Saturday, December 17, 2011

100 Years Later, Marketers Still Have Difficulty Measuring Up

At the turn of the last century, store merchant John Wanamaker stated, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half."

Based on just released research from Ifbyphone, those may have been the 'good old days'. The report, 2011 State of Marketing Measurement Report found that, while 82% of CMOs expected every campaign to be measured (what's up with the other 18%), only 29% of the marketers believed they could effectively measure ROI of each channel.

Potentially more troubling was the finding that more than a quarter of marketing assistants did not find the measurement of results important. "It's concerning to hear that many marketers don't understand the importance of measuring the success of their campaigns," stated Irv Shapiro, CEO of Ifbyphone. "We need to determine the root cause of this sentiment, and whether it's a lack of education in best practices, or rather a gap in leadership and mentoring. Businesses can only get better at marketing if they are held accountable for improving upon what didn't work in the past."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bank Marketers Face Challenging Times With Great Opportunity

After two years of responding to government intervention into the revenue structure of financial organizations, bank marketers are now faced with heightened levels of competition, a more demanding customer base, an unfavorable rate environment and, in many cases, a shrinking budget. But potentially most challenging to financial institution CMOs I meet in my travels is the ability to respond to the shift in the ways we interact with customers and prospects.

The flood of data, channels, devices and changing consumption patterns have marketing departments in financial organizations of all sizes trying to determine if they are prepared. They are reviewing the skills sets that will be required to take advantage of the opportunities these challenges present, and realizing that gearing up may require a heightened level of personal engagement from all members of their team.

These challenges are reinforced by a set of studies that I recently reviewed that surveyed marketers from all industries. IBM's 2011 Global Chief Marketing Officer Study entitled, From Stretched to Strengthened found that the majority of CMOs feel unprepared when it comes to the explosion of data available (71%), the impact of social media (68%) the growth of channels and devices (64.5%) and the movement from mass markets to micro markets (64.5%).

Friday, December 2, 2011

As Channel Proliferation Increases, Consumers Still Prefer and Trust Direct Mail for Financial Services Communication

According to a just released consumer channel preference study from marketing services firm Epsilon entitled, The Formula for Success: Preference and Trust36% of consumers prefer to receive financial services communication through the mail (compared to only 8% preferring email), while 50% state that they pay more attention to direct mail than email. Interestingly, U.S. consumers actually receive an emotional boost from receiving mail, with 60% agreeing that they "enjoy checking the mailbox."

The 2011 study is the latest in a series of studies conducted by Epsilon around communication channel preferences. In the latest study, it was found that the preference for direct mail extended to the 18-34 year old demographic, highlighting the risk in making assumptions around age and channel preferences. Part of this preference bias compared to email and other channels could be caused by the level of trust associated with the channels reviewed, since 26% of U.S. consumers found direct mail to be more trustworthy than email. The least trustworthy channel continued to be social media, with the channel only being viewed as trustworthy by 6% of consumers. Consumers also found direct mail to be more 'private' than email or online channels (important for 37% of consumers).