AccuData Integrated Marketing http://www.accudata.com An Integrated Marketing Data Solutions Company Tue, 19 Jul 2016 19:43:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Grown Up Marketing: Data-driven decisions a no brainer http://www.accudata.com/grown-marketing-data-driven-decisions-no-brainer/ http://www.accudata.com/grown-marketing-data-driven-decisions-no-brainer/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 19:38:37 +0000 http://www.accudata.com/?p=3670 I decided fairly early on in life (if high school can be considered “early on”) that I wanted to be a marketer when I grew up. After graduating college, I landed my first job at a local cable provider. Let’s just say that it was long before the days of email and the Internet. I […]

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I decided fairly early on in life (if high school can be considered “early on”) that I wanted to be a marketer when I grew up. After graduating college, I landed my first job at a local cable provider. Let’s just say that it was long before the days of email and the Internet. I remember mailing a ton of letters and postcards using the designated list file. I also remember asking my manager where the list came from and who was on the list. Either my manager didn’t know, or couldn’t be bothered, but I was instructed to just use the list because that’s the list that they’ve always used.

As I continued to learn the ins and outs (and in-betweens) of different marketing strategies and tactics in various other marketing departments throughout the years, I found myself full circle…I was hired at a fairly large telecommunications provider.

Obviously marketing strategies have evolved over the years, and at the new telecom company I was responsible for not only direct mail, but email and digital strategies as well. I’m fortunate that I wasn’t permanently scarred for life from my first marketing job and my typical marketing curiosity was never truly stifled.

When it came to the database and lists, I questioned nearly everything. Where did these lists come from, who was the audience, how old was it, how valid was it, who were we missing from it, and so on. Thankfully, I didn’t receive a canned answer and some sort of list logic existed.

However, I knew that there had to be a better way to manage these lists and boost our marketing efforts. I just wasn’t sure how, but figured I’d tap into my marketing network. That’s when I first learned about SourcePLUS, from AccuData Integrated Marketing.

SourcePLUS would allow me to leverage multiple consumer databases that were compiled from a number of different sources. Bingo! But, it got even better. I knew we weren’t reaching every prospect and that there must be audiences that we hadn’t tapped into yet. SourcePLUS also allowed me access to a broader range of demographic, lifestyle and geographic selections. I felt like I had uncovered a mini fountain of youth and was able to breathe new life into my direct mail marketing efforts.

From how this story is going, perhaps you can figure out that I was so impressed with AccuData and their solutions, that I have become an addition to their very own department of marketing experts. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, but in the meantime, this marketing gig seems to be working out just fine!

Want to learn how the AccuData team of experts can help you fight list fatigue, leverage data and provide an incremental lift? Contact us today!

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Top Marketing Challenges Revealed http://www.accudata.com/top-marketing-challenges-revealed/ http://www.accudata.com/top-marketing-challenges-revealed/#respond Wed, 06 Jul 2016 19:24:34 +0000 http://www.accudata.com/?p=3649 What are some of the greatest barriers to success that marketers face?  Hundreds of AccuData  Integrated Marketing customers responded to a recent survey asking them to list their clients’ biggest marketing challenges. Identifying new prospects for lead generation ranked highest among the challenges with 33% of respondents listing it as their toughest task.  Here are […]

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What are some of the greatest barriers to success that marketers face?  Hundreds of AccuData  Integrated Marketing customers responded to a recent survey asking them to list their clients’ biggest marketing challenges.

Identifying new prospects for lead generation ranked highest among the challenges with 33% of respondents listing it as their toughest task.  Here are just a few of the comments:

  • “Effectively targeting the right people.”
  • “Finding good, qualified look-a-like prospects for mailing lists.”
  • “Finding the right audience to market to.”
  • “Identifying the best audience based on the available options.”
  • “Knowing who to target and why.”
  • “Finding new business.”

AccuLeads, AccuData’s online data resource, offers more than a dozen leading national databases and more than a billion prospect records to improve your acquisition campaigns.

List segmentation and determining how to get the right message to the right people was the second highest ranking challenge with almost 25% of respondents remarking on the difficulty of hitting their target market.  Some of the client remarks included:

  • “Defining the appropriate demographics.”
  • “Narrowing down the market they want to hit.”
  • “Targeting the market that best suits their offer/product.”
  • “Targeting the right audience for better response rates.”

AccuData has hundreds of data elements available to help you segment your target audience by demographic, geographic or psychographic ways.  Business data can be segmented by company size, industry, company revenue and much more.

Many other AccuData customers commented on the challenges of integrating the right marketing channels and understanding the importance of implementing multi-channel marketing campaigns as their biggest current challenge.  Remarks ranged from channel confusion to budgetary concerns:

  • “Reaching audience in the best way in view of social media usage.”
  • “They have large marketing ideas, but they do not have the budgets that meet the criteria.”
  • “Reaching the most decision makers while being extremely budget conscious.”
  • “Realizing that free social marketing does not get them where they want to be.”
  • “Postal plus email matching is a challenge.”

AccuData specializes in helping companies of all sizes solve their biggest marketing challenges using data-driven solutions that include scalable data solutions, powerful technologies and unparalleled service.  Contact us today if you need help tackling your most difficult marketing challenges!

 

 

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8 Proven Email Marketing Best Practices http://www.accudata.com/8-proven-email-marketing-best-practices/ http://www.accudata.com/8-proven-email-marketing-best-practices/#respond Mon, 13 Jun 2016 19:48:02 +0000 http://www.accudata.com/?p=3520 A number of factors can affect not only the deliverability of an email campaign, but also its effectiveness and conversion rates.  AccuData Integrated Marketing’s team of experts understands how to optimize your email campaign to maximize its overall success. Here are a few best practices to consider when getting ready to add email campaigns to […]

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A number of factors can affect not only the deliverability of an email campaign, but also its effectiveness and conversion rates.  AccuData Integrated Marketing’s team of experts understands how to optimize your email campaign to maximize its overall success.

Here are a few best practices to consider when getting ready to add email campaigns to your marketing mix:

  1. Audience – each email you send should have a specific purpose and messaging to match the audience segment you are targeting. You may be seeking to acquire new customers, introduce a new product, establish brand awareness or build customer loyalty.  Much of the following best practices will be determined and adjusted based on your target audience.  And remember that having valid email addresses for your audience will improve your email’s overall deliverability, minimizing bounce rates and ensuring the opportunity to engage your recipients.
  2. Time and date of the email send – when considering the best time to send your email, always take into consideration your target If your email deployment is a national send, your Email Service Provider should be able to send at a specific time in each time zone, ensuring your email is sent at the same time across the entire country.
  3. Sender reputation – this piece is critical when sending marketing emails. If the sender doesn’t have an average sending reputation of more than 90%, an email marketer can assume that the emails will get deferred (in a waiting/looping pattern) by the internet service provider (ISP) because it is deciding on whether it is a legitimately wanted email or spam.
  4. Landing Page – a unique landing page with a strong Call to Action can increase your email’s conversion rates. The Call to Action should be a strong offer specific for your intended audience with copy written for that targeted group.  The best landing pages have only one goal, and your copy needs to engage visitors to convince them to take that action. The page length depends on the awareness level of your prospects, with additional details added for audiences that are not familiar with your company or products.  Make sure your forms are simple and easy to fill out, and that buttons are clear as to where they will lead.
  5. Email Copy & Subject Lines – certain words in the copy and Subject Line can trigger email filters that will prevent your email campaign from arriving in its intended inbox. Words such as financial, financial aid, qualify, tuition, income, paying, free and lots of words typically used in legal verbiage like disclaimers are scanned too.  Bulleted lists are a great way to break up the copy, but try to limit them to fewer than 5 bullets. And keep in mind that mobile devices will cut off a subject line over 32 characters!
  6. Mobile Responsiveness – with emails being opened on mobile devices 60% of the time, this is critical. When emails are made mobile responsive, they automatically size to the recipient’s device and the phone number is coded to become clickable on mobile to initiate the phone call on their device. Did you know that people check their mobile phone up to 150x a day?
  7. Email Creative – trigger words should be used sporadically or be included in images, such as the headers. Consider your target audience and use images that reflect them in age and ethnicity for the audience you are targeting. Strong Calls to Action should be placed high up in the email creative, or directly below the header image. Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14%, but don’t stop at the first-name greeting. Personalize the delivery of your emails with automation.
  8. Cadence of Email Sends – consider your target audience and the action you would like them to take in response to your email marketing efforts in order to determine how frequently you should send an email. Receiving too many emails is the #1 reason people unsubscribe.

Remember to A/B test everything listed in this guide to determine what works best for your audience.  From length of subject line to colors of the buttons on your landing pages, everything is worth testing and tweaking to get the best results.

And finally, here’s a statistic from the recent Email Evolution Conference 2016: on average, it takes 7 touches for conversion on B2C and 24 touches for conversions on B2B. So, consider your emails part of an overall campaign and make sure your branding and messaging are continued throughout to get the most effectiveness from your email campaigns.

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Data Silos Can Stymie Your Marketing http://www.accudata.com/data-silos-can-stymie-marketing/ http://www.accudata.com/data-silos-can-stymie-marketing/#respond Tue, 24 May 2016 19:44:44 +0000 http://www.accudata.com/?p=3388 In a prior life, I worked for a company that had a fairly large marketing department that became notorious for building silos within each department. It seemed as if the print team was unaware of what the digital team was working on, and the communications team was removed from the research and analytics team.  I […]

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In a prior life, I worked for a company that had a fairly large marketing department that became notorious for building silos within each department. It seemed as if the print team was unaware of what the digital team was working on, and the communications team was removed from the research and analytics team.  I often joked that when I went to work, I was on a completely different planet than the rest of the marketing teams.

It was only a matter of time before new leadership arrived and the focus was on breaking down the internal silos. It’s a necessity because in today’s marketing environment there is constant pressure to achieve more results with the same or fewer resources. The same can be said about data silos and the need for data integration.

Fast forward five years…I now work at AccuData Integrated Marketing, a true data-driven marketing company, and I’ve learned a fair share about the intricacies of data silos. Data silos can not only hinder productivity but also negatively impact data integrity. When two or more in-house silos exist for similar data, their contents are likely to differ, creating confusion as to which represents the most up-to-date version. As a result, the most recent data may accidentally get overwritten with outdated or less relevant data.

Consider the fact that multiple departments may be collecting different data about your customers such as transaction history, response to various marketing campaigns, focus groups or even qualitative versus quantitative data collection.  All of this information is important, but may reside in different departments that don’t communicate with each other. That’s just some of the many obstacles with data silos.

Marketers know that having access to customer data is key for successful marketing campaigns.  Yet, when asked what their greatest challenges were when building and executing campaigns, the number one response was the inability to leverage all of their marketing data. While they understand the need to consolidate and centralize data, many marketers are not quite sure where to begin.

Enter AccuData. As consumer expectations continue to evolve and technology gets more sophisticated (and complicated), it’s now more important than ever for marketers to have access to complete, current customer data that can provide a more personalized, relevant and overall seamless experience.  Marketers that have more complete data have a much better chance of increasing revenue, boosting brand awareness and promoting customer loyalty.

I’m proud to be a part of the AccuData team of experts that can provide this level of expertise. Let us help you break down the data silos that may exist in your organization and develop a plan for data integration and data management.  Breaking down data silos will help deliver instant insights into your customer database that enable real-time decision making and the ability to optimize your marketing campaigns.

Contact us today for a free consultation!

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How to Avoid Data Paralysis http://www.accudata.com/avoid-data-paralysis/ http://www.accudata.com/avoid-data-paralysis/#respond Wed, 11 May 2016 15:17:00 +0000 http://www.accudata.com/?p=3375 I consider myself good at making tough decisions, but when faced with a deluge of conflicting information from a variety of sources, it can sometimes be difficult to discern a clear course of action. Even choosing a new restaurant can be daunting if you seek input from everyone who’s visited the restaurant with opinions about […]

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I consider myself good at making tough decisions, but when faced with a deluge of conflicting information from a variety of sources, it can sometimes be difficult to discern a clear course of action.

Even choosing a new restaurant can be daunting if you seek input from everyone who’s visited the restaurant with opinions about the food, the menu selections, the service and the prices.  And often I’ve received reports and seen social media postings that are wildly conflicting – ranging from rave reviews to critical opinions about everything including the restaurant atmosphere, wait times and most importantly taste of the food.

Typically, I try to consider the trustworthiness of the source of the review as well as the factors most important to me to determine whether I’m willing to try something new and make my own decision on its value. I’ll weigh negatives and positives and try to put together a clear picture of what to expect.

There’s actually a name for having so much information that it overwhelms you into inaction: data paralysis.

My warning to marketers is don’t let data paralysis cause you to abandon data-driven marketing strategies that can push your efforts and results far above your competition’s.

Here are some difficult lessons I’ve learned along the way to successful data-driven marketing:

  1. Make sure the data you’re using is clean and current. Decisions made using incomplete, inaccurate or outdated customer and prospect records can lead to actions that will have the opposite effect of your desired outcome.
  1. Augment your own data with third-party data to get a clearer picture of customers and prospects. No one source usually has all of the data that you need to form a complete picture.
  1. Align yourself with your IT department to make accessing all of your customer data easier and interpreting business intelligence more meaningful.
  1. Establish clear goals for revenue, upselling and customer service and understand how to measure your wins in each. Use these metrics to determine if the data-driven choices you’ve made are working.
  1. Use the data and make adjustments based on your key performance indicators. Results is the crux of really making and showing a difference when using data.  Every interaction, each demographic element about the contact, psychographic information about their interests all need to be collected and analyzed to determine which are the important bits of data that define your ideal customer. And that’s where data paralysis can set in for marketers not used to evaluating all of these different data points.  Before you can even begin to segment customers and prospects and develop targeted messages for these personas, you have to determine their identity.
  1. Seek the assistance of data experts, like AccuData Integrated Marketing, to help you gain a deeper understanding of your customers and prospects.

Here’s perhaps my sagest piece of advice: when you’re ready to move beyond the transactional data you’ve collected, and develop a robust picture of your customers, you’ll need to employ data scientists that can provide customized data modeling.

Rather than data paralysis, the results will be higher response rates, more customer engagement and increased marketing ROI.  And who doesn’t want that?  Just like diving in and finding a new restaurant I love, mining your data for valuable insights can lead to new, better results!

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