February 23, 2012

Road Blocks to Data Driven Marketing

Data is being touted as the new marketing darling. Yet in spite of widespread availability of amazing, existing, proven data collection, mining, processing and automation tools mainstream marketers haven’t been making the most out of a great situation.

Some industries like banking, insurance, financial services, airlines and telecommunications have to be data-centric marketers because their margins and share of wallet demand it. Yet even in many of these firms, data lives in siloes and lacks integrated analytics necessary to significantly impact business growth. In retail and grocery, we’ve been playing around with purchase histories, private label credit cards and loyalty programmes, but very few truly integrate multi-channel data, build impactful data markets or fully exploit the power in the data.

So why would rational competitive marketers underutilize a suite of tools that could make them smarter, faster and richer?

Here are 6 reasons:

Phobia of Mathematics – It sounds funny, but it’s real. Most of us aren’t great with numbers, are fearful of mathematics or are still shaking off or suffering flashbacks of mathematics anxiety from school. Couple this with the general feeling that mathematics cancels or constrains creativity and you have an attitudinal bias amongst marketers against using the data at hand.

Talent Deficit – The really good statistical guys don’t want to work in marketing or advertising, even if it’s a target rich social environment. Agencies, marketers, e-merchants and publishers are constantly trolling for hard-to-find analysts, database administrators and database marketers and coming up short. For real statistical savants, advertising is baby stuff that doesn’t pay well. Plus, there are few consensus metrics or best practices, much less proven analytical formulas to apply. Another hurdle is just getting the data by finessing internal technical and political structures. It is not anything that introverted analysts want to do.

Low IT Priority – Database projects are low priority generally for corporate IT leaders. The relatively low complexity of the tasks or systems and the absence of a perceived ROI benefit ranks marketing needs far below complex, big budget aspirational IT landscape, software change-out or architecture projects. Marketing data applications tend to require much more hands-on technical support and service because marketers are unwilling or unable to run the software themselves. So IT guys run the other way.

Cost-Value Perceptions – Too many marketers and senior managers don’t see the incredible pay-off from incremental marketing data investments. In many cases, modest costs yield immediate and significant lift in awareness, traffic, engagement and sales. Decision-makers don’t understand what the technology is or how it’s applied. It’s much more complex and confusing than making ads or building websites and because it’s perceived as plumbing, data investments can be cut, delayed or ignored without fear of harming business results. Nobody gets promoted or wins awards for smart database work. Ironically the truth is exactly the opposite; by tightening up the plumbing and crunching the numbers you can add incremental value quickly and predictably.

Vendors are part of this problem because they focus overwhelmingly on the features and functions rather than on the pay-off from their tools and services. And while there are several ways to automate data-collection or lead generation, and countless predictive models and even more approaches to automating e-mail delivery, few vendors can clearly and simply communicate to a disinterested CFO that an investment of X will pay out 10X in a time frame that would surprise everyone.

Data Overload – Many brands complain that they collect mountains of data that is labour-intensive to process and make sense of. This argument says it’s too overwhelming so forget it. It belies ignorance about marketing since top marketers know that in most cases a small number of variables can predict important insights. The savvy players are using predictive models that not only optimize messaging, offers and costs but get smarter over time as they integrate more and more purchase and behavioural data points. These guys are willing to trade off customer insight, practical segmentation, personalization, channel strategy, customer intimacy and message cues because the bag of numbers looks too big.

Big Brother – Another segment of data deniers is focused on either a genuine concern for customer privacy or on a fear of being perceived or prosecuted for violating privacy rules. The reality is that we have pretty good transparent consumer privacy laws and enforcement in-effect. None of which has dampened consumers’ willingness to trade their personal data for deeper deals and relationships.

So, there you have it – we have useful, accessible and affordable tools that are underutilized because they aren’t sexy, understood or the digital-mobile-social flavour-of-the-week. We need to get over these roadblocks and embrace data driven marketing.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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February 23, 2012

Olympic and Paralympic Games London 2012 – Preparedness

Romax is very excited about the forthcoming Olympics and Paralympics in London 2012.

We believe the event will add a great deal of value to the UK and will ultimately showcase our ability as a nation to produce successful World Class events and that we demonstrate our true British sporting competitiveness.

We are also aware that any large scale event with such a large influx of visitors will, despite all the best plans, cause some degree of upheaval. It is particularly pertinent as Romax is based in one of the host boroughs – The Royal Borough of Greenwich.

We are in full consultation with the Council, its plans and travel information. Romax is on a designated Olympic route. Having considered the plans, we believe very strongly that there will be no major interruption of our output from Romax or effect to our supply chain.

Should an unforeseen event occur then Romax has a fully prepared and tested contingency plan in place to deal with any emergency situation.

If you require further information or clarification on our contingency plan, we are happy to assist, please contact your account manager directly.

We wish every success to Team GB – let’s win some medals!

Robin Sumner, Managing Director

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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February 8, 2012

The average UK customer spends almost £600…

The average UK customer spends almost £600 as a result of receiving advertising mail each year.

Here is some market information that demonstrates the use, scale and growth of advertising mail, its relevance and importance in today’s consumer world and how it could transform your advertising strategies and campaigns.

Advertising Mail Facts and Figures</strong

•In the last ten years advertising mail volume has increased by 87% and expenditure has increased by 118%.
•Advertising mail delivers, on average, £14 return on investment for every £1 spent.
•Advertising mail grew 42% in the last five years whilst the advertising market as a whole grew by just 16%.

Consumer Advertising Mail Trends

•Consumer advertising mail is estimated to generate nearly £27 billion worth of business a year (a 2.3% increase).
•Mail is the most responsive advertising medium, with 60% of consumers ever responding, and 37% responding in the last twelve months.
•60% of consumer advertising mail is opened and 40% is read.
•56% of consumers have purchased after receiving advertising mail – warm mailings perform best, with 38% of consumers buying from these at some point.
•Consumers have always valued advertising mail for two qualities – value for money and convenience.
•The experience of buying products driven by advertising mail is a satisfying one for 82% of consumers.

Business to Business Advertising Mail trends

•Business managers open 82% of the advertising mail they receive.
•36% say that they find mail very or quite useful when compared to other advertising media.
•32% of managers say they always open their mail and 30% say they open it if it looks relevant.
•36% of managers have responded to an advertising mailing in the last month and 22% in the last six months.
•Of those managers who responded to a mailing, 12% spent £200-£500 and 1% spent £5,000 to £10,000.

Mail is a unique one-to-one advertising medium and, as such, it can bring a range of benefits, including maximum accuracy, relevance, effectiveness, measurability and return on investment. At the same time, it minimises the waste and negative brand impacts that can result from sending the wrong message to the wrong person at the wrong time.

Selective Reach

Mail is the most targeted form of advertising available, so it is the most efficient in reaching the relevant customers. You can essentially select your own audience and talk to them on a personal level. It is often this individual attention to which consumers respond.

<strong.People Really Respond</strong

In a survey of 3,942 advertising mail campaigns:
•The average response rate for both b2b and b2c was 11.6%*.

Excluding campaigns that achieved a response rate of 30% or more, the average was reduced to 6.7%.
•The average response rate for b2b campaigns was 10.9%*.

Excluding campaigns that achieved a response rate of 30% or more, the average was reduced to 6.2%.
•The average response rate for b2c campaigns was 12.1%

* excluding campaigns that achieved a response rate of 30% or more, the average was reduced to 7.1%.

Source: DMIS Response Rates Survey

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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February 2, 2012

Customer Survey 2012

Thank you to everyone who completed the survey. This year gave us the largest response from a survey ever. 134 responses in total.

Congratulations are in order for James Chapman from NHS North Central London, who wins the £150 worth of Theatre Tokens after being drawn out first from all entries. Sorry to all those that did not win, but the feedback allows us to continue to focus and improve our services to ensure that we meet all of our clients’ requirements.

The majority of feedback was extremely positive, but in keeping with our transparent approach to business, we have published the results ‘warts and all’. All feedback is valuable to us, particularly negative feedback as it constructively allows us to improve.

Thank you all once again – Robin Sumner. Managing Director

Client Comments
•We are very happy with ROMAX!
•Charlene Plows is great. She is extremely efficient and always works towards meeting our needs. We can be fairly last-minute so this is a deciding-factor re: return business with Romax.
•It will be helpful to have a better understanding of all your available services!
•First mailing has gone very smoothly – look forward to the next one
•Romax is a company embracing its vision through a strong ethos and corporate strategy
•You are always very helpful and knowledgeable. You take our business very seriously but with a friendly approach!
•AOK Have been very pleased with work and quotes from Romax
•Direct mail – though efficiently done by you – is becoming almost prohibitively expensive for a solo or small group of musicians!
•Charlene Plows was the main reason I used your company, excellent customer service and a pleasure to deal with.
•A really great company with friendly staff who are always ready to help where needed.
•Very good customer service. Approachable and flexible.
•I do believe though that I recent research you fulfilment prices are high in comparison to others, considering we have used you for years
•Have enjoyed working with Romax over the years. Very professional and interpersonal.
•We have strict mailbox sizes and it would be very helpful if proofs were smaller in size or sat on our web-servers so my emails do not get blocked up.
•I have absolutely no complaints. I would recommend you to anyone looking for print/mail service.
•Brilliant job, well done!
•Great to have such a resource in SE London
•We are really pleased by the services offered by Romax. Our budgets are pretty tight and the value for money and valuable advice offered is first rate.
•The team are all very efficient and pleasant to work with and very accommodating of our sometimes tricky timescales!
•Good relationship with Charlene – she is very helpful
•Sometimes have problems getting through to the correct production people. Have to phone more than once before getting an answer
•All the people that I have work with Romax have provided an excellent service.
•If I expand I would use you again for direct mailing

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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