Digital Marketing – Risks to Avoid

Thursday, September 07, 2017 Listrak 0 Comments

The new rules of digital marketing predicate the need to take risks. Brands must be innovative. They must move quickly. They must be the early adopters of new technology. They must be first.

While there are risks associated with that it’s far riskier to remain status quo. If you aren’t implementing new, more personalized ways to reach your audience, you can bet your competitors are.

When it’s time to upgrade to a new digital marketing platform there are many factors to consider. We’ve outlined several considerations below to help you mitigate the risks.

What’s the cost of “free”?
There are many low cost or even free digital marketing services available. But buyer beware – you get what you pay for. Going with the cheapest solution often ends up costing brands more as the hidden costs for integration, implementation, customer service and support add up quickly. More importantly, companies have to consider the downtime and lost revenue being caused when solutions aren’t implemented in a timely manner, when all acquisition touchpoints aren’t firing correctly, when third party software breaks or when they simply have a support question but can’t reach a representative in a timely manner.

Low cost providers typically focus on customer acquisition, not customer service. Low cost providers “innovate” by offering new solutions from third parties rather than developing the technology themselves, which is the only way to fully ensure integration is accurate and easy to implement and giving you a single point of contact. And because low cost providers solely focus on their – and their investor’s - bottom lines, they aren’t focused on the ROI of their customers. Performance and metrics are secondary.

Free or low cost solutions come with a huge risk that rarely pays off as they end up costing much, much more in the long run – in the form of hidden fees, poor integration and service, and lost business.

At Listrak, our clients average $50 of ROI for every dollar spent. That’s 16.3 percent higher than industry averages of $43 as reported by the DMA. Our guiding philosophy and hallmark of our business is “customers come first in all we do”. We develop technology and many of the best practices in our industry in order to help our clients drive customer acquisition, retention and loyalty, resulting in higher revenue and customer lifetime value. Our client services team earned a world-class Net Promoter Score of 80, which is 60% higher than Disney’s score of 50. According to Net Promoter Score, any score above 50 is excellent while 70 or above is deemed world-class. A score of 80 is unparalleled in our industry.



Acquisition is risky business
It is rare for a technology company to grow organically without taking outside funds from venture capitalist firms or other investors. Similarly, many companies look at acquisition as a model for growth and innovation. Listrak is one of the exceptions. 

From Business Insider, “And yet history shows that, in at least half of all cases, after the deal closes, acquisitions sour. (There are dozens of studies and papers, and estimates of how many M&A deals fail to meet financial expectations run from 50 percent to as high as 90 percent.) The good news is that entrepreneurs, option-holders and investors cash out, but the bad news is that the employees find themselves in an oxygen-starved bureaucracy and customers end up confused or even orphaned.” 

Whether you’re looking for a new service provider or even if you’ve worked with a company for several years, you must remain aware of mergers and acquisitions in the industry in order to protect your organization. Remember – many times the customers of acquired companies end up confused or even orphaned. They’re left behind – shuffled among account representatives who may or may not understand the customer’s business or even know the new technology or corporate culture they are now a part of.

Customers of acquired companies end up confused or even orphaned, dealing with new account representatives who may or may not understand the customer’s business or even know the new technology or corporate culture they are now a part of. Working with organizations that are going through an acquisition – especially if it isn’t the first time – isn’t a risk you can’t afford to take.

The success of your business is paramount to our success here at Listrak, which is why we consider all clients a partner. Our client services, strategy services, technical project managers, learning and development, creative services, deliverability, support and other teams mean you have 350+ people on your side whose main purpose is ensuring your digital marketing solutions are optimized to maximize returns. We answer to our customers, not outside investors or shareholders or even to a parent company that focuses on goals that aren’t aligned with our core values and objectives.

What risks do pay off?
In the immortal words of Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals – “no risk it no biscuit”. While you definitely don’t want to choose a risky organization to work with, there are some risks you’ll want to consider with your digital marketing solutions that will pay off big time.
  • Implementing new technology – Being the first to test new solutions puts you ahead of your competitors. Whether you’re implementing AI technology that can analyze customer data to predict what action they’ll take next or testing SMS to see if your audience responds to messaging in a new channel, don’t wait to see how other businesses do. Test the technology yourself. Being the first to market provides invaluable opportunities to engage consumers in exciting new ways. 
  • Testing new campaigns – Be the trendsetter. Take the “next practices” and find out how to make them your industry’s best practices. Even small and simple enhancements, like adding a third or fourth message to a cart abandonment series, can lead to big returns. Listrak’s resource center is full of strategies and tactics that are easy to implement. 
  • Segmenting audiences in new ways – If you are still just segmenting on simple preferences – or worse, not segmenting at all – it’s time to use your data more effectively. Try sending offers only to former customers who haven’t purchased in over 90 days to win them back. Or send back in stock or price drop alerts to people who browsed those particular product pages but didn’t buy anything. These messages are highly targeted and can even be automated. They’ll outperform many of your other campaigns. 

Was there a time you took a big risk with your digital marketing initiative that paid off? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section.



Megan Ouellet
Director, Content Marketing

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