Posts filed under ‘marketing – general’
You know when you read a book (or watch a film for that matter), and as you approach the end you feel a sense of sadness, because you know the experience is almost over? Well, I just finished Dan Ariely’s “Predictably Irrational” and yeah, that’s how I felt. Basically: Best. Book. Ever.
As you might have noticed, besides my interest in marketing, I am also fascinated by psychology and sociology. Anything about how we behave and why we behave as we do is just great stuff.
The last book I read that was as compelling and completely absorbing was Dan Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness (which, besides being brilliant, was also surprisingly funny).
Both books deal with our lack of knowledge/self-awareness with respect to our own decision making. Stumbling on Happiness discussed our inability to successfully assess what would make us happy in the future, while Predicitably Irrational dealt with irrationality of our decision-making and how predictable (scientifically)/consistent these strange responses are.
P/I through clear, non-clinical and engrossing writing describes behavioral economics’ experiments conducted by the author’s (and references a few of others’).
My only complaint about the book is its negative influence on my productivity: I had a difficult time focusing on work today – all I wanted to do was immerse myself in the related blog and podcasts….
P.S. Here’s a hilarious example from his blog. In one chapter of the book he discusses the tremendous influence “Free” has on our behavior (basically, that people will take things they want less for free and experience less satisfaction, rather than miss the “Free” opportunity. This article from the New York Times elaborates on that topic.) Here Ariely shows a fantastic bonus offer from a Brothel…. “Hmmm, I was only planning on getting 2hrs worth of sexual services, but when they throw in a free gas card, ‘cmon, I could go for 3…, no? Sure – pass the Viagra.”
Although other online marketing tools such as blogs, interactive multimedia, RSS, and others, can be helpful for businesses, email marketing itself is far from dead. Indeed, online marketing for companies can be both useful as well as inexpensive. In fact, a recent Forrester Research Report (“Email Marketing Comes of Age”) found that “despite concerns about declining attitudes toward email marketing, the medium is alive and well. In fact, email lovers are some of marketers’ most valuable customers. They spend more online, buy impulsively, pay for convenience, and tell others about ads and emails they value.”
Email marketing allows companies to converse with a very receptive audience. “Email marketing is still a great tool,” states Alexandre Brabant, President and Search Marketing Specialist of eMarketing101, “especially if you build your own email list. It was historically the very first thing a business would do to keep in touch with their customers. It is still very useful today to retain your customers and maintain the dialogue.”
Carolyn Gartner, Director of e-Marketing Services of Sitebrand, describes email marketing as “a key part of today’s marketing mix and one that can’t be ignored. I think it’s especially effective in terms of retention and mindshare. Staying front of mind with clients and prospects is the name of the game. And email makes it easy! Building and nurturing these relationships leads to increased loyalty. And we all know that loyalty leads to higher levels of engagement and market share.”
“Email marketing is so powerful simply due to the list,” emphasizes Jason Billingsley. Billingsley, who is Co-founder and Vice President of Marketing at Elastic Path Software, believes email marketing, “if built correctly and responsibly, usually represents individuals who have already interacted with your offering.” He maintains that “it is easier to sell into a group that has already bought from you in the past. You can also leverage customer data to segment and better target the message or offer. Outside of email marketing, this is much more difficult.”
Gartner cites another exciting aspect of this method: “I think the power of email’s forward to a friend trend is huge. The viral potential of one email can have such a positive ripple effect! It’s part of the birds of a feather flock together analogy. Without a doubt, email marketing is a key tactic for any business looking to drive web site traffic.”
Of course, it is essential that consumer contact be treated with respect. Some marketers, in a bid to cash in email marketing’s profitability resort to buying lists or sending correspondence to people who have not consented to be contacted. This ill-advised technique has often backfired as consumers frequently delete these emails without reading and/or mark them as spam.
“Email marketing has to be strategic,” claims Gartner. Gone are the days of spray and pray tactics. Savvy email marketers respect metrics and build strategies around them. These strategies leverage technology to the max – for example they might anticipate triggering opportunities to help build relationships (birthday emails with special gifts) or save a sale (cart abandonment emails that reference easy ordering with the 1-800 number). Etc. etc.”
With all the other methods to contact consumers, why does email marketing provide more value? “Email marketing vs other mass marketing is like spear fishing vs. drift netting,” concludes Billingsley.