A Thought About Budgeting

Where are you in your annual planning cycle?  The end of March always seemed to be a time when I would have to begin looking at marketing budgets for the upcoming fiscal, so I had a thought you might want to keep in the back of your mind if you’re entering the process now.  It will be worth thinking about if you plan later on as well.

This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

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Many of us spend a lot of time looking at the plethora of marketing channels available to us.  Mass media such as TV, more personalized media such as social, and very specific, time-based media such as search tend to dominate our thinking.  That’s the pattern I see with many of my clients at least, and it might be where you are as well.  It’s probably misguided thinking, however.  The reality is that how our customers want us to communicate with them is via email:

MarketingSherpa commissioned an online survey that was fielded August 20-24, 2015 with a nationally representative sample of U.S. consumers. We asked consumers, “In which of the following ways, if any, would you prefer to receive regular updates and promotions from companies that you are interested in doing business with? Please select all that apply.”

After summing up the numbers of consumers who prefer email at a frequency chosen by themselves and email at a frequency set by brand, email emerges as the most preferred way to receive updates and promotions (60%). Notably, subscribing to receive emails at a frequency consumers choose is twice as popular (49%) as subscribing to receive email at a company’s pre-determined frequency (24%).  Email is perhaps unexpectedly followed by snail mail (49%), leaving visiting the company’s website in third place (38%).

In other words, we need to stop thinking in terms of what’s new or what’s sexy and focus on our customers’ wishes.  While you’re spending your time trying to get them to follow you on social media (where the algorithms of the services will probably hide your message anyway), your customers are reading something meaningful.  You should be spending your time – and resources – on re-engaging your email database, building up open and response rates, not blasting out messages that fall on deaf ears.

Something to think about?

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