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Turn great B2B marketing metrics into great customers

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in The Integrated Marketer

“The customers you select are the company you become.” Reaffirming this B2B mantra, Ralph Oliva, executive director of Penn State’s Institute for the Study of Business Markets says it has never been more important for companies to make sure they’re working with the right customers.  But how do you do that?

 

In his address at the annual Business Marketing Association conference, Oliva said improving analytics is the way to determine who your great customers are.

 

Okay.  But what analytics should you use?

 

It’s not always easy to know. For example, in building a new marketing plan for a client, I asked about the results of an email campaign. The client gave me detailed analytics on delivery, opens, clicks, bounces and unsubscribes yet I still didn’t know whether the campaign had produced results — or great customers. Neither did my client.

 

With so many marketing metrics now available, you’d think it would be simple to define who you want to attract and how to reach them.  It isn’t – unless you choose the right analytics. What are they and how do you use them?

 

Here are a few simple ways to turn great analytics into great customers:

 

1. Use a different microsite for each marketing effort.  Instead of clicking through to your main Web site, have responders click to a page created just for a particular offer and campaign. By isolating the activity, you can more directly tie that activity to revenue so you can make good decisions about what’s working and what’s not.

 

2. Don’t stop at the immediate results. Watch what happens to traffic, Web analytics and results over time.  You can often see results trickle in for a long time after a campaign has ended.

 

3. Compare efforts. Having analytics on one effort is good, but comparing analytics to past efforts will help you hone in on what offers, creative approaches, lists, and landing pages work best.

 

4. Ask for better analytics. More and more marketers are asking email vendors or in-house IT people for deeper analytics.  For instance, in addition to seeing “opens,” you want to know how many of your email efforts actually reach an inbox.  Look for trend reporting as well. For example, one of my clients determined that the majority of his “opens” did not occur on the business day he sent his email --- but on Saturday.  By sending his next email first thing Saturday morning, he doubled his open rate.

 

5. Know who’s a great customer.  This is a “duh” but many marketers don’t take the time to define what “great” means in very specific terms.  How soon, how often, and at what level do great customers buy from you? How long do they stay with you? Do they refer other great customers?  If you don’t have your great-customer profile firmly in mind, you can’t use analytics to find more of them.

 

How about you?  What analytics are you using to select and keep great customers?

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