Courtesy of Location Based Marketing Marketing Magazine
Today, organizations are placing higher demands on their direct marketing departments. These businesses want to see results quicker and achieve a greater return on investment. So how can direct marketers deliver more effective campaigns while satisfying business needs? It’s easy. Use location-based information – data that contains a reference to person, object or physical place such as a postal code, municipality, street intersection or current whereabouts – as central component of the overall strategy. This information translates into valuable data about customers, potential customers, competitors and placement of store locations. Here’s a look at some of the best practices direct marketers can employ:
At a minimum, direct marketers should consider adding location-based data to their campaign analytics. That’s because approximately 80% of all business decisions are tied to location. So, obtaining a clear view of a campaign target area through street maps, postal codes or salary bands provides a deeper view of customers and potential customers. From a segmentation perspective, this information is extremely valuable for developing targeted messages. And, at the same time, direct marketers can also gather more intelligence about customers for future campaigns by viewing information about those customers on a physical map. This data works with all distribution methods, including direct mail, social media and other online marketing tactics. The ultimate impact of using location-based data effectively is more sound business decisions and an increase in operational efficiency.
Adopt an approach
Once the direct marketing department is comfortable managing and segmenting its data on an ongoing basis, the next step is to adopt a structured, repeatable approach to the way it manages location-based information on a larger scope. This step involves leveraging marketing automation, customer relationship management and business intelligence software, as well as data warehouse tools, to keep address information accurate and continually updated. Why is this important? It’s because address information changes all the time: subdivisions merge; streets are renamed; municipal boundaries expand or contract; postal codes are reassigned. If the direct marketer doesn’t have current address information, campaigns become an exercise in lost opportunities and costs.
"At a minimum, direct marketers should consider adding locationbased data to their campaign analytics. That’s because approximately 80% of all business decisions are tied to location."
So, once the department establishes and tests an approach, it can slice and dice the most accurate information possible in targeted ways to generate desired campaign results. The repeatable nature of this approach allows for multiple segmenting opportunities within one campaign as well as continued relationship building with customers and potential customers. Additionally, because address information is continually validated as existing and appointed with additional attributes, such as dwelling type and property zoning, direct marketers can expand the scope of their campaigns while maintaining quality. Overall, adopting a structured approach to location-based information promotes quick and efficient campaign execution achieving return-on-investment goals in a timelier manner.
Real time integration
Perfected the structured, repeatable approach? Then, it’s time to integrate location-based information into the direct marketing departments’ – and perhaps even into the overall organizations’ – automated work-flows. Since location is the key to unlocking the power of direct marketing campaigns, building automated processes provides one distinct advantage: It links together multiple databases. Think about large, multi-national organizations. Imagine the hundreds of different databases gathered among them – customers, potential customers, lapsed customers and customers with specific preferences potentially interested in other products or services. Now, picture how easy it would be to execute a direct marketing campaign centrally, allowing for real time decision-making and
incorporating factors such as language differences and precision targeting. And, picture how easy it would be to cross sell and up sell products or services. Another benefit is that real time integration ensures only standardized and validated addresses are entered into a system. This eliminates the information that is incomplete or incorrect. Additionally, the nature of the integrated approach ensures that as one database is all connected databases are updated.
Develop a direct marketing ecosystem
The final stage in maximizing location-based information for direct marketing purposes is creating a unique ecosystem that ties together business units, partners and suppliers. The ecosystem approach incorporates all the elements discussed above and is ideal for co-branded campaigns or campaigns with dual messages. This approach brings value to each member of the ecosystem and more important, speeds up transactions and the ability to review analytics. It also allows the direct marketer to seamlessly ingest information about new customers, store locations or trade areas into a database, analyzing and sharing them among all members of the ecosystem. In this scenario, big data sources are critical to running marketing analytics while allowing easy sharing of information. Ultimately, everyone benefits from improved business insight and savings in time and money.