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Monday, March 5, 2012

The Game Changer That Every Marketer Needs

Ask a marketer about the strategies for success and you are likely to get as many different answers as there are marketers. You’ll hear about the importance of identifying your target market or why A/B tests can make a difference in direct mail.

But how often do you hear about preference management as a game changer?

The truth is that you can have the most awesome creative for your catalog or the best subject line for your email, but if the message or communication channel is not relevant to the recipient, it’s just time and dollars wasted.

So, how do you find out a consumer’s preferences for desired communication channels or message content?

You just ask!

Now, I’m not saying to individually contact every prospect and customer (although you are welcome to do so if you have an incredible amount of time on your hands.) The idea is to provide a persistent preference center where prospects and customers can opt-in to what they wish to receive. You also need to think about the various collection points where preference data can be captured. But, the key is a centralized preference center to manage and maintain that data.

How can you organize your preference center?

Let’s say that your company sells sporting goods. You can set up preferences by sport — softball, soccer, golf, tennis, and so on. Then you can set up preferences by the communication channels that you offer — phone, email, catalog, text message. You can let consumers select whether they want to hear about new products, special promotions, in store events — or all of the above. Finally, for communication channels such as email and text messages, you can let the consumer choose the frequency in which they wish to receive messages from your company.

Without a preference center, you run the risk of an ever- shrinking marketing universe when someone opts out from a communication channel such as email and no other options are provided to opt-in to other communication methods or content choices..

With a preference center, your customers can decide to change the frequency of communication or perhaps opt-in to a different marketing channel such as direct mail. You avoid losing contact with a prospect or customer by giving them the choice to receive your messages in the manner and frequency that they desire.

With a preference center, the game is on!

About the Author: 
Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey 

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