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It’s All in the Data

Experience is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? Like right now, I’m experienced enough to know that in a week or so, I will be feeling a swirl of emotions; everything from extremely proud to downright sorrowful as I drop my second child off at college. How do I know I will feel these things? Well, two years ago at this time of year, I dropped my first child off at college; and I cried all the way through Wyoming and half of Colorado afterward. It doesn’t help that my children keep picking universities that are 1800 miles away from me.

So, what does any of this have to do with marketing? Maybe you’re thinking this is the stuff Hallmark commercials are made of. And while that’s true, I was thinking more along the lines of my bank. You see, my bank knows me and my situation. Starting at the beginning of this year, my bank has sent me several nice little reminders that perhaps I may want to look at their student loan options. They also made it easy for me to set up accounts for both of my daughters that are tied to mine, giving me an easy way to make sure they are taken care of, even though they are miles away from me. And, as an added bonus, they have a branch located on campus.

With the way banking is nowadays, you may never physically see your customer or member, but it still doesn’t mean you can’t know them. Data is a beautiful thing. Use it to your advantage to zero in on what your customers really need and/or want. They will love you for it. Because, don’t we all get tired of seeing the same old ads over and over again for products we will never buy or use?

So, save your customers some tears, whether it be literally or figuratively, and get to know them. It’s all in the data, I promise.

Know Me or No Me!

Traveling with my eighteen-year-old daughter is a rejuvenating experience. I always end up feeling like I am surrounded by her personal team of trusted advisors. It was no different on a recent trip to the Charlotte area. For dinner, Urbanspoon led the way to the best local Thai cuisine. TripAdvisor and Citysearch pointed us to Knights baseball, a Segway tour (people actually do this), and Young Frankenstein. Would I have really ever found myself rafting down class III rapids and getting the adrenaline rush of the 40-foot hawk jump without the trusted reviews of the U.S. National Whitewater Center by hundreds of my Google cohorts? Most probably not! And then there was Rachel, my daughter’s friend who directed us to the luxurious SouthPark Mall, upon seeing our Instagram location. We were not alone in our adventures – and it felt good. It felt safe.

It is no different with personal banking. I want a financial institution that knows me and makes me feel like they are looking out for me. This same week, the buzz in the Charlotte area was the continued disappearance of Bank of America branches. As I was talking about this, my daughter offered that this makes sense – and that she had only ever been in a branch once, a trip with me to deposit a thousand quarters collected at a St. Jude fundraiser. As I watched her snap a photo of a babysitting check she discovered hidden away in her purse and effortlessly deposit it the same way Bank of America customers do over 200,000 times a day, it occurred to me that the expectation, certainly by my daughter and many of us older guys as well, is that our banking experience should be that same experience we have grown to enjoy in so many other aspects of our life – that self-service (I’m-in-control-of-my-time) experience with a little nudging toward products and services that are a good fit because you know me – the way a good friend, or at least a trusted advisor, knows me. To earn continued customer loyalty, banks and credit unions are challenged to really get to know me – my circumstances, preferences, and tendencies – in order to provide the experience I expect. The simple evolving truth – Know me or no me!

Do you have INFLUENCE?

If you can learn how to make an experience comfortable between you and someone else and add something to their world, you will have positive influence. That experience will also keep the door open for future exchanges. This approach could be incorporated in customer service, marketing, sales, managing or any relationship. There is so much information a person generates whether verbally, body language, digital data, actions taken and so on that can be incorporated into your communicative style of delivery.

The delivery of your message becomes adjusted to how a person likes to receive information. If a person talks long enough (or enough data is gathered about their situation), they will tell you how to have impact with them and/or influence. Then targeting is based on what they need and how they will accept a solution.

Remember the phrase “treat someone the way you want to be treated”? Well, I’m saying deliver your message in the way they will receive it (not necessarily your preferred delivery). This applies to all your messages regardless of the channel of delivery.

Three Basic Steps to having Impact or Influence

1. What are the needs or situation? (Questions and data retrieval)

2.  a. How do they like to buy or take an action?

b. How do they communicate (DISC)

c. What drives them (Behavior Pattern)

3. You say, OK!!! (Then show them a solution)

So, if you are marketing a product, want impact or influence, then targeting the data available will be the most conducive way to enhance the relationship. You would never communicate or advertise to Martha Stewart the same way you would to Jimmy Fallon. That’s why one message to all will never be completely successful. Target the person and tailor the message. Then you have INFLUENCE!

 

DeepTarget’s New Targeted List Feature

Have you ever wanted to create a new campaign in DeepTarget and have it instantly begin showing without having to wait for DeepTarget to encode new rules? If so, you’ll be excited to hear about one of the new features we recently added.

With the most recent software release, DeepTarget Omni Engagement Cloud, users of DeepTarget now have the ability to import a list of online bankers and target a campaign to them.

In order to use this feature effectively, you need to know which ID to use in your list. Follow the instructions below to the point where you click the “Upload List” button on the campaign menu. On the upload list form, you will see the name of the ID you should use in your lists. If you have any questions about this, please contact us at support@deeptarget.com.

Once you know which ID to pull, then use your MCIF or core report generator to create a file that contains one ID per line, separated by a carriage return, line feed.

Next, open DeepTarget OEC (https://apps.deeptarget.com/oec/) and create a new campaign, selecting the Audience Type of “Targeted by List”.

Using the menu for your newly created campaign, select “Upload List” and then load the list you created. Finally, when you publish this campaign, it will show only to those IDs contained on your list.

If you have any comments or suggestions regarding this feature, or any other feature you’d love to see in DeepTarget, please contact our support staff at support@deeptarget.com or feel free to drop me a note directly at jeremy@deeptarget.com.

Newsletter … Anyone … Anyone?

One of the best ways you can communicate with your customers is with a newsletter, but yet it is one of the most underutilized tools in our marketing plans. A Newsletter gives us a captive audience and it can cut out the noise that a website, Facebook page, or Twitter can sometimes create. There are four steps to creating a powerful email newsletter, building your email address list, creating content, designing an attractive look and feel for all screen sizes, and determining the right frequency.

First up, with today’s technology, it’s easy to build an email list for your newsletter. How, you ask? Look to your website. You should have a sign up form front and center, you can even have it be a landing page that comes up when visitors visit your website. You may even consider offering an incentive for people to sign up. Incentives can be anything from a service, like three months free for a lockbox, to a freebee like a t-shirt. Just make sure you use a double opt-in method to gather these contacts, to ensure you do not damage your relationship with your customers.

So, now that you have your list, what kind of content should your newsletter contain? The obvious answer is your product. And of course, promoting your products is important. But it is also important that you don’t only push your product. Offer helpful tips and advice. Entertain them. We all love to be entertained. You don’t need to be a comedian, but humor can go a long way.

What about design?  Think mobile and tablets. Your newsletter should be mobile friendly. No one in their right mind is going to want to read your full blown newsletter on a tiny three inch screen or smaller. Your design should also have some continuity and should reflect your brand. Invest some time and money in a good template and header. It will be well worth the cost.

Last, but not least, let’s talk about frequency. This is dependent on what you have to say. Don’t feel like you have to send out a monthly newsletter. It can be quarterly. Again, do what works best for your institution. And remember, people don’t like their inbox to be inundated, but don’t go so long in between that they forget about you.

Now go forth and create greatness, or at least a fabulous newsletter. Believe me, you’ll be glad you did.

Elements of the Perfect Targeted Marketing Campaign

Targeted Marketing Works! It’s something we all know now, right?

But then we try it, and we just don’t feel like it’s as effective as the research seems to suggest. The problem with targeted marketing, like almost anything in life that brings great value, is that there are easy ways to do it and there are hard ways. And usually, the most effective ways are in the “hard” category.

In order to target effectively, we cannot just take our customer base, maybe purchase some demographic data to give us additional insights, segment and target our customers based on what we know about them and our products … and then call it done.

In order to effectively use targeted marketing, we must find the right target audience for our product and then intelligently separate that audience into subsegments based on attributes like age, gender, marital status, family status, etc. and then design messages and visual presentations that are targeted to each of those subsegments.

First and foremost, effective targeted marketing requires that we find the right audience for the product we want to market. We can use data we have, demographic data we’ve purchased, statistical analysis, and last but not least, our own personal understanding and intuition.

Once we have identified the right audience, the next step is to separate them into meaningful subsegments, based on attributes like age, gender, marital and family status, etc. and design a targeted message for each. A very young audience might get a message that focuses on product features that appeal to a young audience and use language that is young and fun. An older audience might get a message that focuses on different product features and uses language that is more formal and informative. These targeted messages will result in the maximum level of interest.

But wait, we’re not done. We’ve found the right audience, created the right targeted messages, but it’s still true that we as human beings are very visual creatures. We’ve heard our whole lives that we can’t judge a book by its cover, but we can’t help ourselves, because that is how our brains work. We make many of our judgements about the world around us based on what we see. The visual appeal of an ad is probably even more important than finding the right audience and creating the right targeted message, because our audience may never read the message and find out this product is perfect for them if our ad doesn’t visually grab them.

And despite the fact that we’ve all grown up with one size fits all marketing imagery, where marketers just try to make an image that will appeal to everyone, including elements for as many segments as they can, we know that what appeals to a nineteen year old female is likely going to be very different than what appeals to a forty-five year old mother of two, not to mention what will appeal to the sixty-nine year old retired man.

Creating a visual presentation that is targeted to each segment will dramatically increase the odds that our target audience actually reads the targeted message we’ve created for them and finds out how perfect our product is for them.

*Including all of these elements in your targeted marketing campaign takes effort, but in the end, this is how effective targeted marketing is done.

Try it.

Your bottom line will thank you.

*One word of warning. You will want to ensure you avoid being too heavy handed in your targeting and personalization. Going overboard will, instead of resonating with your target audiences, feel like you’re stalking them. Create messages and visual presentations that will appeal to them, based on what you know about them, but maintain a professional distance.  

Marketing for Retention

In designing your marketing strategies most everyone wants to talk about winning that new customer, which is important, but let’s talk, in my opinion, about one of the most important parts of marketing – How do we retain the customers we have?

Customer retention is more than giving the customer what they expect, it’s about exceeding their expectations. Retention is often times the most important part of our marketing and the most overlooked. If we are doing all the right things to bring that new customer in but not doing the right things to retain them we are creating a revolving door. Retention allows us the opportunity to service our customers and meet their needs. It is also our opportunity to make “fans” out of our existing customers; so that they tell their friends about the awesome place they shop or bank. Customer retention has a direct impact on profitability. Some research has indicated that engaged customers generate 1.7 times more revenue than normal customers, while having engaged employees and engaged customers returns a revenue gain of 3.4 times the norm. Retention with both employees and customers is vital. Marketing for retention is marketing outside the BIG box. For a financial institution it might look like serving in your local school system teaching young people how to devise a household budget and the importance of saving or setting up classes or online webinars for newlyweds – teaching them ways to work together financially or working with your local community college teaching young adults how important setting up an IRA can be. 

Lastly, are we educating our customers on ALL the services we offer? If someone is doing business with you already, they are the prime customer to market your additional services to; they trust you! Marketers should now see customer retention as a priority instead of a secondary strategy. The key to effective retention lies in understanding and anticipating the needs of our customers and your employees. Setting a strategy for successful customer retention is the first step.

Get Upgraded!

If you haven’t heard yet, we are really excited about the release of the DeepTarget OmniEngagement Cloud!  You can read about it in our press release or check out a demo here.

If you are a current DeepTarget OLB customer and have heard about it but  have not yet signed up to be upgraded, we are taking requests from now through May 8th.  We perform the upgrades on Tuesdays or Thursdays and will be glad to get you on the schedule beginning Tuesday, May 12 or after (our upgrade queue is already full through that date).

After May 8th, we will add all remaining unscheduled customers to the upgrade queue and let you know as soon as the upgrade has been completed.

There is no additional cost and no effort required on your part for the upgrade.  The process of upgrading your DeepTarget instance will only take a couple of hours on our part, so the entire upgrade can be started and completed on the same day.  The user interface is all new, so you will likely want training to become familiar with that, and we will be hosting group webinar trainings in May.  You can register for one of those here:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/4504271795002307073

Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to hearing what you think of the new upgrade!

Taking Flight

I’m heading into a unique time period in my life–the time where our children are leaving the nest and becoming adults. This is all well and good, and apparently it is the natural order of things. I remember what seemed like a millennia ago, when I did the same thing, but it was a lot more exciting than watching my own children do it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited for my children. They will do wonderful things in life, of that I have no doubt, but as a mom, it is hard to let go. It is hard to realize that I no longer call the shots (at least most of them).

I guess what I’m trying to say is, sometimes, or a lot of times, we have to let go. We have to let those around us fly. Yes, there will be crashes and burns, but that’s when we learn and grow and when great things end up happening. We have to remember that though we have great experience and wisdom to pass on, that they have to gain their own. We can still be that safe landing, if needed, but remember that landings don’t get in the way.

Not only does this apply personally, but applies professionally too. I think it’s easy to get caught up in experience. We don’t want to let go of the way things have always been done. Or we don’t want to give up control. There can be good reasons for those decisions, but ask yourself, are there new ideas that could be successful that you’re ignoring? Or are you discounting others’ ideas because of your own experiences, not realizing that others have different experiences or perhaps need to gain experience?

So perhaps for you, like me, it’s time to let go a little. Let others around us take flight. Be the safe landing place when perhaps things don’t go as planned (they often don’t). You never know, you could have the next Steve Jobs on your hands.

Stepping Aside

This past week my kids had spring break. I find the older my kids get, the more I look forward to their school breaks. I enjoy the less structured and casual days. I had to work most of the week, but decided to take Friday off to enjoy with them. And on a whim I decided to take my daughter to Nashville while my husband took our son camping. Nashville isn’t a huge getaway from where we live in Alabama, but it is a place we really enjoy and it was a break from the mundane. It gave me the opportunity to step out of “real” life for just a day and recharge my batteries.

I came home from our short, yet very fun trip and found myself being able to conquer a task that had been looming and I wasn’t sure how to approach it. My creative energy had been restored by just that small step outside of my regular life.

So what does all of this mean to you? Perhaps nothing, but for what it’s worth, here’s my take:

Sometimes instead of just pushing through, we need to take a step back, or maybe just to the side. This allows us to look at problems and situations with new eyes, instead of the tired ones we’ve been using to focus so hard at the task at hand. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we just have to push through to the finish, but we should learn to recognize those times when we need to step aside for just a moment; especially if we are stuck on a problem.

I’m not saying this is a cure-all and it will solve every issue, but I can say I don’t think it would hurt to give it a try. And if anything, those around you may appreciate a happier, recharged you.