Saturday, 20 March 2010

Behavioural Marketing

Customer centric marketing is just too difficult, luckily I think we can give up on it and move on to something a bit easier, behavioural marketing.

We still talk a lot about segmentation and understanding customers needs. The argument is we can group customers into like minded groups and infer likely behaviour from their profiles. Why bother? It is a lot easier to observe what they do, and offer them something on a 'people like you' basis.

What do Amazon know about us? Nothing much about us as people, why should they care. But they do know what we buy and what we have told them is in our wish list. They don't care if two book buyers have different profiles, what does interest them is that they buy the same books. Admittedly they could get a bit smarter merging profiles and behavioural data but it sounds like a lot of work for very little return. Predicting book reading interests from personal data is just too much like guess work, you will get many more misses than hits.

Behavioural marketing is easier to apply in e-commerce environments, retail and service, the likes of Amazon, BA Frequent Flyer clubs but the behavioural approach is applicable across the board. What it means is that the role of the marketer is to do stuff, give stuff away, offer help, offer services, content, whatever allows the customer to do something, interact. The marketer is searching for Behavioural clues. Consequently our job is to do something interesting to the customer rather than something that looks to sell with indecent haste. In high end business technology the things that work best are the offers of free IT reviews, on and off line. The information you get is all you need to know about a customers requirements and willingness to purchase.

The problem with the behavioural marketing approach is that as marketers we have to think about the quality of prospects and customers rather than the numbers we reach. For some this is a major cultural shift, for others it is an easier transition. Behavioural marketing is more than behavioural targeting it is effectively the fusion of digital and direct marketing. It is giving us 121 marketing but without the complexity of profiling and inferring behaviour from attitude, profile, demographics, firmographics or whatever. So what will make it really interesting is when (complimentary) businesses sharing their behavioural data becomes common place.

One day soon, what do my customers look like, may become an irrelevant question. We just won't care.

Monday, 1 March 2010

A Marketing DO list - distributed content

One thing that has changed over the last few years in marketing is an increasing need to go and do things rather than just talk about it. Unfortunately whilst small operations get this, the bigger corporations, clients and agencies alike, have not quite grasped this for a number of pretty understandable reasons. Firstly, there are internal pressures to get the strategy perfect. Secondly, how do agencies charge for earned media, which cannibalise their traditional revenues. As no one has quite mastered payment on performance, agencies will naturally do the work that feeds the children (we are getting older) and leave the other stuff to later. Thirdly, traditional media is more visible (success and failure) to the organisation so as a marketing director you focus on this stuff first. I would.

Distributed content is a classic example. We all know it is a great idea but we can spend too much time in circular strategising.

"How and where are we going to distribute content?"
"Depends on what you are saying?"
"What do we talk about it, the stuff we are marketing or something else?"
"Surely we can re-use our content?"

So here are some DO-ing guidelines.

1. Distributed content is a longer term strategy so focus on your brand, your attitude and what makes you different. Sacrifice strategy to be interesting. In other words don't bother distributing boring marketing stuff or thinly veiled advertising unless you are Apple.

2. Dedicate time and resource (that means people) to creating interesting stuff. You cant just wave goodbye to your content as it leaves the door and hope it brings the goodies back. Hire a journalist, a copy writer. Create videos. How to's. How not to's. Top 10s. My mistakes. It is entertainment.

3. Social media. Get your videos on YouTube, Blinx and other video sharing sites. Get pictures on google images and other photo sharing sites. Wikipedia, How to sites. Link it. Tag it. Start now.

4. Use links and buttons in your email to entice visitors to other destinations. You don't want to be too in the face. Be brave, link away from your site. Host third party content tools in your site if you want to be really clever and transparent.

5. Having already established links with friendly bloggers keep them informed, they are linked with each other so this can snowball really quickly.

6. Plan news releases for next 12 months. Manage your media relations. They love content if it is good. Foster relations, don't harass them ask them what they want. Try using a phone as well as email.

And if you get this half right it should improve relevance scores and traffic through organic search and .

About Me

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United Kingdom
Just curious about marketing, psychology, economics, business, irrational behaviour, people, models, communications, advertising, market imperfections, b2b marketing. I work in the marketing communications industry for OgilvyOne.