Staying In Second Gear

Imagine you’ve purchased a brand new Ferrari 488GTB.  You are now the proud owner of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which is in a vehicle said to be capable of 205 mph.  I don’t know about you but I would for damn sure want to find a place where I could get it out of second gear and let the machine perform to its abilities.  It would be a waste to leave it in second gear all the time.

English: Ferrari 458 Italia, pictured in London

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought about that as I read about the Relevancy Group’s 2015 version of the email service provider study.  What struck me was how many of those companies that rely on email marketing are underutilizing the wealth of data they have. Instead they relied on less advanced customer data attributes to segment audiences for email marketing campaigns.  As the eMarketer summary stated:

General demographic and geographic data were the most common metrics used for segmentation, and the only ones used by more than 35% of respondents. Meanwhile, other easily measured data points such as email clicks and open rates were used less frequently—especially the latter—and most marketers were unable to leverage metrics beyond the email realm such as past purchases and spending habits.

How very 2001, although I’m not surprised.  The sad reality is that many companies have no plan, no system, no KPI’s, and no ability to mine and utilize the bulk of the data they already have.  Just over a quarter of marketers have some sort of ability to create a single customer view across channels.  I suspect those of you who aren’t marketers have some of the same issues.  Data can live in silos or be fragmented across reporting lines.  A big problem which gets bigger every day.

How can we get the rest of the email marketing world out of second gear? Part of it is understanding.  It’s nice that many of the marketers surveyed planned to focus more on segmentation and targeting, ranking it the top email marketing priority for 2015.  But unless there is a better understanding of what’s being collected and a commitment to a single repository from which all stakeholders can draw, I don’t see them reaching  top speed in their marketing.  You?

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