This is our second and final post in the Intrusive Marketing Series.
If you run a Brazilian steakhouse, you probably shouldn’t mail BOGO coupons to vegetarians. They’re lovely people, of course; they’re just never going to be interested in visiting your restaurant (unless you offer tofu that’s been pan-seared in a completely separate kitchen).
Alas, targeting the wrong audience probably means you’ve just wasted precious advertising dollars. What’s worse, you’ve likely just irritated a lot of people unnecessarily, which is bad news for your brand.
But how do you actually know who out there – in the universe of your company territory – is a meat-lover and who’s not? How do you make sure that only the filet mignon fans are noticing your coupons while the card-carrying PETA members aren’t?
You learn the fine art of leaving people alone.
Unfortunately, many advertisers still clasp onto the old and, in BlastPoint’s opinion, flawed method of mass marketing. It’s an antiquated approach, we feel, because it casts a wide net across an expansive swath of the population while ignoring diverse niches of customers.
Mass marketing aims to appeal to the largest number of people possible, regardless of the interests, values, desires (and dietary preferences) that make us humans the unique, quirky beasts we truly are.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, highly targeted marketing that relies solely on one or two nuggets of non-contextualized data can also miss the mark entirely, causing annoyance (or worse, discrimination) among the public and, again, a negative image for your brand.
If you live in 2019, you’ve likely experienced this situation: You’re out to dinner with friends. One of them regales the group with a funny story. The name of some faraway island comes up during their hilarious diatribe, or the name of a random product, or a freaky illness that made their sister’s cousin’s friend grow a third eye.
You whip out your smart phone, heaving with laughter as you proclaim, “I don’t believe you! I’ve gotta look this up!” You type the name of the freaky illness or that faraway island into Google (or Bing?), and for the next six months, you’re trailed by ads for miracle cures for a condition you don’t have, or with flight deals to a destination you never wanted to visit.
The ads show up in your email, in your Facebook feed, on Instagram and at every other hangout you visit in your digital life—just because you Googled it once. Somewhere out there, an algorithmic web crawler assumed you were interested in that topic, so a faulty tool started spraying ads in your direction.
Unfortunately, ad platforms do this all the time without taking the rest of you, oh complex human, into account. When this happens, it’s time for the advertiser to reexamine their tools and strategies.
Meanwhile, business owners have the capacity to do better, in-house, right now. They can start building informative insights about customers rather easily to help fine-tune those ad campaigns.
Simply collecting point-of-sale data can later connect a shopper to the kinds of products they buy and how often. Asking for a customer’s ZIP code during a checkout transaction tells you where your customers are traveling from. Building mailing lists through promotions like birthday coupon giveaways reveals the average age span of your most loyal customers. Conducting customer surveys (while they can be time-consuming and not everyone will fill them out) lets you glean granular details about the people you serve. (For more on this topic, see Better Franchise Growth for Everyone, A BlastPoint Book by our CEO & Co-Founder, Alison Alvarez.)
But it’s the next step, we believe, that really makes the meaningful difference. It’s the synergizing of your in-house data with external resources like the ones we utilize that stretches your ability to understand people even further. This contextual, full-spectrum outlook allows you to serve your customers more appropriately, thus yielding repeat business, brand positivity, and long-term growth.
With details like language, home address, preferred type of transportation, which websites customers visit, where they shop, how much they spend, how often, what products they buy, which items they only purchased once and which items they order regularly, a clearer picture begins to crystalize for advertisers, letting them know which people should—and should not—be targeted. It also lets marketers know where, or with whom, they should tweak the content of their messaging.
This idea is known as segmentation, and it’s an incredibly powerful tool still in its infancy, but gaining more sophistication every day.
With so much information already available at advertisers’ fingertips, why cast that wide net or rely on limited data points when you could be homing in on specific groups with specific messages that bring actual, revenue-generating sales?
And, while you’re in the process of reaching those truly warm leads, why not leave everyone else alone?
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