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High ROI Customer Marketing: 3 Key Success Components

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Classic Customer Marketing Articles

This is an archive; for latest see the Marketing Productivity Blog and Twitter: @jimnovo

These articles are keepers for customer retention oriented, Data-Driven marketers; they are selected primarily because they provide very short-in-supply case studies, metrics, or process models for relationship marketing, customer retention, or customer loyalty marketing on the Web.


**** Bring 'Em Back
February 21, 2005  Target Marketing
A nice primer on one of my favorite topics - defining a customer defection.  You can't increase profits by retaining customers if you don't define what a defection is first!  Then it's a matter of using the right metrics and timing.

*** Big Ideas 2005
February 7, 2005  Target Marketing
Wisdom from the "gurus" on what will be hot this year in marketing, as direct and database marketing continue to bleed into and influence all marketing strategies and programs.

*** Profits, One Customer at a Time
January 24, 2005  destinationCRM Magazine
This is a very good, straight-up discussion on valuing customers.  The idea of using a "relative value" is something I have preached for years.  Don't get hung up on trying to derive "absolute" values for customers, just use a consistent valuation model and then start turning your customer data into profits.

*** KPI's: Taming the Metrics Chaos
January 14, 2005  DM Review
This article is about supply chain KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) but the methodology and framework is sound and could be used in any business to develop and track metrics that really make a difference to the profitability of a business.  If you're looking to develop KPI's for customers, these will work just fine.

*** Use a Brand / Response Marketing Model
December 27, 2004  DM News
I can't figure out why the brand and direct approaches are always at odds.  Personally, I think branders dislike the accountability that direct brings to advertising.  This article gives a organizational explanation which also works.  Either way, a mix is best.  Conceptually, it's like having a "slider" mix control with brand at one end and direct at the other; the optimal mix setting of this slider for any ad approach depends on the products being sold.

*** KPIs: Not All Metrics are Created Equal
December 14, 2004  DM Review
Yea, it's tough this time of year to find any really interesting articles out there.  Readership drops and attentions are elsewhere; editors "save" the good stuff for January.  But buried among the year-end reviews and 2005 predictions was this article, with a fabulous case study on supply chain Key Performance Indicators.  KPI's are central to the idea of turning raw data into actionable information.

**** Put the Horse Before the Cart
November 21, 2004 Target Marketing
I can't describe this article any better then the lead-in, so here ya go: Effective housefile segmentation begins with sound strategy and defined goals.  The ability to market to customers with different needs, in different ways, requires what marketers call housefile segmentation.  But what you many not realize is that housefile segmentation isn't so much a technique or a tool as it is the result of goals, strategy and research coming together. 

**** The Power of
Perfectly Timed Communications
November 11, 2004  DM News
What's the difference between a trip wire and a trigger?  Beats me.  I like trip wire much better because the target is is initiating the action, whereas with a trigger, it's implied someone else is initiating action against the target.  No matter, really.  This article lays out the case for very High ROI marketing programs activated by events.  Of course, if you want to learn how do so what it says in the article, read this.

**** Connecting Marketing Metrics
to Financial Consequences
November 9, 2004  Knowledge@Wharton
Now that's a wild idea, huh?  Don't let those marketing freaks get away with spending money and not proving what the ROI is, I mean, every other "C-level" has to.  Start the process by sending the CFO this link.

**** From 460% to 1165%: Analytics shine a Light on Select Comfort’s search ROI
November 2, 2004  Internet Retailer
There has always been a lot of speculation that online research drives offline sales, though I've always had problems with the methodology used in prior studies.  This one conclusively links online search behavior to offline sales using - get this - dynamically generated toll-free numbers for each search phrase.  Claude Hopkins would be proud of this one.

*** Getting Personal: Relationship Marketing
October 27, 2004  Catalog Age
Ah yes, Relationship Marketing, the father of CRM.  Unlike the bratty and difficult child, Relationship Marketing is elegant in simplicity and has been practiced successfully for a decade.  The concept is simple: use the Customer LifeCycle to improve the financial performance of marketing programs.  For all the details on "how", get the book.

** Get More Conversions
October 18, 2004  Catalog Success
If you've been following my web metrics work for a while, nothing in this article is going to surprise you.  If you are just coming around to the idea that the real leverage in the web model is to convert more site visitors to action, this article is a list of things you can do.

*** Stand by Me
October 4, 2004  CFO IT Magazine
You know, it must be because I have always worked in technology-driven sectors that this kind of thing astounds me.  This is a new idea, that the CFO and CIO should work together?  Perhaps the adoption rate of data-driven marketing (see also article below) is being influenced by all of this "old school" thinking.  You can bet that in companies that live and die by the data that the CFO and CIO are joined at the hip, and marketing has a strategic seat at the boardroom table instead of the lunch table.

*** Metrics Revolution
September 15, 2004  CMO Magazine
"Companies are beginning to realize that it's important for their marketing strategies be aligned with their business strategies."  This is a pretty unusual statement coming from a CMO, I mean, isn't marketing a strategic function?  I guess things may have changed, but one thing is for sure, if you want a seat at the strategy table, you may need something like Six Sigma Marketing to get you there. 

**** Show Them How Much You Care
September 4, 2004  Target Marketing
One of the most powerful ROI generators in the retention marketing toolkit is the simple Thank You contact.  Done with some imagination and the right timing, Thank You's are huge incremental sales generators with best customers.  Don't coupon your best, most active customers; that's a sure way to lose money through subsidy costs.  Instead, thank them and watch your profits soar.

****Survival Data Mining for Customer Insight
August 23, 2004  Intelligent Enterprise
A lot of the questions in database marketing really start with this simple concept: when is a customer no longer a customer?  You have to be able to define the probable end of the Customer LifeCycle because this sets up the context for every other decision you are likely to make - if profitability is the prime concern.  Survival analysis is a first step if the end of LifeCycle is clear; if not, you'll need to use one of the LifeCycle Metrics instead.

**** Focus on the ‘Sweet Spot’
of Your Customer Set
August 20, 2004  DM News
Most of the problems I see people having with Relationship Marketing / CRM have to do with segmenting and targeting customers.  When you want customers to "do something", it is not effective to segment them with demographics, you have to use behavioral metrics.  Once segmented, focus on customers "in the middle" - where the potential for ROI is highest.

Must Read Classic Articles (continued)

 

 
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