Category Archives: B2C Marketing

Business-to-consumer (B2C, sometimes also called Business-to-Customer) describes activities of businesses serving end consumers with products and/or services.

Customer segmentation the easy way: Finding your Twins

Customer segmentation is an interesting topic for many sales- and marketing organizations. And it is a much debated topic which often is handled incorrectly as organizations are trying to put groups of customers in little neat boxes. Here is our take on customer segmentation – finding your Twins.

In our experience most companies fail miserably when it comes to ensuring that their segmentation efforts are directly actionable and can have a positive short term impact on the business.

Traditional segmentation focuses on identifying customer groups based on demographics and attributes such as attitude and psychological profiles. This type of segmentation in most cases is not very useful and the individual fragments of each grouping often have little or nothing in common.

Value-based segmentation, on the other hand, looks at groups of customers in terms of the revenue they generate and the costs of establishing and maintaining relationships with them. For organizations whom have the infrastructure and resources in place to work smarter, decision parameters such as CLV – Customer Lifetime Value and other relevant segmentation parameters such as “likeliness to churn” and “great referral value” may play a part in value-based segmentation. Which is good if you are able to turn theory into practice.

So here is a quick tip for you that may very well have an immediate impact on your sales- and marketing activities. It is not rocket science or open heart surgery, but this tip can work well for any type of sales- or marketing activity. Especially activities designed to give you immediate traction.

Meet the “Find your Twins segmentation”
Twin segmentation is simple.  Let me give you an example.

Let’s say that you want to promote a specific product or service which has already been sold to a number of your existing customers. First you identify whom they are and what the common characteristics of anyone whom already have made a purchase of said product are.  They might live in a certain area, be of a certain age, belong to a specific industry etc.

Once you have identified these characteristics, you simply find other existing customers with similar characteristics. In other words, the Twins.

You can use similar techniques in your prospecting and lead generation work. Look at common traits of your existing customers and then target your prospecting activities to leads whom match those characteristics.

You will agree this is a simple method for customer segmentation. You may even think “I knew that”. My question is, so why aren’t you using the knowledge you have to apply the Twin segmentation in practice ?

If you want more like this, get the 360 degree dialogue marketing brief newsletter about marketing automation, direct & digital marketing topics that are relevant to the modern marketer.

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Marketing experimentation for marketers

Four monkeys and a whitepaper about marketing experimentation

Marketing experimentation has been on my mind for quite some time. So I set out to write a white paper about it. Only to find that I was too late.

Having been addicted to marketing experimentation for at least four years, I cannot help but wonder why so few organizations embrace it. For big businesses as well as small ones, a culture of experimentation can work wonders for your marketing efforts. Often  the story of the four monkeys hold a lot of truth.

One, two, three or four motivated marketing employees experiment only to discover failure. Hence the corporate culture in many places prevents others from trying. So we stick to what we know. We let the “that’s how we’ve always done it” rule our marketing life.

Anyhow. As I was saying. I wanted to write a white paper about marketing experimentation. In particular the cultural aspects of it. But then I discovered that someone else already wrote a compelling white paper. In fact he wrote it in 2006, from what I gather. So  I decided to share his work with you.

Download the pdf without registration here

Please note that I do not necessarily endorse all of the thoughts in this paper, however do think that it provides you with great input to get your train of thoughts going.

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Quick guide to marketing automation: Getting started

Marketing automation is about making repetitive tasks happen automatically. Most marketers focus on the obvious marketing automation benefits of doing more in less time and with less money. But some find that the nurturing and preference building capabilities of automation is the greatest benefit. Here are some thoughts to consider for your own marketing automation plans.

Have you ever considered automating your marketing processes? Have you ever wondered how you can ensure a better and more compelling dialogue with – for example – your email newsletter recipients – or the targeted audiences receiving your quarterly email marketing promotions?

I think you have. However, if you have not, I bet you could think of two or three direct marketing activities that you could automate.

Having been in the marketing automation management game for quite some time, marketers I have spoken to over the years seem to have intent to automate certain crucial marketing processes. Typically processes that focus at qualifying and nurturing leads. Some marketers do manage to get started, but sadly most never get beyond the very basic levels. Most often because the organization behind the initiative failed to understand that there are a number of keystones to success.

Here are just some of the keystones to success with marketing automation:

  • Data and control of data; good clean data and solid data management procedures is a prerequisite for successful marketing automation. Unfortunately that is also a real challenge for many organizations.
  • A good master plan; marketing automation requires planning and dedication to be successful.
  • Dedication to succeed; like most other direct and digital marketing disciplines you have to expect that things take time – and most often much longer than you anticipated. You might also find that results do not present themselves as soon as you had anticipated. It is important to keep at it and continue to work to improve your processes.
  • Acquire new marketing skills; to be successful with your marketing automation activities, you need different people with specific skill sets. If you do not have them aboard, you would do well to hire additional staff or work with external specialists.

In my experience you need a good master plan to become successful and effective with marketing automation. The plan should start with a random thought process outlining anything and everything you could potentially do to benefit from marketing automation. This is actually a marketing automation service we offer in our Discover the Horizon workshop.

To get your own marketing automation thought process going here are a few random thoughts to consider before taking the next step, which we will cover in a future 360 Dialogue Brief newsletter:

  • Outline your customers typical buying process. There are several different stages that a customer goes through before making a buying decision. Outlining the typical buying process is a crucial component of your marketing automation efforts. Once you have staged the process, you need to understand what type of information a potential customer need in each stage of the buying process. Setup your marketing automation to address each of these steps with relevant information served through the most appropriate channel.
  • Prioritize marketing automation based on highest needs. Assess the areas of the revenue cycle needing the most improvement, such as lead generation, lead nurturing or sales and marketing alignment. Focus on those areas first to get quick wins that can help you get support internally.
  • Create marketing content to generate interest during every stage of the buying process. For example, instead of creating solution-oriented content, produce educational content for the beginning of the process. Outline the areas that potential customers typically find difficult to understand and then educate them. A lot of prospects never buy from you because they fail to understand exactly how you add value to them.
  • Improve auto-response emails and welcoming flows. Say someone sign up for your email communication. What is the first thing you do? Send an auto-response email, right? But you can improve the standard auto-response flow by turning it into a welcoming flow – perhaps a series of 2, 5, 7 emails to introduce your prospect to what you do.
  • Focus on differentiation You know it, but you do you act on the knowledge you have about treating people different? As a minimum ensure that you set up one flow for customers and a different flow for prospects.
  • Develop simple, automated work-flows in the beginning. Save the advanced techniques for later. Instead, create workflows such as following up a form submission with a series of emails. But be careful how you do it. If you cannot track actions and reactions in real-time, there are limits to what you can safely implement.
  • Consider your communication channels mix carefully. Many marketers find that the email channel need to be supplemented with the mobile marketing channel. Others are looking to integrate all channels as part of their multi-channel marketing communication setup – some even want to integrate their IVR into their communication flow. And the most ambitious organizations want to allow their customers to respond to an email through their mobile phone, or respond to a mobile message via the IVR. The opportunities are endless, but you do need a master plan to take advantage.

Triggered communication is a big part of marketing automation. We think that if you are currently a seasoned email marketer, you might also consider triggers as part of your setup.

If you want to talk more about marketing automation get in touch with us to see how we can assist your organization to get tangible results

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Google Insights lets you know what’s hot on Google Search with a quick case study

If you spend your days in the deep dark muddy waters of the search engine trenches, this information should not be new to you. If not, read on.

Once each month I spend an hour researching a bit about what is trending in the marketing space on Google search. To that purpose I use a wonderfully addictive tool known as Google Insights for Search. Here is a quick intro to the tool.

Understanding which wording to use in a link (url), a title or a headline can have a direct impact on your search marketing performance. That’s why it pays to do a bit of research before you start writing. And to that end this little free search marketing research tool comes in handy.

To illustrate how this free marketing tool works, here is a quick case study.

The discussion about which words people are most likely to use to describe a certain topic is an interesting one. I have often been discussing with my peers and colleagues which wording most people are most likely to use. For example to describe marketing on the internet, would more people search for “digital marketing”, “online marketing”, “electronic marketing”, “interactive marketing” or something entirely different?

As you can imagine different people use different wording to describe the same thing. And in the case of digital marketing, it would seem that people in different countries refer to the same thing using different wording. For example is online marketing the most commonly used term in some countries, whereas marketers in other countries more often refer to digital marketing.

How do I know?

Well at first I did what most people do when they don’t know. I guessed ! (yes, I know as someone who is an advocate of taking the guesswork out of marketing, that’s bad). But then I discovered this free search marketing tool some years ago. And it has been very helpful on many occasions.

Below an illustration showing which of the four aforementioned terms (online marketing, digital marketing, interactive marketing and internet marketing) are most popular on a global scale.

As you can see most search for online marketing while searching for interactive marketing is the least popular. The diagram belows shows the same search terms but now only for the country of Brazil where the term “digital marketing” is the most commonly used.

And to drive the point home below your find the result for the country of France where more people search for internet marketing:

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