Thursday, August 31, 2017

WHY DON'T MARKETERS LISTEN - Anatomy of an Email Inbox 8-31-2017

I've been working on my next presentation for the Club Industry Show in Chicago in early October. This is the National conference for the Health Club industry.  Not one I have focused on before for emails, so have been hitting websites and seeing what is happening in this space.  
In my past blogs I have spoken much about the customer journey and the content needed throughout the funnel, but unfortunately, a large portion of marketers across many industries continue to use email to only deliver messaging at the end of the funnel.  Even if the funnel is short, there is opportunity to deliver more value and be less promotional.  This helps build trust and consideration early in the relationship and primes action later.  This is a long term strategy, not short term sales and ROI focused.

As part of my research, I signed up on a handful of fitness sites to see what they would do and how they would communicate with me.  Big surprise, they didn't try to "court" me, they went straight for the "marriage" trying to get me in their door with a free pass. And even when they sent me their "free pass" they didn't try to inform me.  This would have been a great opportunity to add some valuable content about health and fitness to reinforce why I should be going into their club. Instead, this was all about operations and getting "married" before I even am sure I like them!

Another thing I speak a lot about is customer centricity and the importance of listening to our customers.  That is how you win, both short and long term.

If there isn't enough evidence out there, here's a great statistic from an article this week in AdWeek.

40% of Consumers Want Emails From Brands to Be Less Promotional and More Informative

In spite of this, still 61% prefer email (as compared to other mediums such as direct mail) as their method for receiving promotions from brands.  But, can't we find a blend of both?

So why don't we listen?  Here's my thoughts.

1. Its Easier to create promotional messages and they can be directly tied to revenue.  Marketers still have to serve their finance and leadership masters.  Their job is to drive revenue and reduce costs/improve profits.  It takes enlightened leadership and progressive and sometimes brave marketers who can tell the story of why and how early journey content and emails drive success both long and short term.  Hopefully the above statistic can help tell that story.

2.  They don't know what content they need or don't have it. Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) may seem like an activity that isn't needed or too time consuming or difficult to do.  The reality is this is a strategic tool that will help you focus on what is important:  the right customers, their motivations and what they need to move into and through your funnel.  Don't short change your strategy and execution by missing this vital step.

3.  Email marketing isn't strategic enough.  Often these team members are technical, creative and executing members of the team. There isn't enough conversation about strategies around email marketing within the organization.  CMOs and marketing heads need to outline the overarching strategy for email and direct these team members to deliver more than just the same old promotional content. You need to provide resources and insist on CJMs for your core segments and content procurement that meets customers needs.

So the net is, we don't listen - SOUR because we are failing at:

- Being team leaders and visionaries
- Championing strategy and insights about the customers needs
- Being customer centric in all things

Want help with CJM, email strategy or more, contact me.  And, if you are in the health care industry, look for me Oct 6th in Chicago at the Club Industry Show where I will be speaking more about "Turning SOUR Email into Sweet Marketing Success."

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