Posts filed under ‘Online’
I was intrigued by this item, An Investigation Into the ROI of Direct Mail vs. Email Marketing.
The post refers to an article published by the Harvard Business Review, Why Email Marketing Is King which analyzes the effectiveness of email marketing compared to direct mail.
- mail and email
- mail only
- email only
Wait for it … the email-only campaign performed 95x times better in terms of ROI.
Email is so much cheaper than conventional mail and it may perform better as documented. Postal services are unlikely to become much cheaper, let alone near the cost of email dispatch, but will email remain better in performance?
On the subject of cloud based monkey business **, I just came across a great article fom MailChimp. Be a Survey Ninja: How to Mashup CRM Data With Your Surveys
The post does address using MailChimp specific functionality in the form of Custom Variables when integrated with a CRM application, but the basic premise is valuable and possible with many other implementations, whether basic or sophisticated. Take every opportunity to segment communication, monitor response, manage messaging accordingly and gain meaningful feed back using the insight of all the variables at your disposal. I still aspire to the idea of starting with a basic set of information about a consumer that is augmented by each and every communication, contact and transaction and this can be further enhanced by responses to market research over time. That could build a richer picture comprised of a comprehensive set of benavioural, attitudinal and descriptive variables to more accurately predict purchase propensity, value, volume and timing.
Many of you will know will already know what a great EMS MailChimp is. I have used many major solutions in this area, but I have always been impressed by MailChimp’s ease of use, affordability, impressive functionality and accessible help and documentation delivered with a chimp chuckle.
I have been impressed by the granularity and flexibility of the statistics generated by MailChimp while collating email statistics to inform online marketing benchmarks for 39 NZ cultural organisations as part of the Optimiser project for Creative New Zealand. The success of MailChimp in the arts in this part of the world is indicated by the fact that MailChimp is used by over half of the Optimiser participants who use an EMS. A significant advantage of MailChimp over comparable offerings is that it has Google Analytics seamlessly integrated in its statistics whch among other things enables the quantification of online activity with tickets sales in both numbers and value. More Monkey Magic
A notable advantage that MailChimp offers is the success it has had making available an API that has supported integration with a huge variety of different third party software and service vendors. MailChimp supports a great deal of different types of integration by making its API readily available and accessible. It supports a diverse variety of solutions under four main categories:
Under the remaining Other category are a large number of different applications such as: SurveyMonkey, Informly, Google Contacts, Facebook, Google Analytics, WordPress, and even ticketing solutions like Eventbrite, University Tickets, Ticketscript and Regtix.
MailChimp supports integration with numerous leading CRM solutions, including (but by no means limited to): Insightly, the open source CiviCRM, Salesforce, Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar CRM, Zoho CRM, and the amusingly titled Less Annoying CRM.
Interesting post and question raised by Drew McManus in is blog Adaptistration. In this interview from the ABC in 1974, Arthur C. Clarke was certainly prescient, albeit an unabashed enthusiast.
He does describe a more democratic business model and adds a then utopian dream of SOHO or satellite working. Some of it does not seem so far fetched 37 years on?
Like Drew, I am sure that monopolies/duopolies and intermediaries imposing legal barriers that restrain trade were not part of Arthur C. Clarke’s vision.
Wouldn’t you just have loved to pull an iPhone out of your pocket and see the look on his face?!
I always find it valuable to watch other industries for clues to trends and innovations.
The hotel industry may hold some clues regarding the changing role of intermediaries. Yes, it is a different industry, as is airlines. But that does not mean that there may be enough similarities to provide valuable insight. After all entertainment, hotels and airlines all sell or licence the right for a person to occupy a specific location for a specified time period. Agreed, there may be some differences in where the booking takes you physically and metaphorically. But there is one overriding similarity – it is a perishable inventory. Once the curtain goes up or the planes takes off, that seat is gone forever and has no value.
“room nights booked through hotel websites last year grew consistently in each quarter, growing 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same time in 2010.“
Consumers are increasingly buying direct from the hotel, rather than travel agents or online travel agencies.
“Overall in the transient segment, the OTAs (Online Travel Agencies like Expedia and Hotels.com) accounted for 11.4 percent of all hotel rooms booked for the fourth quarter; GDS (Global Disctribution Systems used by Travel agencies) accounted for 19.3 percent; hotel websites (e.g. hilton.com) accounted for 26.5 percent; direct bookings accounted for 25.0 percent; and voice, or 1-800 numbers, accounted for 16.7 percent.“
“Hotel companies have been focusing on educating customers about the value and benefits of booking direct on their websites. These companies have been investing in improving their websites and web value proposition to ensure hotels and customers understand and believe in the value of booking direct with them online.“
That sounds like a good strategy for entertainment as well, the event owner selling directly to consumers without the need for intermediaries. At the very least, the benefits of control over the service ‘promise’ made, the service delivered and the reduction of additional service fees and commissions all makes sense. As suggested, it is important to educate and inform customers and for the not for profit entertainment sector a major, related issue is transparency.
“… consumers are spending an increasing amount of time shopping and comparing hotel options online, often visiting between 8-15 different websites to make an informed decision.” Consumers are getting cleverer at comparing options and they are more and more skilled at accessing AND sharing information on options.
“While a hotel’s website continues to drive more and more bookings for hotels, it is important to recognise that different channels cater to different types of customers, and having an appropriately diversified and optimal mix will drive improved revenue and profit outcomes,”
Different strokes for different folks at different times and different situations.
Selling directly to customers is not the only option, but it looks like it increasingly must be one option and an important one at that.
Oh pullease … my ass
Add on fees for “convenience” et al are just that .. convenient ways to squeeze more out of the consumer.
Here is a good comparison of airlines and concert tickets. They are both interested in yield management and revenue maximisation, but responsible behaviour comes down to one thing: … TRANSPARENCY
A quick primer to the main providers of CRM in the cloud and currently battling it out:
1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM
“If you are an Outlook shop, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a no brainer. The application’s core offering is your standard fare CRM feature set, but it is adding social media functionality as fast as it can.“
2. Oracle Public Cloud
“brings its formidable database and business application bona fides — of which CRM is just one part — to the cloud.“
Just need someone to solve that issue of integrating external ticketing software/service transactions for those stuck in venues with exclsuive ticketing contracts …
I was contacted by Lauren Carlson a CRM Analyst with Software Advice.
Lauren introduced me to a review she wrote on five CRM alternatives to consider other than Salesforce, namely:
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM
- NetSuite OneWorld CRM
- Oracle CRM On Demand
- Sage SalesLogix
I recommend having a browse, not because I have a problem with Salesforce. However, I do think that comparison is always useful, as is competition. I would also suggest that the needs of entertainment wrt CRM are specific and the major requirement that is not addressed by any of these is integration with transaction capability, such as ticketing, memberships or donations.
There is are only two such integrations I know of currently:
- Patron Manager is built on a Salesforce platform and incorporates a variety of transaction types (including: Ticketing, Subscriptions and Donations) within the web-based service developed by Patron technology in New York.
- Event2CRM is an integration of Microsoft Dynamics and Eventbrite online ticketing developed by CRM Innovation in Kansas.
Do you know of any other integrations of CRM with ticketing solutions? Let us know by all means by adding a comment to this blog.
There is a short common sense summary available from Software Advice: Ten Steps to Selecting the Right CRM Software that you can download after registering.