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Know your friends and your database

In tough economic times it’s more important than ever to communicate product and service offerings to the customers and prospects you already have a relationship with. It’s vital to know who you’re marketing to and what the desired response is.

Offers need to be timely and truly bring value to your audience. Why? Consumers and business partners are more savvy and conscientious than ever in doing their homework and following market trends. So to maximize ROI, you need to remind these individuals why they did business with you in the first place.

Now is the time to study the granular aspects of your database to understand your own customer and prospect lists. And according to Warren Storey, director of marketing at ICOM and co-author of the Marketer’s Survival Manual, “Not all customers are created equally. Segmentation is key to driving better response rates and overall ROI.” Segmentation is also crucial to ensuring that marketers send the right message and the right incentive to the right customer at the right time. “Doing this all up front is 100 percent critical to getting this right,” he said.

Whether the medium is print or online, your acquisition and retention efforts need to be smarter and more precise than ever to make every dollar count. “When you’re in a recession, you want to place extra focus on your most valuable customers,” according to Storey. Talking with customers in a relevant way and keeping them loyal can’t be done unless you evaluate and understand behavioral data.

– Steve Iaconis