Friday, July 1, 2011

Selectively Neglect Interactive Marketing

The successful retailer engages in skillful selective neglect. You can’t do it all—at least not all simultaneously.
  • Prioritize. Keep your eye on many important tasks at once. But allow some of those tasks to be in your peripheral vision. The central focus should be on tactics and measures that, if they fall too far short, substantially impact your profitability.
  • Satisfice. To avoid bias, gather ample information before making decisions. At the same time, accept less than absolutely comprehensive information. In the 1950s, psychologist/economist Herbert Simon coined the term “satisficing” to refer to his finding that successful people accept less-than-perfect alternatives so they can move on to the next choices they want to make.
     Prioritizing and satisficing are especially valuable when you are deciding what resources to devote to gee-whiz technologies like interactive marketing—using e-mail, blogs, websites, social media, and mobile device services to interact with your shoppers. The objectives include building enthusiasm for your current products and services and co-creating new offerings and marketing messages.
     Findings in a June 2011 Forrester Consulting report, commissioned by interactive marketing vendor ExactTarget, indicate that small to midsize retailers should embrace these technologies in cycles. Not everything at once. (The full report can be downloaded after free registration.)
     However, don’t implement interactive marketing in isolated pieces either. To achieve an acceptable payback, analyze how these newer types of customer interactions reinforce or interfere with each other and with the older communication channels—face-to-face customer contact and advertising in traditional media. In the Forrester survey, about 48% of respondents said this was one of the top three challenges facing the business wanting to use interactive marketing. About 40% said that staffing programs sufficiently—such as to achieve synergy—was among the top three.
     It’s not surprising, then, that one in five respondents said that the single greatest challenge was putting numbers on the degree of effectiveness of these programs.
     Are users achieving their objectives? About 35% of respondents said they use interactive marketing to co-create products and marketing messages with their customers, so the potential is there. However, about 45% said they are not gaining that benefit. About 28% use the technologies for testing product and marketing ideas, but about 37% do not.
     The recommendation: Implement in an integrated way the elements of interactive marketing which allow you to dialogue rather than only broadcast, and for now, selectively neglect the rest.

Click below for more:
Distinguish Customers from Friends
Stamp Out Bias in Your Decision Making
Plan for Customers to Satisfice

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