Advice: How to run targeted marketing campaigns

Advice from Simon Farthing, head of consultancy, Profusion.

‘If you build it, they will come.’ That is the mantra many entrepreneurs use to reassure themselves when they launch their business.

This quickly morphs into ‘if you tell them about it, they will come’, as the penny drops that no matter how good a company’s offering is, it doesn’t count for much if no one knows about it.

Savvier marketers will tell you it really should be ‘if you tell the right people, they will come’.

This begs the question as to who the right people are and how do you reach them?

For travel agents, answering these questions comes down to using the right data in the right way to construct a fully targeted marketing campaign.

Simon Farthing, head of consultancy at data science consultancy Profusion, has some tips.

Giving customers what they ask for isn’t enough

Using ‘inferred’ data – for example, if your client is buying sunglasses and sandals, it might indicate they are making plans for a summer holiday – can be more powerful than relying on ‘declared’ data, when they tell you what they want to do.

Declared data can be out of date, hard to capture and customers may be flooded with similar messages.

By understanding how customers interact with your marketing messages, brand (online and offline), and transactional and support channels, you can know your customers better than they know themselves.

Invest in the technology that captures this data and have the tools and expertise to analyse it.

Customers give social clues about their holiday plans

Your customers don’t only browse and buy from you. Getting on top of the customer data your company has internally is a great start, but by incorporating third-party data sources, you can get your customers before the competition.

An easy way to do this is to connect with customers via social media and find out when and where they plan to go on holiday, so you can delight them with well-timed and relevant marketing messages.

Making customers feel understood is key to growing relationships

Customers are increasingly aware of the data that brands hold on them and many want you to use this data to better understand them and give them a personal response. Being proactive and joined up when using customer data means you know who the customer is, what holidays they’ve bought in the past, and which pages on the website they’ve been browsing. It also puts customers in charge of what marketing material they receive.

In terms of innovation, start with your best campaigns, not your worst

Most companies have a stand out marketing campaign, so when it comes to revamping your marketing initiatives, these should be top of your list.

Every interaction a customer has with your brand is a clue to what they really want. That’s why analysing the performance of your marketing campaign with data science techniques can help you learn why certain campaigns are successful, and help you to apply lessons across your business.

Wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch, will change the way customers are served marketing messages in years to come

Wearables are an exciting development – and those first to market will enjoy the largest rewards. If you haven’t thought about how to incorporate wearable devices into your marketing, it’s time to start.

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