What is a contact strategy? A contact strategy is a marketing program that sends appropriate messages to relevant groups of customers according to a strategic schedule.
Who needs a contact strategy? Any brand that is serious about using a particular channel to generate income.
Most brands that live or die through direct marketing understand the importance of a contact strategy. Brands that rely heavily on the postal channel tend to focus on building an effective contact strategy because of the high costs of paper, printing, and postage. Yet I’ve seen that many brands that use email and social media to reach their customers don’t focus much on creating a disciplined contact strategy. This is a huge mistake. It is the difference between a random shot gun approach and a scientifically engineered process. Which do you think will produce the results you want?
Having a direct response background, I look at social media as the latest generation direct marketing channel. I use social media’s predecessors–email and postal messaging–as models for designing a strategy. I’ll show you what I mean.
Learning from catalog brands
When I worked in the print catalog world, we focused heavily on RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) in determining who received a catalog when. In other words, the time of the customer’s last purchase, how often they purchased, and how much they spent drove our decisions on which customers we should invest marketing dollars on. These indicators were so reliable you would be willing to bet on them.
Email response indicators
In our email strategies for clients, we add another component to this model. We bring into the equation when the customer last opened or clicked on an email message. Although email is a low cost channel, you can do harm to your list and leave sales dollars on the table without this kind of approach.
Designing social media contact strategies
I like to think of Inner Architect as being a pioneer in developing contact strategies for the social media channel. Here are some things you should consider in creating a more disciplined approach to your social marketing program:
- Do you know which of your customers are on Facebook and/or Twitter?
- Do you know which customers like your brand or follow you?
- Are you keeping track of who is engaging with you and when?
- How often do you want to reach out and to whom?
- What can you establish for measurement?
This is exciting new territory! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can answer any questions.