Why the decline of outbound marketing is A Good Thing for the Analytical Marketer

By Alan Gormley, SAS Ireland

Many marketers see the constant headlines about the uses and abuses of our data as A Bad Thing. Marketers cry: “If customers won’t share their data, how will we run outbound campaigns and talk to them when we need to? We’ll have to wait for them to contact us! We’re doomed.” But there’s a renegade band – the Analytical Marketers – who disagree. We actually see the rise of inbound marketing as A Good Thing.

The fact is, the customer increasingly controls how and when we can contact them. So, rather than licking our wounds and waiting for them to call, why not focus on what we control: using every inbound interaction to get better than the competition at servicing their needs?

To do this, we need to take a leaf out of the traditional corner shop proprietor’s book. He didn’t wait for his customers to arrive, sell them what they asked for, wave them “good day”, and hope they came back soon. His business depended on building a relationship with his customers on every visit, asking questions and making connections that helped him anticipate and meet their needs.

Similarly, the Analytical Marketer must use every interaction – on the phone, face to face, online or mobile – to collect information and use analytics to gain tailored insight. That way we can be better than the competition at delivering more relevant offers when customers do walk in through our virtual shop door.

In today’s world, we must be positioned to gather and use information in this way, because:

  • Customers expect more personalisation: they’re used to the Amazon experience and will be alienated if we treat them like everyone else when they do engage with us.
  • Real time is a reality: customers interact with us throughout the day on numerous channels. We have no choice but to glean insight, in real- time, to respond to those inbound clues quickly.
  • We have to be relevant: if a customer contacts us 5 times a year, they’ll soon get fed up if we push product at them every time. We need to ensure we satisfy the reason for their inbound contact and only suggest relevant offers and promotions.
  • Quality engagements lead to trust: by better servicing customers’ inbound contacts, we can build high quality engagements and potentially gain permission for relevant outbound marketing.

 

Embracing inbound marketing as a new way of life – rather than a bolt-on to outbound marketing – can be complex if we try to do everything at once. But, by taking it one step at a time, we can quickly make progress and get more sophisticated over time. Becoming an Analytical Marketer does not require ripping out old IT systems, but instead building a marketing analytics hub over legacy systems.

A marketing analytics hub can draw on existing data and enable the Analytical Marketer to:

  • Identify the channels customers use to engage with us at different stages of their journey
  • Understand what their behaviours tell us about their needs
  • Know how to deliver higher quality engagements when they choose to interact with us

So, instead of worrying about how to contact the dwindling pool of customers that give us permission to contact them, why not check out this excellent infographic on why inbound marketing is a golden opportunity? Or contact SAS Ireland to find out how our analytics tools can help you turn the rise of inbound into A Good Thing?

 

About SAS

SAS helps 70,000 organisations around the world take their data… And do amazing things… We help organisations turn large amounts of data into knowledge they can use, and we do it better than anyone. It’s no wonder an overwhelming majority of customers continue to use SAS year after year. Find out more, Why SAS?

Marketing Analytics
The fact is, the customer increasingly controls how and when we can contact them. So, rather than licking our wounds and waiting for them to call, why not focus on what we control: using every inbound interaction to get better than the competition at servicing their needs?
- Alan Gormley

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