Everyone has caught themselves daydreaming of a scenario where they said the right thing at the right time in the right place. Maybe it was about a marriage proposal, or falling into a dream job; either way, that goes to show that all (or at least most) of us at some level recognize the inherent value in the relationship between message, time and place. These elements are no less valuable when it comes to marketing and sales. Think of all the legislation that exists to prevent businesses (legit and non-legit) from saying anything in the “wrong place.” The CAN-SPAM Act and the National Do Not Call List are the biggest examples that come to mind.
The point is, no matter if it’s getting engaged or sending a webinar invite via email, it’s hard to know exactly what the right thing to say is, when to say it and where to say it. In business, the challenge is two-fold:
Customers want and have a choice in the channels they interact through. Between social media, email, direct mail, text messaging and everything else out there, your audience is ubiquitous. But that doesn’t mean you have to be or should be. They may not want to hear from you on Facebook, but emailing them is perfectly fine. So how do you know where it’s okay to engage with your audience?
Customers want personalization and relevance. You can read article upon article about the epidemic of narcissism the Digital Age has allegedly brought upon society. Whether that’s true or not is up for debate, but when it comes to marketing it’s all about “what’s in it for me?” Your message better hit me pretty hard right away or I’m not going to waste my precious time. So how do you know what’s relevant and personalized enough to resonate with your audience?
The solution to both of these challenges lies in data. Technology tracks everything and in doing so, produces data that provides marketers with consumer insights they’ve never had before. It’s all a part of the new modern marketing cycle.
Data creates relevance – Data lets you know what your target audience finds compelling and what it’s just not interested in. This can help you craft messaging to be sure you’re saying the right thing to the right people.
Relevance drives results – The more relevant your message is, the better your results will be. But positive results aren’t the only good results…
Results produce data – No matter how relevant it is, some people are still going to say “nay” to your message (or just not respond at all). This will help you retool your messaging to improve relevance. Furthermore, it will help you see where your audience prefers to be engaged and where it’s tuning you out.
The theory goes (and holds, in my experiences) that the more times you go through the cycle, the more data you generate. As we’ve discussed before, it’s critical to have someone on your team who can analyze and make sense of this data, but the bottom line is the more data you have, the better chance you stand at saying the right thing at the right time in the right place. If you can do that, you’ll be making every good marketer and sales professional’s daydream a reality.