July 16, 2008

Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

by Sally Lowery, Director of Demand Generation at Bronto Software

As I was sitting at the Online Marketing Summit Milwaukee Regional, Aaron Kahlow, began to discuss the state of online marketing today. His message was really that we need to become relevant for our customers and prospects online. With the emergence of social media and the transition of more customers shifting online, why does it feel as though we as marketers are merely hitting the snooze button, and not acting on what we already know to be the case….our prospects and customers are engaging online.

When was the last time your website had any major attention including embracing new web 2.0 technologies, or your email campaigns got a much needed facelift? Are you engaging your prospects and customers through social media? These are critical questions we as marketers need to ask ourselves as marketing has shifted from a mass “buy me” audience to a personalized one to one “buy me”.

So what does this all mean? If you haven’t considered your website function as your corporate brand, you should. Your website is your central headquarter for all marketing activities. Everything flows through your website: search engines, catalogs, direct mail, trade shows, magazines, newspapers, blog & community sites, banner advertisements, email marketing, and more. It has become the calling card for your company. So as a marketer, think about the experience and how it responds to your customer and prospect’s expectations. Users want control and they want to engage with your brand. Do you offer that on your current site?

The same can be said for your email marketing, your prospects and customers want the messages to be relevant, engaging and allow them to control the experience. Are you offering subscribers the option to set their preferences or are you creating interactive ways to keep your subscribers engaged in your email campaigns? 

Here are some tips to meet today’s customer expectations with email marketing:

  • Allow customers to set their preferences from every campaign received. This can be subtle and placed in the footer or header, but allow the option.
  • Begin to use interactive media in your email marketing program: ie. video, polls, quizzes, blogs, social networks, etc. These elements allow the users to gain control over their experience versus a one call-to-action campaign.
  • Deliver relevant content. We hear it all the time, but it is true. The content needs to be relevant. Consider using purchase behavior, preferences, and website analytics to create engaging campaigns that are specific to the customers interests and buying cycle.

When we look at the landscape, it’s obvious that human behavior has shifted, which means that we as marketers also need to shift the way we communicate, the way we perceive the buying cycle and the way we target our marketing. Wake up, stop hitting the snooze button and engage your customers and prospects online, they are there waiting for you.

Sally Lowery
Online Marketing Manager at Bronto

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Sally Lowery, Director of Demand Generation at Bronto Software

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