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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Drip Campaigns Ruined Me

Most marketers know we are not the target consumer. If you've ever been in a marketing department and someone says, "Well, I..." you know you're dealing with a newbie, they still see their experiences and preferences as relatable to the average consumer's world. Yes, we have our own personal preferences but we can't let those get in the way of good marketing.

For instance, I hate pop-ups on sites. If I'm reading a blog post, enjoying the content and then a light box pops up with all of the surprise of a great white shark (and none of the catchy music) it annoys the bejeezles out of me. I will "x" out of it without even reading. That's my personal bias and action - I never click on it. However, I cannot argue their effectiveness rate in conversions. Adding them to my company site is not about my preferences or what I would like or do. It's about what's good for business and that's lead acquisition.

But just as my own preferences must not override what works for my company's audience (public service announcement: I reference the effectiveness on an individual audience because if your audience is comprised of marketers you can use yourself as a guinea pig. The only way to test what works with your audience or not is by testing and testing often.), my experience in marketing has jaded me as a consumer. When I'm hit with an email offer, on a product or service I'm interested in, I will click on the link but stop short of buying. I do this because many drip campaigns are scored from an interest level on whether a link was clicked. Marketers view this as the same as having a fish on the line (momentarily). This excites and confuses the average marketer (I know. I am one.). Most of the time, they rebait their hook and recast. Many sweeten the offer in this stage. After all, you were interested. You clicked.  But that's my dirty secret on getting a nicer offer.

But the bigger application here is not that I am a consumer of questionable practices, but that there are aspects of our profession that keep us from understanding the real consumer or member's needs. If you're applying your own personal preferences to your audience and marketing you're not thinking of them. Separating yourself from your audience is the first step to understanding (and hearing) what they've been trying to tell you.