March 25, 2011

5 Ways to Improve Your Campaign Design Before/During/After You Build

Here are 5 tricks/tips/techniques to improve the way your organization designs campaigns. You should find these equally accessible if you are using Unica, Aprimo, Alterian, Neolane, even, if you have to, Siebel…

# 1
WHAT: Create a “Design of experiments” template that allows us marketers to identify what we want to test. Alternately said: At least start with some specific templates on experimentation that allow us marketers to identify approaches to testing that go well beyond simply creative***

WHY: Because it improves the measurability of the experiment by forcing this kind of thinking up front and not relying on the campaign developer to be a mind reader. I know that most developers are in fact very skilled in telepathy. However, organizations benefit from the discipline of a test database you can only develop if you have the knowledge.

HOW: Specify the hypotheses, number of cells to which it should be applied (the separate experiments), the number & types of offers, channels or segments to which the experiment is to be applied and any other customizations. Oddly enough, this should look pretty similar to a target cell spreadsheet…

# 2
WHAT: Create an MS Excel template that creates understand control sizing, statistical significance and response level setting.

WHY: Because each and every marketer should know basic statistics – and how it influences what we do, how many people we contact and how we expect customers to respond. It’s not someone else’s job.

HOW: I have had my copy of a basic significance tester and 5 other tools that Jaime Fitzgerald now the CEO of Fitzgerald Analytics built for me about 9 years ago. It still works great. I’m happy to share it. It’s yours free of charge, drop me a note.

# 3
WHAT: Conduct Monthly Campaign Design Reviews

WHY: Governance – it’s not just for data anymore. Understanding and reaching alignment on how campaigns are designed, what is a best practice that should be used across all campaigns and how to solve thorny problems is good for all developers.

HOW: Monthly meetings where campaigns are submitted for peer review (and hopefully applause of said peers) as well as problems and challenges that can benefit from collaborative thinking. These sessions actively contribute to raising the bar on the quality of work in a positive and proactive fashion – competing for bragging rights and the respect of one’s team is a powerful motivator.

# 4
WHAT: Use generous amounts of tool metadata to your customer intelligence, analytics and reporting advantage.

WHY: You’ve paid a lot for tools that can actually help tell you everything about those campaigns you’re designing. Let them tell you already.

HOW: Most of the custom coding that is legacy of the past few years is wasted and overly complex effort. Most descriptive attributes can either be directly accessed or output through a snapshot or subsequent file process after a campaign is cut to show you the level of detail you need to report on. This type of simplicity benefits the entire organization, not just marketing – the savings manifest themselves across multiple departments including IT, and finance.

# 5
WHAT: Examine new sources of customer data and information that can improve segmentation, offer extension, messaging, everything.

WHY: Because we may still be relying on yesterday’s data to get the job done. Until recently, we couldn’t mine all that great contact center data easily. We couldn’t evaluate whether someone was connected to us across multiple channels, including social media. We may not have been able to act as definitively on all their preference data they share. Now we can.

HOW: In the same ways you are managing knowledge around campaign performance, experimentation and development standards, you can share data around new elements for the database and campaigns. Make it like shopping – where you can add new types of data to your basket. Advertise what’s new and different and how it can be used. In most big organizations, you are likely to find someone brave enough to poke the box and try it.

So, tell me – how are you improving your campaign designs across the process? Looking forward to hearing from you. And if you want any of the templates mentioned here to help you along, just drop me a note. Happy to share. -c-

*** – this bullet point caused an interesting organizational dialogue between an engineer and a scientist (would-be physicist) in our company Covalent Marketing during the pre-reads of this post and I thought it was worthy of sharing:

I believe that ‘Design of Experiments’ is a single phrase. Correct me if I’m wrong Cristene; this approach represents a culture shift within the marketing organization… Ironically, this kind of experimentation/testing requires a very disciplined approach since these experiments/tests have to be communicated amongst the various participants who design, build and then execute the marketing campaign. TL;DR: Do we need to put quotes around the phrase ‘Design of Experiments’ to communicate it as a single phrase?

I love when people get it, what’s more, when they share the wealth.  It’s even better when as an organization, even one as small as ours, start to look for ways to do this everywhere we can…

To see more of Cristene’s thoughts about Customer Experience, Marketing Process, and other general musings, you can read them on her blog Muse And Maven.

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