John Wanamaker was an American merchant and founder of one of the first American department stores. He was a religious, civic and political figure, considered by many to be an advertising genius and marketing pioneer. But his problems were real, and his frustrations were warranted. Half of his advertising dollars were wasted, and he never could effectively track his results.

Poor John.

But even today, with over 100 years of technological progress since Wanamaker opined his now famous quote, most marketers still believe they’ll waste more than 30% of their marketing budgets on processes, procedures, plans, and people that don’t make sense for their business.

Smart marketers understand that blindly shouting, sharing, or sending their message simply doesn’t work. Not back in Wanamaker’s day, and certainly not now. Marketing that isn’t measured, viewed side-by-side with other channels, and isn’t attributed, is at high risk of fraud, duplication, waste, and general sub-optimal performance. You want to know how your marketing budget is wasted? Read that last part again.

So how do you eliminate the waste and optimize your marketing budgets?
1) Build & Segment Custom Audiences Defined by Your Customer Base

If you have a database with customers that transact with your brand then you have the primary building block for custom audiences. Your data of past customers will tell a story about the types of people that will have a preference for your brand and those who will be adverse. You will need to be able to determine those positive traits and then find more people like them to increase your market share and maximize your budget dollars.

2) Serve Your Message/Offer Only to Your Audience Through Multiple Platforms

Once you’ve determined your audience and segments the next task is to match those individuals through an Identity Resolution tool like  LiveRamp.com. LiveRamp is able to take your audience and then match offline data points to online identities to ensure your digital marketing is only reaching those individuals, eliminating wasted spend on people that don’t fit your defined profile for profitable consumers.

3) Tailor the Offer, Content, and Journey Based on Defined Segments

The old marketing adage of seven touches before a consumer makes a purchase is just that—old. Today’s fast paced digital world the average consumer is exposed to approximately 5,000 ads per day. To cut through the visual barrage of ads you’ll need to plan to touch a targeted consumer 20-30 times during your campaign window. You’ll also need to consider different content triggers per concept to increase the probability of interaction. One message or offer will resonate with some, not all. Just as the customer journey is not a linear path to a transaction anymore. A well planned campaign should have all these challenges defined and solved before the launch.    

4) Track & Evaluate Engagement 24/7

A successful campaign is monitored and tracked daily. If you don’t know what content is working and what is not, how can you modify and improve messaging to maximize your transactions. At the same time, with all the media platforms and myriad of metrics to sift through you’ll need to invest in some data aggregating and visualization tools to combine all your tracking in one place to speed your decision making process. Some tools in our arsenal and would recommend include improvado.io and tableau.com.

And that’s just the beginning.

Next post, we’ll dive-in to the details of how you can track your data and begin to target your very best customers, and others most likely to listen-and-engage with your brand.

Oh, and check this out:

When John Wanamaker died in 1928 his estate was worth 36.7 million dollars. Not bad, right? But here’s the thing, if his famous 50% waste calculation was correct, and if he could have tracked his total marketing spend,

his net worth would have been almost 75 million!

Poor John, indeed.

Blu can help you track your total marketing spend to the very cent through our 24/7 web portal. From creating content that engages emotionally and rationally with individuals, to posting content on channels that engages your most potentially profitable customers, to tracking that customer to a sale or transaction. We can show you where every last nickel of your ad budget is sparking results. Learn more about our Brandwashing process.