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Generate a high ROI through digital, email marketing

Rachel Wheeler Archive

According to a study from the CMO Council, Acceleration and the Digital Marketing Performance Institute, more businesses should be looking for ways to readjust their advertising efforts.

Tailor your marketing messages to be delivered according to consumers' preferences, whether via email, on social media websites or through the mail. Businesses can better track their customers' favored medium and make sure their internal records are up to date by using address software or an email verification service.

As the researchers found, more than 75 percent of the U.S. population now has access to and uses the internet, with two-thirds of web users also visiting social media websites.

"Sophisticated customer information gathering and database marketing techniques are seeing big shifts of marketing resources into areas that allow for improved behavioral targeting and personalization to optimize response and revenue potential," the researchers commented.

However, the increased access to larger stores of data will be for naught if marketers and brands are not ensuring data quality to avoid basing major decisions on misinformation. The CMO Council acknowledges this, writing that today's marketing departments need to take note of analytics, forecasting and consumer opinions, rather than blindly distributing their message through email, social media and traditional advertising tactics.

With the current pace of marketing and consumerism, businesses will need to work even harder to build engagement in a meaningful way while serving customers in a "digitally driven world." 

"As more customers consider defection from brands because the information, content, services, promotions and engagements lack relevance and resonance, marketers must look to data-driven strategies that deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time ... and in the right channel," the report stated.

The researchers point to figures from Gartner that found CMOs' IT spending will surpass that of their companies' chief information officers by 2017. That said, businesses will need to determine policies and procedures for managing and deriving insight from all the data they collect. Digital marketing is becoming a "strategic imperative," the Council says, so its budgets are likely to swell with the expectation that it will be able to utilize technology to deliver higher returns on investment.

Smaller companies are unlikely to face the same challenges as multinational corporations, yet they too must find means of integrating technological capabilities to improve their operations and marketing efforts. The Young Entrepreneur Council, writing for the U.S. News & World Report, explains that for startups and small organizations, it's wise to adopt a marketing mix that incorporates traditional channels such as direct mail with newer methods, including email marketing and social media.