Late last year I posted a collection of marketing and advertising predictions for the coming year in Forbes. The fearless forecasters I gathered together shared their insights into what they think lies ahead in the coming year and they did so with a twist. They were asked to not only provide a prognostication but to do so with a pop culture reference attached to it.
It turned out to be a lot of fun and I highly recommend you read it. Not because I wrote it. On the contrary, I recommend you read it for it provides a collection of wisdom from the best and brightest minds today, all in one place.
Now the reason I preface my article with all this is due to the fact that my prediction then ties in precisely what I want to talk about today. My foretelling spoke of the need to go back to the beginning, as Inigo Montoya (my pop culture reference) stated so eloquently in the film The Princess Bride.
"Collectively we need to go back to the beginning; to a time where people matter most. Living, breathing people who have emotions and feelings and sentiments."
That's an excerpt but you get the idea of where I was going.
Cross channel marketing and ALL marketing
Whether they practice the art of cross channel marketing (they should) or any other form, marketers need to remember that when we speak of consumers - and this applies to both B2c and B2B for sure, we are speaking about human beings first and foremost. We are speaking of people just like you and I who have varying interests, wants and needs that are different, perhaps then the next person.
All of which leads directly into the The one word every marketer needs to know at all times: relevance.
In case any marketers and advertisers forgot, the word relevance is an adjective meaning having direct bearing on the matter in hand; pertinent. In marketing and advertising terms, it means providing your customer, and prospect for that matter, with content that is relevant to them.
Now I am quite sure there are marketers and advertisers reading this thinking to themselves "Ok, perhaps my messages are not all that relevant to a given recipient of said message but, I am delivering to them all the greatest sales we're having on all our great items."
To those who are under this belief I offer you this following headline from a recent post on MarketingCharts.com: "Consumers Don’t Just Ignore Irrelevant Marketing Messages…"
The headline was in direct reference to the findings of a study conducted by Janrain. I absolutely love the headline for it should scream to all marketers and advertisers that your customers and prospects are not merely deleting an irrelevant email or ignoring an irrelevant ad.
Oh no, as you will see they are doing more than that, much more than that.
To summarize & other key findings:
The value of the social login
The study, in addition to looking at the benefit of a certain nine-letter word, also looked at the value of the use of a social login and as you will see from this excerpt from the press release announcing the findings, marketers and advertisers are not taking advantage of the opportunities it presents them from a relevancy perspective.
"88% of consumers have encountered social login- the use of an existing ID from a social network such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. for registration—with more than half (51%) using it to register and login to other sites. Yet while the vast majority of online consumers (91%) are satisfied with social login, and most report a preference for personalized communication, brands have yet to seize the opportunity to improve online marketing as a result of the data they can collect in the social login process."
So the question that begs to be asked is 'why?'
Why are more marketers and brands not seizing this opportunity?
For those consumers who do not utilize the social login functionality, it all comes down to trust according to Larry Drebes, CEO, Janrain.
“This year’s study confirms that it’s paramount for marketers to establish trust and transparency about how personal information will be used,” said Drebes. “The good news is that once trust is no longer an issue, consumers are willing to be identified and recognized as customers across multiple devices to receive personalized content.”
Not my first rodeo
Back in May, 2012 I scribed a piece for Forbes entitled The Eleven Letter Word That Continues To Elude All CMOs And Marketers. The keyword, if you will, at that time was integration. And while I still believe, even to this day nearly two years later that that word does indeed still elude CMOs and marketers, the nine letter word I introduced today must trump the eleven letter word.
It has to.
Integration is extremely important but if you provide an integrated message that is the wrong message in the first place what good is it? That just gives your customers and prospects even more places to disengage with you from.
Oh yeah, almost forgot. Lest you think the chart above is reflective of actions taken after numerous emails being sent to consumers with irrelevant information, here's another number for you: two.
The study also revealed that nearly half of respondents indicated they automatically delete emails or categorize them as “junk” after receiving just two mistargeted emails while another 38% said they unsubscribe entirely after receiving two mistargeted emails.
Paul Abel, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Blue Research who worked with Janrain on the study, puts it best.
"Consumers that are now no longer willing to accept mistargeted communications. Today, of those who receive mistargeted communications, almost 7 out of 10 report automatically deleting the email without even looking at them. This should be of interest to marketers determining best practices related to personal customer communications.”
I would just slightly alter Abel's words from "should be on interest" to "better be of interest" for marketers and advertisers across the land best wake up to the fact that relevancy is king.