October 03, 2012

Jennifer and the Direct Marketing Success Pyramid

Yesterday, we talked about Judy.  Today, we focus on Jennifer.

FYI - click here to download a pdf copy of the Direct Marketing Success Pyramid ... it is the most popular download of 2012, based on metrics about my blog.

Merchandise:  Jennifer doesn't want to feel ripped off.  We know this, because she scours the internet in search of the best deal, just analyze her attribution trail!  In other words, she's not brand loyal, she's product loyal, trying to find a specific product.  Often, Amazon is her first stop.  Often, Google facilitates how she scours the internet.  Based on the data I analyze, Jennifer likes new products.  The merchandise farm system needs to be well-stocked in order to keep Jennifer interested.

Creative:  This is strictly an opinion, folks.  I think creative means less to Jennifer than to Judy or Jasmine.  Jennifer wasn't weaned on creative, she was weaned on Amazon, Google, Zappos.  It is my opinion that Jennifer needs information.  So give it to her!  Images, video, social, copy, mobile, all could be designed to provide Jennifer with the information she needs to make decisions.  Jennifer leaves your brand to get information, so combat that by giving her all the information she needs, so she won't search elsewhere.

Finance:  In Jennifer's world, Finance means "attribution".  Jennifer's generation of analysts are utterly stymied by a world where Jennifer touches eighteen different channels  before buying something.  Which of the 18 clicks drove the purchase?  We tie ourselves in knots arguing nonsense!  Remember, Jennifer isn't using channels for the sake of using channels, she's "searching" for the best product at the best price with free, expedited shipping ... that's all.  The more granular the analyst gets, the more likely the analyst is going to be wrong.  I believe that, in time, we'll learn to look at Jennifer's investment relationship as a function of time, not of channels/touchpoints.  We'll simply realize that the omnichannel relationship is a "digital" relationship, requiring an investment in "digital".  CSEs and Affiliates and Email and Search are all just byproducts of trying to find the best merchandise and the best price with free, expedited shipping.

Passion:  Jennifer values information.  Similarly, employees passionate about marketing to Jennifer are passionate about information.  The entire "Google Analytics Generation" has a passion for making decisions based on real-time information.  Passion is really a fusion of merchandise and information.  This is a very different relationship than the old merchandise reports that Judy-focused businesses evaluate.  Passion results in fast decisions, and rapid response to market conditions.

Excellence:  You ever wonder how Zappos went from $0 to a billion in a few short years?  They gave Jennifer exactly what she wanted ... they gave her information, free shipping, free returns, and delivered her product in 1-2 days.  That's what excellence looks like to Jennifer.  This will be in stark contrast to the Finance objective of being profitable ... a Finance executive used to managing Judy will balk at what is required to serve Jennifer.  Excellence will require the Finance folks and Marketing folks to work together to yield a profitable outcome, shedding expense elsewhere.

Knowledge:  Jennifer-focused businesses know more about how a customer converts on a web page than anybody else.  This knowledge could be a hindrance, however, as the evolution from a web-focused world to an app-focused world continues.  We don't know if Jennifer will follow Jasmine into an app-focused world ... she probably will do this, but the story is yet to be told.  Regardless, the Jennifer-focused business needs to know far more about customer behavior than the Judy-focused business needs to know.  Reports are important to understanding Judy ... Analytics are important to understanding Jennifer.

Vision:  Executives are going to face challenges.  Jasmine's generation, which is far larger than Jennifer's generation, will shape all innovation in the next ten years.  Executives will want to follow Jasmine's lead.  Oh boy.  That may not work with Jennifer, given that she'll be approaching 50 years old in the next seven years, and will become more set in her ways.  I think we're going to see a lot of Executives pivot out of Jennifer, into Jasmine's generation.  This is going to be very interesting, and will require keen vision to execute a successful transition between generations.

Evolution:  Vision leads to Evolution.  We hard-wired Jennifer into appreciation of a world led by Google/Amazon.  It is going to be hard to get her to change her habits, as Jennifer approaches 50 years old.  The very changes that benefit Jennifer will conflict with the preferences that Jasmine will exhibit.  Marketing to Jennifer will become more niche-oriented, given the significantly smaller size of her demographic cohort.  Anytime you hear "web-based", think Jennifer.  Anytime you hear "app-based", think Jasmine.  It will be hard to serve both audiences.  I don't think we know how this evolution will happen.

Chemistry:  I see better chemistry among Jennifer-focused businesses than I see among Judy-focused businesses. It seems like Judy-focused businesses "know everything" already (after marketing to the same customer for thirty years, they should know everything).  It seems like Jennifer-focused businesses are more open to opposing points of view.  We'll see if the pressure of the app-based internet consumes the chemistry earned by employees weaned on a web-based internet.

Tomorrow, we focus on Jasmine.