It would be difficult to argue that marketing budgets haven’t been transferred online more in recent years. The pounds vs pennies case for email marketing over postal mail has saved marketers thousands of pounds. What has become clear more recently, however, is that as the economy declines by the day (and so marketing budgets are cut even more), the move to online is in danger of becoming more of a stampede than a carefully thought-out process.
I am a great advocator of the capacity of email and SMS, particularly in my role as a data ‘bod’. The intelligence that they can immediately deliver is a data analyst’s dream. And the speed with which we can run campaigns is genuinely outstanding.
However, I have noticed recently my own email box is now becoming flooded. Brands have stopped communicating with me monthly by post and started sending weekly emails instead.
The substance of these emails is mostly good, but I simply don’t have the time to read them all, no matter how strong my relationship with the brand might be. I’m now unsubscribing to save my iPhone battery; I’m disengaging with brands I had been happy to hear from.
This decline in the economy is keeping database marketers busier than ever. The route to market might have become considerably cheaper, but to make it cost-effective we have to be even cleverer with our data selections. We need to be more intelligent with our profiling and segmentation, not just to keep our customers engaged, but even to keep our IP’s warm.
So what am I complaining about? The marketing database and its effective deployment has never been more key. Jobs for us database professionals should be secure. But the damage is done.
I have had to turn away some brands that have been close to my heart because of my fickle relationship with my iPhone, and I’ve even let new brands in on the odd occasion. And if their database masters have been clever with my selection, well I blame my iphone for my promiscuity…
Simon Lord is database director of Positive Thinking
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