Lessons from the 1:1 Gurus: Jeff Stewart

By | December 23, 2011

Last week, I started a series of posts titled “lessons from the 1:1 printing gurus.” I kicked offwith Rick Littrell, president and CMO of MagiComm, talking about setting goals and strategies for the campaign. This week, I talk to Jeff Stewart,CTO of Trekk Cross-Media, who discusses integrating multiple media into 1:1 campaigns.

HTW: Once you have your recipient lists, how do you start thinking about how the data can be used by the different channels?

Stewart: You start by asking what you need to do with that data to work within the needs of each channel. You should make your touch points specific to each medium and take advantage of the features it has to offer.

You want to be able to generate the most response to the messages as you can for the dollars available. That is why we deploy media in sequence and not simultaneously. Let’s say it costs us $100 to do a Facebook campaign, $1000 to do an email campaign, and $10,000 for a print campaign. You’ll start with the least expensive medium and gather the low-hanging fruit first. Then you’ll follow up with next most costly alternative, then the next.  Overall, this is how you generate the best ROI.

HTW: Many marketers want to create silos of actions, not integrated actions. How do you handle this?

Stewart:  In 1:1, you want one database from which you generate all of your marketing activity. For example, if I’m sending email, followed by postcards to those who don’t respond to the email, I need to create a field in the database that indicates whether or not people responded. This is as simple as creating a field that says yes they responded or they did not. We use the data to decide the next steps and who gets what message in what channel. This is increasingly important, and channel options and consumer behavior are getting more complex.

HTW: How about social media? How does it fit into the equation?

Stewart: Newer social media applications like Facebook actually have a lot of similarities to older channels like email. If you have a Facebook page, when people “like” or “friend” you, this is the equivalent of getting opt-in for email. Once they take this step, you can send automated and personalized messages.

What we have done of late — and something we have been very successful with — is kicking off the campaign with social media as a broadcast medium. We post the campaign information as a wall post or ad and that drives people to our campaign’s Facebook page. It might be the “spray and pray” method, but it costs next to nothing to replicate through the different domains.

HTW: What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when launching 1:1 campaigns?

Stewart: If you are about to launch a 1:1 campaign for the first time, familiarize yourself with how databases work and make sure you’re using a real database program and not something like Excel (use Microsoft Access instead). In Excel, we find that it is too easy for people compromise the data (such as sorting single columns by accident) and it can create havoc with ZIP codes with leading zeros.

Pay very close attention to the cleanliness of the data in general. Traditional mass mailing lists will tolerate some pretty significant bad records—upwards of 5% – 10%. 1:1 print cannot, so we spend a lot of time on the front end making sure the data is clean and accurate. We strive for no more than .5% – 1% undeliverable.

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Next week, we hear the views of Kate Dunn of DIG Creative.

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