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Market research can inform targeted campaigns

OCTOBER 7, 2011 – Businesses that have been forced to run marketing campaigns on restricted budgets may be able to achieve more with less by conducting market research to define their target audiences.

For those sending out emails as part of their advertising efforts, deriving a targeting strategy from the information gathered on consumers can help bring in a higher response rate, as Dan McDade, the president and CEO of PointClear, writes for BtoB magazine.

Companies may be able to further segment their customer bases by using the insight from online panels and other forms of market research to know what products and services would best appeal to which consumers. Some of the benefits that can come from “fine-tuning” the message “include higher return on marketing investment and more effective use of resources, budgets and time, according to McDade.

“And companies applying predictive targeting see better-developed pipelines, as well as increased sales performance,” he says.

He outlines the three “best practices” for predictive marketing, which involves first defining your audience, then breaking them into smaller groups and, finally, testing the market. This will enable an organization to appeal directly to its most lucrative customers.

Another proponent of targeted marketing and email campaigns is Susan Campbell, who writes for TMCnet that the channel provides “an optimal platform to create innovative and value-rich messages that can make email marketing companies effective in their promotion efforts.”

The source points to a study from Forrester Research, which found that emails that fail to reach their desired destination will end up costing direct marketers $144 million by 2014. Rather than blindly sending out generic messages and bombarding consumers with information, it would be better to send out fewer, more specific emails that are useful to the recipient, according to Campbell.

Doing this will also open up space for companies to be innovative in their messaging. “Once you get away from the one-size-fits-all approach and find one that fits well with the desires of the consumer base and does not irritate or offend, you can get more creative,” she says.

Indeed, targeted marketing in general is on pace to take up a much larger portion of companies’ overall promotional spending. A forecast from Veronis Suhler Stevenson found that it would be the “fastest-growing industry sector” this year, and would grow to hit $272.5 billion by 2015.