We've been taught to think about marketing in terms of achieving goals in the customer buying cycle: awareness, interest, trial, purchase, support, loyalty, referral/advocacy or some variation of these.
At some level, all of the above require an answer to strategic marketing problems. How do we acquire profitable customers at a reasonable cost? How do we drive more conversions? How do we encourage customers to be more loyal?
Achieving these goals is like tying your shoes. You just do it, without thinking strategically about the process.
We add a popover to our home page to acquire more subscribers. We test copy in subject lines and landing pages to drive higher conversion rates.
But I'm talking about something different: email marketing as a companywide problem-solver.
Using email marketing to solve problems
In my meetings with dozens of email marketing teams in cities around the world, I've observed how some teams can adopt sophisticated programs and achieve results far beyond their peers.
Although management support and trust is always crucial, these teams share another success trait: They focus on solving important business, customer and marketing problems, not just achieving everyday marketing goals and challenges.
These are some of the examples I've seen:
Steps to Build Problem-Solving Email
Ready to move beyond the same-old/same-old email marketing to tackle your organization's biggest problems or challenges? Here are a few ways to get started:
A Note on Content
Marketers often tell me they don't have the content they need for create projects like the ones I listed above. Horse hockey!
Usually, these companies already have usable content in various places and formats: videos, Web or catalog copy and images for products, customer support scripts, training presentations, sales collateral, webinar recordings, etc. Your marketing team's challenge is to discover this content and then convert it into formats that work for the channel or need.
Don't let the excuse of lacking content keep you from getting started. Look around for it. Be scrappy. Take a phased approach. If necessary, plead for some extra budget.
Until next time, take it up a notch.