Post-Mother’s Day, and we made it through. While not quite the holiday retail rush that the last quarter of the year brings, it was still a ubiquitous time of gift-giving. With over 85+
million mothers in the U.S. in 2009, with 1.6 children and roughly 5 million of those mothers staying at home, you have a pretty active base that drives so much of our economy.
I realize that we try
to think of segmentation along many terms, but in reality it is all about gender. Women own the purse strings, the purchase influence, and the vast majority of household purchase decisions -- and are
operating in the business world on much more equal terms than at any point in our history in the U.S. If you doubt that, reflect on this past weekend.
As we build marketing programs and aspire
to build customer engagement that promotes repeated purchase habits, we must continually question the way we do things. In the spirit of challenging the obvious, I’ve listed a few questions that
I aspire to answer this year:
- How much is too much email? (This is the question that all email marketers strive to answer. Not just what is the threshold to diminishing returns, but
from an organizational standpoint, how do you set standards?)
- What is email’s real attribution to a purchase and LTV? (more email = more revenue and we have decades of proof that it
works, but what does it really do? Or is that even important when more=more? If you answer #1 effectively, #2 becomes the rationale for better budget management).
- Is the mobile device
impacting email-driven purchasing patterns? (I believe this is the year that we will see a pretty dramatic shift in purchase patterns. The mobile device and smartphone are ubiquitous, and it
takes years for habits to change. This will be something to watch closely this year, to see how consumers shop, share and sync as well as email’s influence.)
- Can you really
operationalize email retargeting and real-time content at scale? (We've gotta do something with the 50% of our user base that won’t respond via email, even if the goal is not
“sales”-driven. And we have to do something to streamline the creative process for smarter experiences. But can this live outside in our production email world? )
- Will Facebook
advertising really work? (This is the year of testing Facebook. With over 1 billion users, it’s silly to ignore. The real question is, how does it work for advertising and how do you build
episodic experiences that connect email and social?)
- Will women rule the world? I’m watching one macro trend this year: women’s consumer shifts. The mobile device and social are
making a huge impact on this audience, which in turn has huge impact on the rest of the household and neighborhoods. We will be optimizing to this audience as the buyer, influencer and household
“wallet” going forward.
There is a theme to all of this. Email’s up! Attribution is unclear! Coordinating channels has been a pipe dream for most! And
doing more with less doesn’t lead to innovating the customer experience at scale. And with a women-dominated marketplace, good, repeated experiences are the next marketing currency.