Author: Justin Nelson, Director, Strategy & Agency Services

As seasoned marketers, we know that there are two primary requirements in order to execute a targeted marketing campaign. The first is to be able to target your audience on a one-to-one basis and the second is to be able to measure performance. Without targeting, you have no way of knowing if the right customer or prospect is getting the message. Without measurement, you have no way of knowing if your message is working. With this in mind, every marketing should ask themselves the following questions prior to executing a targeted marketing campaign: 

  • How do I know that my marketing message is going to be received by the intended audience?
  • What mechanisms exist that will allow me to measure performance of the marketing message?

The first question largely involves channel of engagement. Consider which channels will enable you to speak to individuals in a meaningful and relevant way. Established one-to-one channels include direct mail, email & SMS. Some would argue that digital channels like display ads or social media ads may support one-to-one targeting however this may be challenging given that these avenues generally engage anonymized audiences - there is no guarantee that your message will be served to a specific individual.

The second question specifically involves data capture which may be a particularly challenging nut to crack. The following list of data capture methods may help when contemplating how best to track performance: 

  • Barcodes or Promo Codes. If your customer dynamic is more transactional, does the point of sale system have the ability to capture barcodes or promotional codes? Static or unique codes may help to tie performance back to a campaign.

  • Address Capture. If your business is more relational, does your marketing funnel incorporate capturing address detail? This may be a great way to track back to who was targeted for the marketing message.
     
  • Email or Phone Capture. Contact elements beyond address may be leveraged on their own to track back to who was selected for a marketing message. Reverse append (using the email or phone to track back to an address) may link back to other contact information utilized when targeting.

  • UTM Codes or Vanity URLs. Whereas UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) are a bit different than vanity URLs, each may be viable means to identify inbound traffic being driven by a marketing campaign online.

Make no mistake, there are a lot of things to consider when building a targeted marketing campaign or program but there is a tremendous opportunity for marketers that are willing to go down the path.