It’s about targeting, stupid

Speaking at Marketing Week’s The Annual conference last week, Mark Ritson – academic, brand consultant and columnist for this esteemed publication, had a message for direct marketers and data strategists the world over – it’s about targeting, stupid.

And not broad targeting of multiple segments, Ritson continued, but a bold exclusion of all but the clearly defined target in the hope of corralling the maximum return on your investment.

“Marketing should exclude people”, he says, “targeting who you want but also who you don’t want.”

“Segmentation is important,” he continued, “but it is child’s play, it is targeting that separates the men from the boys”.

It is this aphorism that direct marketers should take note.

Targeting is central to direct marketers’ case when justifying to their finance chiefs the worth of direct mail. And in this conviction they should not waver.

They should also be braver and exclude more people by welcoming opt-out services such as the MPS to ensure targeting continues to improve. By doing this, you reduce wastage and boost return on investment.

“You need to make the leap that you are only going after some people,” Ritson concluded.

Elsewhere at The Annual, other valuable lessons for direct markers could be found.

No less an authority than Aviva’s Amanda Mackenzie, who will have signed off her fair share of direct marketing campaigns, told delegates that marketers need to talk the language of the boardroom but also spell out outcomes in language finance chiefs understand.

“It is about finding something you can hold hands on with finance, finding metrics you agree on”, she added.

Moral, if it isn’t clear yet – make sure you tell finance chiefs what difference the campaign will make to the bottom line.


A marketer’s passport to global success

Mark Choueke

Almost a year ago Nokia’s UK marketing director, Will Harris, revealed in Marketing Week that a promotion to marketing director for Nokia’s South East Asia and Pacific division would see him and his family resettle in Singapore. Before he left, I spoke to Harris at length about the challenges that faced him. We spoke of […]


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