from giving information because they then could be sent additional support information for the weight loss program further strengthening the relationship between club and member. Once the eight week weight loss program began, the health club was able to stay in close contact with individual members, not only about the program, but with other messages and promotions that suited their stated preferences. With targeted follow on trigger campaigns based on member profile data, the health club provided members with additional value beyond just a great place to come and work out. Follow on campaigns consisted of seven s developed with highly relevant content tailored to the weekly experience of each member as he or she progressed through the weight loss program. This meant that at the mid way point in the campaign there could be seven different groups receiving 4

5 New solutions for overcoming adoption barriers Once accessible to only large enterprises or companies with deep marketing resources, the good news is that technologies and tools are available today that are easy-to-use and affordable for any sized business. Users can program automated s with quick drag-and-drop tools that create a flowchart for visualizing and mapping out each element of the campaign without the need for additional IT services. Nonetheless, perceptions that automated trigger- campaigns are too complex or costly persist as evidenced by industry analyst research and studies conducted by service providers. According to these research findings, marketers understand the value of event, action and behavior-triggered s and tailored messages versus broadcast s, but have failed to move beyond the broadcast approach. The conclusion is that even with all of the evidence in favor of automated trigger campaigns and automation in general, marketers remain uncertain where to start to take their marketing campaigns to the next level. More education is needed to raise industry awareness of the new user-friendly and affordable automation solutions that are available to marketers today. and CRM a perfect marriage Like event or action-triggered campaigns, integrating marketing with lead generation systems is another automation tactic that can significantly increase revenue-building opportunities. The majority of participants in the Aberdeen benchmark report, Success Strategies in Marketing Automation (July 2007), indicated that measuring marketing results and lead generation were their top two marketing challenges, followed by lead nurturing and qualification. Based on extensive research, Aberdeen concluded that automating the lead generation process across multiple channels will help companies improve the overall effectiveness and ROI of lead generation programs. Large enterprises with geographically distributed sales forces were the early adopters and beneficiaries of customer relationship management (CRM) systems. CRM enabled companies to establish uniform processes for gathering and sharing sales and lead information, dramatically improving the efficiency and performance of the sales force. Companies like Salesforce.com developed CRM systems designed specifically to help small-to-medium sized businesses achieve the same efficiencies and performance benefits once accessible only to larger companies with deep pockets. All the while, marketing had developed as the default CRM tool for businesses on the smaller end of the SMB scale often referred to as micro-businesses. marketing allowed these smaller enterprises to communicate with customers and prospects, gather feedback and data and practice the basics of relationship marketing. It didn t take long for marketing executives to envision the benefits of integrating CRM and marketing systems. Once again, big business paved the way, followed by the next logical step in the evolution integrating CRM solutions designed specifically for SMBs with complementary marketing systems. Today, most businesses even the smallest enterprise use some type of CRM or lead generation system, in addition to marketing tools and services. Many have taken the next step by integrating these systems, but surprisingly, even more have not despite the clear benefits as demonstrated by another Aberdeen study Best-in-Class Future Technology Adoption (October 2007). Eighty-seven percent of the companies that participated in the study are currently using or plan to use marketing to integrate CRM data and automate the lead process. Aberdeen s research has also revealed the following business benefits of linking and CRM systems from companies that have already implemented automation initiatives: Reduce the sales cycle 95 percent surveyed reduce the sales cycle by integrating campaigns with lead management solutions Generate more opportunities and control the message 66 percent pass leads back and forth between sales and marketing, creating more opportunities for qualifying, following up on and prioritizing prospects that are most likely to make a purchase Save time 42 percent use automated follow-ups for lead qualification, improving the overall efficiency of the lead qualification and sales process 5

6 With such impressive results, why are so many businesses still on the fence when it comes to integrating marketing with CRM to automate the lead generation process? Again, it comes down to the need for more education to raise awareness among marketing executives that integrated systems are not only affordable and manageable, but also can have a tremendous impact on improving sales performance and dramatically increasing revenue. Imagine being able to automatically move individual leads through the sales cycle faster with campaigns that launch automatically as CRM data changes for individual leads? Automating your campaigns in this way will allow your sales team to concentrate on leads that require personal attention. Businesses can achieve these results by integrating marketing and CRM systems to provide the following features and capabilities: Automate lead and contact imports Leads and contacts can be auto-imported and updated into your marketing system at a pre-set frequency, whether weekly, daily, or even twice a day. Automate campaigns Campaigns can be scheduled to automatically launch at any point during the sales cycle, automating lead nurturing. 'Send on behalf of' campaigns can be created by your marketing department but appear to come from the lead owner. Replies go directly to the lead owner Automating relationship building between leads and reps. Automatic update of activity history Lead owners can access campaign content in activity history, and easily verify whether an was opened, clicked, bounced or recipient unsubscribed. Dynamic content and personalization Send information that is highly relevant and targeted, content can be displayed based on the leads or contacts personal information. Planned marketing automation solution integration 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Best in class All others 93% 79% CRM Sales Force Automation Aberdeen Group, July % 72% marketing 79% 75% Lead management 79% 51% Web Analytics Finding the right service provider partner for mass customization No matter what size your business, mass customization of your marketing programs is within your reach with the automation tools and services that are available today. In-house marketing solutions are expensive and often do not provide the same features you can find with an ESP at a much lower price. However, there are a lot of providers to choose from and finding the marketing solution that s the right fit for your business can be challenging As a first step, make sure you select an service provider (ESP) that offers on-demand hosted solutions. A hosted service will allow you to focus on your core business while your ESP automatically provides your marketing team with the latest technology and enhancement updates, in addition to automated features for ensuring marketing best practices are followed to protect your reputation and improve your deliverability rate. 6

7 You ll also want creation and campaign management tools that are easy to use so that your marketing teams can perform all of the functions themselves without having to tap into their businesses technical or IT support staff. This same ease-of-use without the need for IT support also applies to the advanced automation capabilities like the trigger campaign and CRM integration features detailed in this article. The following features and capabilities ranging from the basics to advanced services - provide a good starting point for you to find the best ESP partner for your business: Opt-in list building to gain trust List management to ensure credibility List segmentation wizards to improve response WYSIWYG content editors to create graphically rich, professional campaigns Dedicated postmaster delivery services to achieve industry leading standards One-time campaign set-up to ensure the simplicity of on-demand Integration with leading CRM systems like Salesforce.com and Microsoft Database synchronization capabilities to connect to information-rich data systems Advanced automation features for event or action-triggered campaigns Advanced reporting and analysis to improve delivery and response Third party SPAM scoring services like Return Path Campaign Preview Conclusion an action plan for getting started As outlined above, automation is emerging as a strategic approach for businesses of all sizes to dramatically improve the targeting, relevance and the timeliness of their marketing campaigns. Despite the proven benefits and accessibility to affordable and user-friendly solutions, many businesses have yet to adopt automation. Marketers still undecided or uncertain about how to begin should follow these best practices to take their marketing programs to the next level with mass customization: 1. Align sales and marketing. The first step toward implementing an automation strategy is to align sales and marketing. Your sales team is on the front lines with your target customers every day. Make sure your marketing planning in terms of campaign content and timing aligns with what your customers want and when they want it. 2. Integrate with CRM. Once you begin sharing planning and strategy between sales and marketing, the next step is to integrate marketing with your CRM system. Your CRM system could contain vital demographic, behavioral and transactional data that when integrated with your marketing campaigns can significantly reduce the sales cycle. 3. Segment your lists. Many marketers today have dramatically improved marketing performance by segmenting their lists based on data collected through their marketing systems. Now that you ve integrated CRM data with your marketing system you can take segmentation to the next level of precision marketing by subdividing your segmented lists to even more highly targeted groups of recipients. 4. Deploy event or action-triggered automation. marketing continues to evolve from one-to-many, broadcast tactics, to establishing one-to-one relationships with customers and prospects. With integrated CRM and segmentation strategies in place, marketers can target their s even more precisely with trigger campaigns an approach that allows you to automatically send relevant content to customers at exactly the right moment based on a specified time, date, event or action. automation tools are available today that allow businesses of all sizes to conduct highly sophisticated trigger campaigns. 5. Find the right service provider for your business continues to deliver as one of the most effective methods for building close relationships with customers and creating new business opportunities. Customers will continually demand only the most relevant information reaches their inbox. automation is the most effective strategy for marketers to adapt to the demand for more precise and timely s. When seeking an service provider, make sure you find a company that delivers all of the basics you ll need in addition to the advanced automation tools that will help you continually improve your marketing performance and success. 7

8 About Campaigner Campaigner s software-as-a-service products enable organizations to have highly personalized one-to-one dialogues with their customers, measure how they respond, and analyze those responses to interact in a more intelligent, automated way resulting in more profitable relationships. Campaigner is partnered with industry leaders including Salesforce, Comcast and Yahoo! Its customers include companies such as Nokia, AT&T, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Nielsen Media Research, West49 and over 10,000 small and medium-sized businesses. Campaigner resources Campaigner offers a variety of educational materials for the public. Find recent articles, tips, online product and educational webinars, customer case studies, and more. To learn more about smart marketing, visit: How to reach the Campaigner team Campaigner 685 Cathcart Street, Suite 300 Montreal, Quebec, H3B 1M7 Phone: Fax: General inquiries: Sales: Campaigner marketing, 685 Cathcart Street, Suite 300, Montreal, QC, H3B 1M7 t f

Mass customization: The next step in the evolution of email marketing. www.campaigner.com

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