First, a challenge for each of our readers: Take a piece of candy (cookie, cake or other favorite treat), and place it on your desk. You may eat it any time you like, but if you wait to eat the treat until the end of the blog post, you may have TWO pieces of candy (etc.). That’s right. Two! Through the magic of Blogging, I will make all of the calories disappear in the second piece. (* Note, magic is highly suspect.)
Now, on to continuing the conversation about sales and marketing, and their different but dependent roles in generating revenue, let’s talk about how different media plays into the business process, and how it plays to different “types” of people.
Most companies spend a large percentage of their marketing budget gathering information about customers — both new prospects and existing customers. Your company, like most, probably has a CRM system and a sales database to manage customer leads and marketing campaigns. It might have a third system just for email and/or social media, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
If you work in marketing, you know that customer data is gold. It can tell you how big a market opportunity is and how to influence that customer base so they know and care about your company. Your burning question is about brand and loyalty: “Who cares and why?”
Understanding different types of behaviors: Delayed Gratification or Marshmallow Emergency.
In the late 60’s and early 70’s Stanford did a study involving children to see if they could control their “marshmallow” appetite, and for how long. Each child had a marshmallow placed in front of them, and then was told that they would get a second marshmallow if they waited to eat the first one later. (about 15 min.)
A minority of the children ate the marshmallow right away, and about 30% waited until the researcher came back to the room with the second marshmallow. The remaining % failed to wait, but they lasted longer than “right away.”
Take a look at a better overview of the study on Wikipedia:
So, here it is: a study with really important data about how folks behave, and there have been many follow up studies showing different things about these kids as they have grown, detailing everything from their BMI to their credit score. Over time, this means these study “customers” have had a great deal of information recorded about them and about how they behave.
It is pretty clear from this study, and several others, that understanding individual customer data is vital. You want to know all the details about a customer’s needs when you talk to them about your product or service. Your burning question is about need and satisfaction: “What do you care about and when do you want it?”
Some folks are going to want to respond and interact immediately. Social serves that niche well. Some folks are going to be pressed for time, but they can wait on a response. Email does great for them. Some folks want a deep understanding and full picture of any offer, and print cannot be beat for those folks.
Getting down to brass marshmallows:
Launching a campaign that only focuses on IMMEDIATE gratification will capture a good part of the market, but not the entire market. Having people wait to improve a discount will get some folks to buy, but not everyone. Having a long term discount strategy for loyal customers will appeal to about 1/3rd of the market, but you are still going to miss out on the other 2/3rds.
The answer is, you have to have an option that allows for all three types of reactors, and gives a real value to all of the money (time, sweat, you name it) dedicated to gathering customer info and insights. You may have data from programs like focus groups, customer feedback and performance or satisfaction surveys, but with the wrong type of campaign you will miss your ROI numbers, even if you think you are hitting them.
Wait, how can I miss the numbers if I set the goal in the first place?
You’re missing ROI if you aren’t using customer data to continue a personal conversation that tells customers you care about how they want to be responded to, and when. Today, every campaign needs to integrate info from CRM and sales systems, so marketing campaigns can help sales help the customer – that is the art of 21st century engagement. That is the ONLY way you are going to see the real return on the investment you have made.
Nothing creates sales and customer loyalty like communicating: “My company knows and cares about you.” Offer different ways for a customer to respond, and you will get an understanding of how they will behave in the future. It creates loyal customers that last a lifetime, that is the prime goal for every one of us.
So, is that candy still on your desk? I sure hope so…because I ate mine already and I was hoping I could get some candy from you!
We will be talking about the Stanford Study and more at the Integrated Print forum, hope to see you there.
- Wrich Printz, President/CEO, L2 Inc.
About the Author:
For the last 10 years Wrich has been held captive by really exciting technology, focused on multi-channel, cross media mMarketing. He works at L2 Inc. where they focus on using different channels (SMS, Direct Mail, Email, pURLs, Social) to deliver automated, high touch, relevant messaging for B2B, B2C and B2Goat campaigns. (ok….we really don’t send messages to goats…but, I have to keep you guessing.)
You may reach him at WPrintz@L2soft.com, or visit his website at www.L2soft.com