Junk Mail as Big a Problem as Ever in the Digital Age
Today, inbound marketing is supposed to mean the end of cold calling and irrelevant junk mail. But many companies are still missing the point.
The general public is being blanket bombed with more unwanted marketing material than ever before, according to a recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). It found that around half of those surveyed regularly receive marketing material that is of no relevance to them.
For example, it relates to promotions in areas that are nowhere close to where they live, or in products and service areas that do not interest them.
The findings are astonishing to one Essex marketing consultancy, who pointed out that the digital era brings unprecedented opportunities for a targeted approach to ensure that a business’s marketing efforts are focused on the right demographics. Indeed, the tools that are available today should consign traditional “cold calling” strategies into the pages of history.
So what is going wrong?
Double edged sword
Of particular concern is the fact that more than half the people receiving promotional material have no idea how the sender came upon their personal details. This raises one of the less attractive aspects of the digital age, the shadowy role of the data broker.
There is no question that the big data age means big opportunities for companies to gain greater strategic insight than ever before on buyer behaviour. Everything we do online creates its own data trail, and that data can be worth its weight in gold.
Unfortunately, this has prompted a rise in certain companies and individuals who are big on data and small on ethics. Data brokers extract public information, including names, home addresses, purchases, browsing history, social media activity and even credit card transactions, then sell it on. It might sound shocking, but this is actually a perfectly legal activity.
This sort of information is predominantly of interest to perfectly reputable digital marketing companies, but for some, the eyes can still go big, leading to a scattergun approach when it comes to using all that lovely data.
Making use of warm leads
The key in the modern era is to use the data to increase the quality rather than the quantity of your marketing output. This means a targeted approach to focus on warm leads rather than cold and to create far more conversions and therefore an exponential improvement in your ROI.
By approaching a customer who you already know is interested in your product or service, you are guaranteed to be getting off on the right foot – there is a far better chance that the potential customer will welcome your marketing information, and in the worst case, you are at least certain that they will know who you are and what you do – and that they are definitely interested in your product or service.
The frustration is, that with the tools available today through online apps such as Google Analytics, a targeted marketing campaign based on warm leads is something that anybody can achieve with the right expert help.
But to look on the bright side, the fact that so many companies still have marketing strategies that are stuck in the 20th century certainly presents a golden opportunity to the rest of us.