Sunday, May 14, 2006

Marketing Wisdom for 2006

Marketing Sherpa recently published Marketing Wisdom for 2006: 110 Marketers and Agencies Share Real-Life Tips, its annual compendium of practical marketing knowledge. As always, the report features a mix of the off-beat and on-target, but provides enough creative and useful ideas to keep marketing practicians busy until next year's report is published.

One item that immediately caught my eye was a paragraph in the introduction by editor Anne Holland: "The more broad the copy was, in a misguided effort to appeal to more people, the less it appealed to write great targeted copy, you need a pile of market research to base wording and focus on. And, in trying to get campaigns off the ground quickly, we all sometimes skip that essential step."

I shared that lesson in a company I was doing some work for a while back. They brought me in at the 11th hour on an email campaign for a new product launch. The copy was watered-down mush designed to appeal to the broad array of companies the email would be sent out to, which meant, as Anne points out above, that it didn't really appeal to anyone. It was too late to rework the campaign at that point, so I tweaked the copy as best I could, but the result was predictable: a whopping 0.1% response rate.

For subsequent campaigns, I persuaded the company to target their messages much more precisely. For example, instead of doing a campaign to "computer manufacturers," do separate campaigns for mass market branded manufacturers (e.g. Dell, HP, Gateway), white box makers (e.g. Systemax, Equus), and high-performance specialty producers (e.g. Alienware). Although precisely targeted campaigns are more costly, response rates are also inevitably much higher.

Campaigns do best when they approach one-to-one marketing, at least using micromedia to target micromarkets.


Terms: Marketing Sherpa, marketing wisdom for 2006, micromarkets, micromedia, practical marketing ideas

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