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Don't Just Spray and Pray

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We’ve all been hit by the loads of random marketing emails, the impersonal interactions from automated phone machines and the mounds of junk mail piling up on our desks. It is frustrating and a waste of our time. And why would marketers do this? Sheer statistics. See, when designing a campaign and figuring out potential ROI, the law of statistics weighs in very heavily. We know of 1000 emails, a small percentage will click through to the product page for more information, and of that small percentage an even smaller percentage will convert into buyers of that product. It is a spray and pray method that results in little actual return, but if you nudge your numbers enough, the result are “acceptable.”

On Wednesday, September 19th, I had the chance to hear Xerox’s Chief Marketing Officer Christa Carone turn the “spray and pray” method on its ear and ask what if we were more strategic? Carone described how Xerox has been helping companies design campaigns utilizing granular customer data that is individual for a much more effective return. For example, Maybelline launched a very successful educational and product recommendation campaign using Xerox’s XM®Pie software and services. The campaign was launched through mass messaging and social media efforts (a little spray and pray in the beginning), but the landing page was designed to ask users specific questions about their ethnicity, hair and eye color, eye shape, skin conditions, etc. The page would collect the information and mailing addresses, then use the data to create three small personalized booklets containing cosmetics lessons, product recommendations and traceable discount coupons derived from the individual answers collected. The campaign grew sales an astounding 20 times more than previous campaigns, as well as increased Maybelline’s brand appreciation.

Another example Carone gave was a successful marketing campaign for the Rochester International Jazz Festival. The festival is sponsored by Xerox, and they utilized XM®Pie technology again to produce an awareness campaign with a personalized video ( The video is funny and drops in a few personal pieces. At the end, the video encourages users to share the experience.

The talk was very informative and captured concepts marketers aspire to do: engage with customers in a compelling way and increase the effectively of direct marketing campaigns. She extolled the virtues of knowing your customers and delivering a significant and unique brand experience. A great talk and food for the marketer's brain before they begin another spray and pray campaign.

“XMPie-Enabled B2Me Marketing: From Strategies Drives Maybelline Sales and Loyalty” XM®Pie. n.d. Web. 20 Sep. 2012. -




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