iMedia: How to determine the value of email and SMS subscribers
by Chris Marriott
Billy Squier made the song “Everybody Wants You” a No. 1 hit back in 1982, and although this pop culture reference might seem as stale as the beer I drank back then, it calls out through the ages to ask a key question of email and mobile messaging marketers today. Namely, who owns the e-direct customer when every product manager wants him or her?
Let me describe a scenario that should sound familiar to any marketer with experience in a large or even medium-sized enterprise. Email and mobile messaging fall into the domain of one (or perhaps more than one) program manager. This person has the responsibility of growing the email and mobile audiences while maintaining their engagement. After all, it hardly serves a marketer to keep filling a leaky bucket.
Meanwhile, this company has more than one product to sell. Perhaps a bank has consumer deposit accounts, small business accounts, credit cards, and investment products. Perhaps a consumer electronics manufacturer sells TVs, audio equipment, and handheld electronics. Perhaps a retailer has merchandisers for apparel, appliances, toys, and other goods. In any case, many marketers have a host of product managers or merchandisers who all want to promote their portfolios to the same pool of customers via email or mobile messaging.
Those of you who have faced this issue, or those of you who think fast, see the inherent issue with this arrangement: The message platform managers win by keeping the total number of contacts relatively small, while the product managers win by blasting away to drive revenue. Since the product managers don’t care whether customers flee, they have nothing to lose by sending offer after offer. And, since marketing dollars within an organization typically flow from the product managers to the program managers, they tend to get their way, much to the consternation of the program managers. Response numbers matter, but not as much as revenue numbers.
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