Anti-Social Distancing, Tips, News and a Bowled Prediction

Friends and colleagues,

I am guessing this latest missive finds you…

1) Reading the 866th email or post with the words “out of an abundance of caution…”

2) Binge-watching Netflix series while you pretend to participate in conference calls from your “home office” (read:  couch, beanbag chair, Casper mattress).

3) Glazed in Purell from elbow to cuticles.

4) Relating in a very primal way to Lord of the Flies.

5) Looking for silver linings that are hard to see right now, but everywhere around you.

…or some admixture of some or all of those.  To quote John Lennon:  “Strange days indeed – most peculiar, mama.”

Alrighty then, Beatle reference used, let’s get back to work.  Our archers have power washed and plastic wrapped these tips (and topics) for your consumption:

Tips (and Topics)

  1. Ask and ye shall find….  Incented surveys – you know, ‘take this survey and we’ll enter you into a drawing for a social distancing isolation chamber’ – can be a clever and efficient way to gain insight into your customers’ and/or prospects’ preferences and attitudes while providing important data for sales follow-up.  And that’s not all.  A well-constructed survey with branching logic can be a smart way to market specific features and benefits through the questions you pose.  But wait, there’s more goodness:  Open and click-through rates for personalized surveys are, in our experience, 25-35% higher (yes, that much) than marketing/sales emails to the same audiences.  Why?  Folks like to be spoken up to and asked what they think.
    So do you want to test? __Yes ___No___Maybe so.
  2. Templates of Doom, Part Deux.  In an effort to lower marketing communications cost and maintain brand adherence, many firms have established libraries of approved email templates for lead gen and customer nurturing campaigns run through their customer relationship management systems.  These automated tracks of communication are often deployed on a “set and forget” basis.  The problem is that customers and prospects who see the same templates time after time tend to not only stop responding to them, but actually don’t even acknowledge them, even to unsubscribe.  We’ve seen this hypothesis confirmed multiple times in recent months. Messaging tests in the same templates show no response differences. The solution:  Refresh these libraries on at least a quarterly basis and validate these changes through A/B testing.
  3. Bullets vs. paragraphs in B2B.  Ok, we’ve officially done enough testing of this concept to say, with brazen overconfidence, that features and benefits provided in bulleted or numbered lists outperform those provided in paragraph form.  Bower, you say, nice deposit into the Bank of Frighteningly Obvious, but as early as 18 months ago this was not, in fact, the case.
  4. Map the journey.  You currently map out operational processes, but how many firms map out the customer journey of their top three customer segments?   This means literally plotting the paths that your patrons take to get things done with and through you.  Why? Because it will help you identify hurdles and/or impediments you aren’t aware of or are not fully acknowledging. And you can do it using the emoji libraries that tickle your proverbial fancy.  This is particularly important because digital environments are easier to “edit” than a storefront and/or location so you can much more easily improve the duration and quality of your best customers’ journey.  And like rainbows and donuts, that’s a good thing.
  5. Build a culture of testing.  The reality is that companies and organizations no longer test, well, just about anything. Ten years ago, A/B and multivariate testing were standard, but as people were replaced by acronyms (CRMs, CMS, SFAs, etc.) there simply wasn’t enough time, patience or expertise to conduct tests of media, creative, etc.  So whatever efficiencies have been achieved by “automation” are likely lost by pushing ahead with campaigns that have not measurably outperformed others.  The answer: Issue an edict from the head of the company and head of marketing that mandates that no major marketing decision will be made without a quantitative test.  Simple Simon.


We have always offered integrated marketing services on an agency, outsourced or supplemental basis, but as of February we also offer bridge/temporary staffing and training as well as full-time placement services.  So, no matter the nature of your marketing need we are here to support you, allowing you to use one resource to meet your needs.  Want to learn more?  Contact me or our archers.


A bowled prediction

As always, if I can do anything for you – make a connection, share some experience, provide no cost/obligation counsel on messaging to your customers and prospects during a crisis – please let me know.

Thanks again for your patient indulgence.   Stay healthy!




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