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DETOX YOUR DATA

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO DETOX YOUR DATA?

Everyone should detox their data at least once a year. Today, with more marketing channels than ever, “it’s critical to detox.”

Symptom Checker: You probably need to detox your data if you have any of the following symptoms such as:

  • Uncontrollable spam and unsubscribe rates
  • Going postal over unknown mailing address returns
  • Sluggish open rates
  • Feeling unpopular on Facebook
  • Depressed click through rates
  • When asked, “how are sales?” and you respond, “In the toilet.”

HOW DO YOU START A DATA DETOX?

First you must investigate the current situation. Gather up your household files, pour yourself some tea and find a quiet place to review past campaign performance, lists accuracy, open rates. Be positive, remember this is where you are now – not your future state. Keep a journal and share with your team members your goals and vision for a data driven marketing department. Now the hard part, assess where you are today.

  • Your mailing list should be 85-90% correct before mailing. This means deduped and standardized. Ask your printer for the average metrics on your previous mailing lists. If your lists are not hitting this metric, seek the advice of your printer because they have tools to remedy this situation. (NCOA) Your goal is to have the most accurate list of households in your file’s including address, city, state, zip, zip +4, and Delivery Point. (You must have the DP)
  • At least 30% of your email list should have home addresses. If not, and I am not a data scientist, but I would recommend a reverse append to see if your email list has a home address on file. Email lists should be cleaned not only to protect your reputation but before sending out for a reverse append.

At this point you should feel pleased that you have accomplished the foundation necessary to support your data divinity.

As my Italian mother used to say, “A clean home is a happy home.” Now you should have three, clean, crisp lists on hand.

  • List of mailing addresses with email address. (Cleaned)
  • List of mailing addresses with no email address (Cleaned)
  • List of just email addresses (Cleaned)

These lists will provide a baseline for your upcoming campaigns and reconciliation efforts.

DON’T BE IN DE NILE – RECONCILE

Reconciling your conversions back to your list is the most time-consuming, yet necessary step that most marketers loathe to perform, and unfortunately, only a few do.

Back to the cleaners for a detox. Yup, back you go. In order to compare lists and accurately measure results we need all the conversions in the same format as the original lists.  Remember address, city, state, zip, zip four and delivery point barcode.  In theory, if an address appears on both lists, you had a conversion from your initial list.

Easy-Peasy Reconciliation Steps:

  • Upload your first list that had mailing address and email into excel.
  • Exactly cut and paste into the existing columns all your new and happy conversions.
  • Next highlight address, city, state, zip, zip+4 and delivery point
  • Find the excel tab “Data” and click.
  • Click “Remove Duplicates”
  • Next, Excel will count up the duplicates and those are your conversions!

AFTER DETOXING – WHAT TO EXPECT

Detoxing your data may be difficult, but it is a necessary first step on the road to a data driven marketing department. Now that you have recovered your data, next is creating healthy guidelines, lifestyle, practices, and standards to keep your data in its best shape. These could include a calendar on when to refresh your data or basic input guidelines. You are on your way to becoming a data diva.

lee

 

Precision Marketing: Three Easy Steps to Reducing Opt Out Rates

Opt-In Emails can be worth $2-$10 each. Do you have an Opt Out Strategy?

Marketers enjoy the affordability and access of email for marketing. Consumers on the other hand, guard their inbox like world leader protects his domain; armed with weapons of destruction such as automatic Spam Blockers, Ad Blockers, one-touch Spam reporting, and junk mail notifications. All designed to keep unwanted, irrelevant noise out of their otherwise quiet, invitation only, digital world.

Even with this arsenal of tools, consumers receive 100’s of marketing emails a day. Today, many experts speculate the value of a single, opted-in email, is anywhere from $2 to $10 dollars. Certainly considered a feather in the cap for hard working marketer that wisely ponders and spends on their cost-per-click Ad-words, likeable Facebook content, witty tweets, and irresistible Instagram pictures to woo potential suitors to opt-in to their company story. Losing this right to market in this channel certainly represents a cost, and at ten dollars a pop for unsubscribes and spam reporting, it is a expense that needs to be considered.

Clearly at this cost, unsubscribe rates cannot be ignored.

Here are a few tips to reduce your unsubscribe rates:

Carefully review your list – at the very least, segment the:

  • Non-openers: Let’s face it, after several weeks of courting, they are just not into you. Give that list a three month rest.
  • Openers but not clickers: Good sign, recognize more work is to be done. Okay, you have yet to inspire them to act but they have opened, keep this list and change up the offer or design.
  • Clickers but not buyers: Right product wrong Landing page? A great email, great call to action, then the clicker, trusted you enough to click and then landed on a website to confusing, different, outdated, figure out how to purchase.
  • Buyers: Do you have an upsell, cross-sell. A new benefit to share on the purchased product?

 The Reverse Append:

How much do you know about your opt-ins? Are they married, single, millennial, parents, wealthy, technology nut, and or educated? What data points would help create targeted emails? A reverse append of your email list may be a valuable investment.

What is a reverse append?

A reverse append will attached the correct US postal mailing address to your email list. The more address data on file, the better the email match rate. Expect about 25% match rate per list.

What does this cost?

Pricing on reverse appends can be as low as $55/1000 matches and up. Usually additional attributes such as age, gender, marital status, and others can be $4/1000 per attribute.

Let me know if I can assist you in any way. lee

How to Avoid Patti LuPone From Taking Your Phone and Other Noisemakers

We’ve all read the headline-grabbing stories lately about audience members making major faux pas while taking in some live theatrical entertainment. Answering their cell phones ortexting mid-performance, recording entire shows, and, yes, even attempting to charge a cell phone in a set’s non-working electrical outlet, these patrons are enough to irritate the calmest fellow audience members. And, once the dialogue starts, don’t we all have our own “patrons behaving badly” theater stories?

In our experiences as theatregoers, we’ve all heard and seen varying levels of distractions. Crinkling candy wrappers. The instantaneous recognition of a blue phone screen lighting up. Irritating ringtones. The even more infuriating answering of said irritating ringtones. And, the never popular, super loud conversations between patrons about the onstage interactions, as if watching a show in the privacy of their living room rather than in a public venue.

As an amateur community theater actor, though, I can only say that I totally understand why some of these upper echelon actors are speaking out about the problem. While the rudeness can turn into fodder for epic, sometimes hilarious backstage stories, in the moment they’re more than simple irritations. Any sound or unexpected visual (such as a flash or blinking red light) can throw off your focus and completely extract you from the moment, especially as an actor. We’ve all learned strategies (sometimes trial by fire) to help maintain that focus, but the dreaded “break” happens without notice. Remembering lines and cues and blocking and simply not losing one’s composure when hearing a rude comment about oneself takes a lot.

But, beyond the annoyance, it begs a question: are audiences really getting worse these days?

It all depends on your perspective. Some may think that the technology-based distractions call out a far more disappointing trend: the devolving of society into a narcissistic state. So many people think that whatever is happening in their life at the moment is more important than general courtesy. While it’s not the norm, the more focused we are on our devices, the less attention we pay to our immediate surroundings.

Remember when we were able to go out for a night of enjoyment without needing to be reached or having that desperate “where’s my phone?!” feeling? Feels like a long time.

But, let’s go even further back, to a very different time. When was the last time you saw theatregoers come armed with rotten eggs and tomatoes to throw? Have you read any articles citing actors having been tarred and feathered for horrific performances?

In Shakespeare’s time, an audience would scarcely resemble that of today (unless perhaps you’re attending an incredibly historically accurate Shakespeare festival). Going to the theater was as much an event as the onstage happenings, so it was common to see audience members get up to gossip and catch up, eat full-on meals, drink, brawl…you get the idea. As with today, there were those (who generally paid more for their attendance and possibly saved up their pennies to do so) who grew incredibly annoyed with the behavior. Yet, it was a general norm of the times.

While I beg that all theatregoers consider the evening’s experience as a whole – for themselves, for those around them, and the performers – I dare not say that I hope that we can return to the days of yore as an example of courtesy and decorum. Perhaps just a bit of the golden rule (and humor when dealing with an offender) will bring us all some much-needed peace and enjoyment

A Fad or The Future: BroadwayHD

Imagine arriving home from a grueling day’s work after fighting through an equally exhausting commute. Top it off with a cold, sopping drizzle falling precariously from the sky. The only energy you can muster is that to order dinner in and flop on the couch with a remote in hand, and nothing more.

If you had theatre tickets on a night like this, they might – okay, they’ll probably go to waste. No, this is definitely a Netflix binge-watching night, right?

Well, it no longer needs to be the case. You can still look forward to some high-quality theatrical entertainment, and right in the comfortable informality of your own home. And, no, there’s no need to invite any live performers to view you in your casual state.

With BroadwayHD, a pair of producers is hoping to cash in on the streaming trend by bringing shows from Broadway and various other high-quality outlets directly to you, the consumer. The service’s shows are currently relatively limited, but the potential for “big box office” is palpable.

But, it begs the question: Is this just another nail in the coffin of the traditional theatre-going experience? And does it dull the enjoyable  “spark” of actually seeing a performance, live and in-person (much like many shows-turned-films fall flat)?

Maybe. It’s the age old question: By attempting to reach a larger audience, are we watering-down the theatre-going experience? Is it a mere case of over-reach? Or is the passion towards new arts and experiences simply spreading in this new medium, causing home viewers to become true theatergoers?

Some naysayers poo-poo the new trend, arguing that the shows you’ll see on the list are sub-par and limited, and you won’t have access to the current hits (much as how Netflix Streaming first started). But, considering that this is a brand-new method of pushing access to shows out to the masses, many Broadway producers and teams simply haven’t had the discussion when creating their business and marketing plans to include the possible income generated by streaming the production.

Perhaps, if nothing else, it will begin the dialogue on the Great White Way of accessibility and its effect on the art.

The Theatergoer – – Which One Are You?

Just as much as it takes all sorts to create an incredible theater experience, it takes a variety of folks to fill the seats. Today we’re sharing just a few of the types of theatergoers you’ll encounter on any given night at a show. See if you fall into one (or more!) of our categories. 

The Fan – This person genuinely LOVES one particular actor or actress, has seen every production the person has ever been a part of, and will attend simply to see him/her in action. No matter how iffy the show may be, they often think it was incredible – if only for the simple fact that their favorite performer made it all the better. You’re also guaranteed to see them hanging by the stage door after the show.

The Laugher – Only really into comedies and farces, this individual comes out to LAUGH. And laugh he does! If anything remotely resembling a joke or humorous gesture occurs, his bellow can be heard throughout the theater. It’s almost enough to throw off the cast when a line that has never received attention suddenly tickles this guy’s funny bone, but it definitely makes for a more colorful performance for all.

The Actors’ Favorite – Have you ever sat in a dead audience before? The show may be superb, but the audience just isn’t awake for some reason. As uncomfortable as it may be as an audience member, it’s downright heart-breaking for an actor. Send in “The Actors’ Favorite”! He admires the performers for the blood, sweat and tears they’ve put into the show and, darn it, he’s going to let them know through loud applause, joyful laughing (at appropriate times), gasps, and many of the other sounds once relegated to silent movie shows. (Speaking as an amateur actress, I can say that we truly love this person. He has saved many a depressing night.)

The Non-Discriminatory Viewer – This is a true theater lover. Name the show and they have either seen it or would be happy to attend. Avant garde or Shakespeare, high-brow or sex comedy, Broadway or community theater, they adore it all – as long as it’s well-done and evokes some emotion or sparks some conversation.

The Infrequent Attendee – Maybe only able to grab a night at the theater once or twice a year, you can tell this audience member by her sheer excitement. She will chat busily about the Playbill, glance in awe at the intricately gilded surroundings, and will talk your ear off at intermissions and post-show about everything she enjoyed. If you’re not this person, go to a show with them – soon. Seeing the theater through their eyes helps to open your eyes to the excitement of it all again.

So, what do you think? Do you fall into any of these categories? Would you suggest any additional types of theatergoers you’ve noticed in the audience recently?

Meg

The Spark of the Art – Do you know how to ignite?

What is it that fills the velvet cushioned seats of a theater with eager bodies? What draws people to travel hours to peer at a collection of paintings? What causes people to devote endless hour upon hour to repetitive, rote practice, sacrificing personal joys and free time with loved ones? Both complex and simple all at once, the answer is the art spark.

Shared by artist and audience member alike, the art spark is one of those wondrous things that make man unique from other earthly creatures. It’s the innate urge to express oneself and equally to observe such expression literally sparks an inward need for more. Once a patron of the arts, always a patron of the arts.

The spark is experienced in all walks of life. From the largest, most renowned stage to the barn-turned-community theater; from a high school poetry slam to a gallery of the highest ilk – they all have sprung from the passion of creation. For any performer – be they dancer, actor, artist, poet, writer, or athlete – the rush of anxious excitement that comes with displaying the proof of one’s dedicated practice is like no other. While the quality of one’s work may not (and possibly should not) be measured by its popularity, the great purpose of art is for it to be ultimately shared and enjoyed.

In this way, the audience holds an integral role in the artistic process. Their own art spark allows them to share in the artist’s excitement. They revel in the artist’s successes; cushion the blow of failure. Be it through admiration, sheer enjoyment, or empathy, they form a trust-based relationship with the artist. At times, a twinge of jealousy – the “I wish I could do that” feeling – leads the spark to turn audience member into full-fledged performer. After all, what great artist didn’t start as admiring fan at one time?

And so it goes. Shakespeare to Oscar Wilde to Noel Coward. Bach to Verdi to Copland. DaVinci to Van Gogh to Picasso. Artistic endeavors beget appreciation which beget further new endeavors, which allow the arts as a whole to live on. The simple nervous energy of an opening night is single-handedly continuing the lengthy tradition begun centuries before.

All because of that little spark.

megan

How a Young Family Prepares for the Theatre

A night of theater is a simple formula: dinner, theater, maybe coffee and dessert later over a lengthy chat about the interesting points of the show. It’s an exciting yet relaxing change from the norm, perfect for recharging and enlivening playgoers.

For some audience members, the evening is more of a process, though. Far more effort is put into the enjoyment of a night of theater, and that variation from the norm is sharper for several reasons.

Take a recent example right out of my planner. There was a time that a date night of theater meant next to no planning, and occurred about once every month or two. My husband and I would meet up after work, grab a lovely dinner beforehand (he never made reservations), and off to the theater we went. Intermission and after-show coffee would bring about chats of personal connections with themes and characters, comparisons to other shows, and analyses of whether we could get away with such a show at our own community theater group. We’d leisurely head home and keep chatting, still buzzing on caffeine and inspiration.

Fast-forward to now. Theater experiences are few and far between since our son came along. When we do take in a show, we weigh heavily which show is worth our time and effort, sifting through every local theater’s season options. We hardly ever select a repeat show anymore, whereas we used to enjoy comparing the variations between different productions. We definitely take less risks, mostly because our free time has become a more precious commodity.

After selecting (weeks or months in advance) the show that we’re interested in, we analyze the best babysitting option and exactly how the evening will go. We plan, discuss, organize, and plan some more. From the fastest route to the closest restaurant to the exact minute we need to leave to find a prime parking spot, it’s almost laughable.

Once inside the theater, though, we’re home. Joining the din of the crowd, we enjoy the laughter, gasps, and boisterous applause that accompany live theater. We read our programs voraciously, socialize unexpectedly with old friends in the aisle, and share knowing smirks when the audience reacts conservatively to a bawdy joke. We leave on bouncing feet, reenergized with the same old feeling. Only, this time, we rush off to relieve the babysitter and drag an over-tired toddler home. We all pass out and feel exhausted for days, calling it a totally worth it “theater hangover.”

We know that, one day, we’ll miss these days of childhood innocence, so we don’t wish them away. However, we find encouragement in the fact that we’ll be bringing up our son in a theater-loving family and will be able to share theater-going experiences together as he grows up. Before we know it, our house will be sadly empty and we’ll have the luxury to frequent more and more productions like the old days. It brings me to wonder if any of our over-planning practices will spill into those calmer, quieter times.

Megan

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Denver Center For The Performing Arts – 500% ROI

 

Today, many performing arts venues are confronting a new set challenges, which require innovation to attract and retain their most valuable asset—the patron. In the past, many organizations could rely upon traditional marketing channels to sell individual tickets, seasonal subscriptions, and to raise funds. Today traditional marketing channels are no longer effective and now, the arts must innovate to activate.
Precision Marketing is the ultimate customer-centric approach to marketing and is driven by data-based customer insight and metrics, that clearly measure marketing effectiveness. Precision Marketing considers historic transactions to predict future outcomes. This insight enables the creation of relevant campaigns, meaningful patron segments and personas, and quantifiable ROI.
As an industry thought leader, DCPA has maintained an active transactional database but had not leveraged the data to create actionable insight or to influence campaign outcomes.
DCPA’s ongoing commitment to excellence, led them to initiate a Precision Marketing pilot to test its efficacy.
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Boost Your Marketing Communications Strategy with a “Boston Pops” Touch

Marketers have often asked me whether it is better to use email or direct mail for a marketing campaign. From much research and many case studies, I have found that the answer is not an “either/or” choice. A sound integrated marketing strategy is like an orchestra, with all the different parts coming together at the right moment to create the patron experience. To develop a “Boston Pops” approach to your campaign, I recommend a model based score based on good data, a communications matrix to understand where your potential patrons are in the buying cycle, and personalized, relevant messaging to a potential buyer.

Good, clean data and modeling are necessary for strategic decision-making. Data does not lie. “Tried-and-true” gut decisions may mislead and misdirect strategic actions and funds. Through data-driven insight, a venue can achieve a deeper understanding of a customer’s actual value and propensities to purchase. This insight, in turn, drives the strategy and determines the campaign, delivery channels, tactics and offers.

With good data in hand, take the next step in a disciplined, precision marketing approach. Use a communications matrix to chart what channel, message, or offer should go to which segment of your potential patrons. A matrix can help avoid over-communicating and redundancy, which can be costly both from a financial and from a patron-relations standpoint. By mapping messages to specific segments, the tool can help you organize a prescriptive, customer-centric approach across all product lines of your company.
If you are part of a large venus, over-communicating may be a greater problem than you realize. At a bank in Asia, I found more than 1,080 requests for names out of their database were requested by ten different product departments within six months. One potential customer received 10 product offers in one day!

You can avoid such budget-wasting tactics. Set up a simple communications matrix in four quadrants with two key axes: current revenue and potential revenue. The quadrants identify responders in four categories: low propensity, future potential, high propensity and “best bets.”

Best Bets. This grouping refers to patrons who represent high existing revenue and high potential revenue, clearly the most attractive group –or best bets for your marketing dollars. Consider both email and direct mail for this population. Home Depot uses this successful strategy. When a family buys a new house, that homeowner becomes a best bet. Home Depot knows new owners will purchase fans, paint and wall coverings. Given this knowledge, Home Depot invests a larger percent of its marketing dollars in sending new owners slick, direct mailers with appropriate offers.
Low Propensity. This segment represents low existing revenue and low potential. Many times this segment represents patrons in which we have limited data or understanding. Consequently, it has the lowest chance of generating revenue for your company. Sending expensive direct mail would not be the best use of funds. Rather, this segment lends itself to electronic contact with lead-nurturing e-mails, surveys, or invitations to visit your booth at a tradeshow. At a minimum of 75 cents per unit, plus creative costs, direct mailers are too expensive an investment for patrons in this segment.

Future Potential. The population in this segment currently generates revenue for the company but does not have a high propensity to create significant new revenue in the future. Targeting the occasional user does not represent the best allocation of marketing budget dollars but staying engaged is key to continual nurturing and retaining this loyal customer.

High Propensity. This segment refers to prospects or patrons who represent low existing revenue but high potential revenue. The “high propensity” segment has greater potential than the other low and future potential, yet the strategy needs to consider a less costly communication engage and grow this segment. Emails with special offers could be effective with this segment. In keeping with the homebuyer example, a campaign may target renters that are considering a significant home purchase based on data and demographics.

A communications matrix helps you avoid a wasteful “spray-and-pray” or “one-size-fits-all” campaign loaded with generic messaging. Such messages are irrelevant regardless of how often they are repeated or by which means they are delivered. By understanding your audience segments, you can develop relevant, personalized messaging, which is ranked as one of the top strategies for realizing greater revenue and profitability from existing patrons. According to one study, business marketers spend an average of 30 percent of their marketing budgets on the creation and execution of content. “Content is now the engine that makes marketing go, ”said Joe Pulizzi, Junta42 founder and chief content officer.

All these factors play into any marketing strategy. In honing choices for your “marketing symphony,” keep in mind these recommendations:

  • Use good, clean data to develop a precisely targeted customer strategy.
  • Use a communications matrix to generate the highest return for marketing dollars spent.
  • Low Propensity, Future Potential, High Propensity and Best Bets describe the customer potential for revenue generation.
  • Use relevant, personalized messaging aligned to patrons in each segment of the matrix to gain the most benefit from your marketing dollars.