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Don't Talk to Me That Way

· Marketing,Advertising

Yep, that’s right. It's because I'm 22 and I don't want your salesy shmooze. Just give me a video of real people telling the truth. Or, it’s because I'm a 64 year old man and I don't respond to "whatever" and "LOL". Just give me facts. It could be that I'm a 36 mom for whom multi-tasking is a way of life and I don't have time to read four paragraphs of product descriptions, particularly in Times New Roman size 10.

If you don't communicate effectively, your message will turn people off. Effective communication requires asking the right questions. EVERY organization can improve its communications and marketing messaging.

Which begs the question - how can you improve if you don’t know WHAT questions to ask or WHO you are talking to? And WHO can answer the "WHAT" and “WHO” questions accurately? There are two logical answers - the people that actually interact with the customer and the data that the customer interactions generate.

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For the sake of brevity, we will address customer interaction data. Many people have access to data but don’t know where to look to identify the "WHAT" and the "WHO". Age, gender, educational level, income, lifestyle all provide valuable insights on who the customer is to create appropriate messaging. But this is only a piece of the puzzle to creating effective marketing messaging. How did they find you? Are they responding better on a particular marketing channel than others? If so, are you throwing away money?

For example, if it is a non-profit organization, successful fundraising is critical to accomplish the mission. What is the projected financial goal? Is there a formula for how many potential donors must be contacted, of which a percentage will convert to supporters to reach the goal? And of the existing donor pool, what is the percentage of attrition? Of those giving, what is the average age? Gender? How did they find out about you? Which current areas of marketing outreach are most effective to move a potential donor to a long term supporter? Data can inform all of these questions to create more effective fundraising strategies and messaging to increase revenue, and allow the non-profit to do more good.

Examining data and developing actionable metrics can and will improve outcomes. Metrics driven marketing creates a culture of accountability, innovation, and continuous improvement. Google Analytics is a very robust and powerful tool that every organization should be using to analyze marketing efforts. Paid advertising should have tracking mechanisms in place to measure ROI. Correctly sourcing the marketing channel that led to the sale or donation conversion is vital to improving marketing return. All of the above requires a strategic, data driven, analytical approach to have the most effective marketing. If you are currently spending money on marketing without an understanding of who your customers are, how to communicate with them, and the most effective ways to reach them, you should stop marketing. Seriously. Just stop. Analyze the date, get your plan in place , then roll it out with A/B testing. But of course, that is a topic for a different blog. Just don't waste your hard earned revenue on strategies that don't return all they can or should.

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Obviously, and as a disclaimer, this article is a bit short and simplistic for such a large topic, but the intent is to spur thought about the necessity of data informed decisions and what must be done to identify areas of marketing and communications improvement and implement the changes.

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