Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Marketing ... It's All in the Numbers

Just sitting here pondering how to convince our senior managers to invest in a new customer relationship marketing program.

But lest I reveal any trade secrets, let me move the line of thinking to a B2B provider of package delivery services (you know, UPS or FedEx or that new one with red and yellow trucks). The company’s books tell senior managers that the trucks and aircraft that carry the packages are the assets.

So their focus is largely on the financial management of these assets. But to a marketing manager, these assets have no value unless they are filled up with packages. The more packages you stuff on these assets, the more money the assets make for you.

One step further out … no clients, no packages.

So in the end, the only real assets a company has are its clients who put packages in the assets. Marvelously simple.

And yet, senior managers are still riveted on cost factors instead of growth factors. Unless the CEO comes from a marketing background, what we do for the company is somehow looked at as black magic. It is soft and squishy. It is often unpredictable. The real asset turns out to be the client’s perception of what you do for them.

But what the senior management understand is cost factors. They know that if they cut back on the marketing budget, magical dollars jump to the P&L Statement. But our job is to spend money and get the best client satisfaction for the expenditure … to motivate the client to spend money with our company. Now I can see why they can’t figure out what their TV or magazine advertising is doing for them. But direct marketing? Direct marketing is so measurable that it is scary.

Direct marketing aimed at specific addressable targets, with a contextually relevant message and offer builds up a database of results. Finally, something that senior managers understand!

Numbers!

The real asset for marketing managers is numbers ... the ones we help generate with targeted, addressable marketing campaigns.

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