January 9, 2018

How to Succeed With The One Habit of Highly Effective Marketers

This one habit is everything: finding the right people.Predictive Modeling

Because let’s face it, this is more important than all the sales methods, copywriting techniques and negotiating tactics in the world. The wrong person doesn’t have the money. Or they don’t care. Or may not be as easy to convince.

If your marketing doesn’t get you in front of the right people, you’ll never sell. Plain and simple. Yet even this is not enough. In these competitive times, if you try to sell to everyone who will buy…you will fail.

Starbucks understands this. They know that 40 out of 100 people are willing to pay 50 cents for a cuppa joe. Yet they find and focus only on the 8 people willing to pay $2 to $5 for the luxury blends. (And this is why all those corner coffee shops went out of business.) If you’re not targeting the crucial 20% of your audience (or 10%), you need to learn how. And how do you do it?

Predictive analytic models.

Yes, there are a variety of these models to increase your revenues and delight your customers. But don’t let all the science or choices scare you. Here are some (hopefully) simple, real-world examples to help you know what to do.

Think of these models as tools in a toolbox. (You wouldn’t use a saw if you needed a hammer.)

First, just like in the Starbucks example above, you need to segment (or cluster) your audience. Who are the 50-cent people? Who are the $5 people?

This is not just demographics like age and zip code. Want to delve deeper and get a more profitable answer?

Customer Behavior

Some of your customers may be big spenders on their first order. Others may purchase less at a time but be more loyal, long-term buyers. Still others may buy more because of discounts. Do they contact you via your website, in person or use the phone?

Not only could you look at average order size or total revenue for each…what about days between orders? Total number of orders? Total items per order? Size of first order? Number of products in their first order? Percentage of spending on discounted items?

Let’s say you have a group of frequent buyers with small orders. A simple offer like this could really increase your profits: “Earn double reward points when you spend $20 or more.”

You could also segment your customers by product. Do they like coffee or tea? French or Italian roast? If you represent multiple brands, which brands do your best customers prefer? Which brands do they have the least interest in?

Have you thought through who your best customers are (or might be)? Talk to an experienced data provider about this kind of segment/cluster modeling to help you analyze your own buyer data. And once you know who your very best customers are, you still need to find more people like them. How?

Propensities Predict Profits

The best data companies can also match your best customers with their records – and find a whole lot more of the best kind of people, ready to buy from you. From this new, larger list, propensity modeling can rank each listed person a number of ways:

You can predict someone’s…

  • Future lifetime value as your customer – even before they buy from you. This data also tells you their demographics, email and what channels they use to buy. Can you see just how valuable this is when choosing how to market to them?
  • Share of wallet. For example, if a customer spends $100 with you, is this 10% or 90% of their total spending on this type of product/service for a given time period? If you know your future revenue potential with them, you can design campaigns to capture this money.
  • Propensity to engage. If they don’t click on emails, you don’t want to send emails to them. Or you might see that they will answer the phone or open direct mail.
  • Propensity to unsubscribe. This allows you to know how often to send them emails. If they are good buyers but likely to unsubscribe, send them emails, but less often.
  • Propensity to convert. You already spend enough getting offers in front of people. Reduce your spending by only putting offers in front of people likely to respond.
  • Propensity to buy. When you know who is ready to buy and who isn’t, you also know how aggressive to make your offers. And ready prospects don’t need high discounts. Stop eating up your margin with them. (But you might want to make more aggressive offers to get incremental profits from people who are still high value.)
  • Propensity to churn. One auto insurance company used this model, calling it their Auto Insurance Switcher model. Think of how profitable it is to know who is likely to buy your insurance now but switch next year to get the current cheap rate. Instead, you can reduce ad spending while increasing profits – all by targeting people more likely to stay with your company.

What You Must Know About Propensities

Propensities, when used right, can be scary accurate. They can predict what people will do, long before even they realize what they are going to do. Yet this kind of math has lots of variables. Here are a couple common ways to fail:

  • Use one provider to analyze your data, but buy your list from another vendor.
  • Use one set of methods to select your best customers, but another set of criteria for your prospect list.

A good data partner can help you gather your data, compile reports, identify your audience and best prospects. Every winning company this coming year will take their data and their data partner very seriously.

After all, finding the right people is the one habit of highly effective marketers.

What will you do? How do you find the right people?

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