Marketers aren't investing enough in direct response and customer data

Australian marketing consultant John Dwyer claims marketers continue to mistakenly focus on brand building and should instead be embracing direct response tactics and upping their data capturing capabilities on and offline

Marketers should embrace more direct response activity and invest in better customer data if they’re to create a sustainable business model, one Australian marketing veteran claims.

Marketing consultant, seminar speaker and founder of The Institute of Wow, John Dwyer, has worked with more than 27,000 businesses across 58 different industries and claims his marketing ideas have helped brands generate more than $15 billion in revenue. His list of clients has included KFC, Caltex, 7-Eleven and Westfield.

Dwyer told CMO that marketers continue to make three common mistakes: Marketing on price; not capturing enough or the right data on their customers on and offline; and failing to trigger value-based relationships with their target customers through direct response principles.

Despite the growing focus on analytics and data-driven marketing, Dwyer said industry statistics indicated 90 per cent of businesses today still don’t have data capturing capabilities on their websites. He also criticised the lack of data capturing taking place in bricks-and-mortar operations offline.

“We talk about more data-driven marketing today, but I say ‘where is it?'” he asked. “It’s about the right numbers, not just bringing in big numbers. People are not identifying accurately enough who the most profitable customers are for their organisations, and then finding more people who look like them.”

As an example, Dwyer pointed to Australian amusement park, Movie World, which attracted 1.8 million people through its doors in 2012, but didn’t capture data on them at the point of sale. In addition, the NRL gets 82,000 people to a grand final game, but hasn’t known a thing about them, he said.

“This is offline data collection, but this is also happening online,” Dwyer continued. “On the Movie World website, I’d want to collect information on every child that visits the site. To do this, I’d have a Batman activity theme requiring them to register with a name and address so I can follow up in future.

“I’m not saying there aren’t businesses doing this, but many Australian companies are still not following the basics of having data capturing on their websites and in their stores, and they should.”

Getting ahead with data-driven marketing: SAS CMO Jim Davis
How to navigate the data analytics path
Aussie businesses are not data driven, PwC finds

Another major problem is that marketers aren’t aware of how vital emotional, direct response strategy is as a way of driving better customer results, Dwyer said.

“The most powerful form of marketing on the planet is emotional direct response marketing, which I call problem/solution marketing,” he claimed. “You give your client a problem, you aggravate that problem and then you provide a solution.”

One example of an industry that does direct response well is the weight loss industry, Dwyer said. Individuals who have actually gone through weight loss programs discuss the problem and process via testimonials, helping to trigger a direct and emotional response from target customers, he said.

“This formula has been around forever… and yet it’s only been the likes of Danoz Direct that have really exploited them,” Dwyer said. “And I put that down to the advertising agencies believing this is below them.”

The other challenge is organisations have relied on brand building as the “be all and end all”, Dwyer claimed, throwing their marketing dollars at banner advertising, sponsoring football teams and so on instead of targeted and emotive campaigns that generate measurable sales.

“Yes, brand building is very important and the most important thing, but brand and selling are not mutually exclusive,” he said. “You can sell stuff through direct response marketing and position your brand at the same time.”

As an example, Dwyer pointed to a former client, the Greater Building Society, which historically focused on branding through TV ads. By changing the value proposition around its customer acquisition model using a direct response approach, the company tripled business within 18 months. The direct response hook was to offer potential customers an upfront free holiday, instead of a lower ‘honeymoon’ home loan rate also offered by its competitors, he said.

“What we successfully did is take the consumer’s eye off the price,” Dwyer said. “We were also building the brand’s persona at the same time. We then had Jerry Seinfeld, one of the biggest celebrities in the world, to do some ads and bring some celebrity power to the brand to help through the GFC. And not once did the company advertise or lower its interest rates during this time.”

To help marketers employ direct response marketing, Dwyer outlined five key steps:

  1. Research to determine who the target audience is
  2. Create a ‘wow’ factor and take the consumer’s eye off the price
  3. Use a problem/solution effect and focus on benefits, not features
  4. Have a good website and in that, house all the components of your product or solution through video testimonials and also captures data
  5. Aim to bring in repetitive trade – just think of the ‘coffee loyalty’ cards as an example.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia

Signup to CMO’s new email newsletter to receive your weekly dose of targeted content for the modern marketing chief.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

who wants to date me I am 9 years old and i am a boy

Jeremy Hawkins

Sink a sub gaming experience signals Subway's renewed brand push

Read more

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

AI Leasing Assistants have finally arrived for the multifamily industry. With so many to choose from it can be hard to figure out which i...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Blog Posts

Unboxing 101 - How savvy influencer engagement can build a brand

The humble unboxing video is a powerful tool. Correctly executed, it harnesses consumer fandom, viral authenticity and brand design magic to deliver a high-impact message to a tightly targeted cohort of consumers.

Gali Arnon

Chief marketing officer, Fiverr

​Power to the people

Purpose is the ultimate statement of intent for many organisations. Why are we here? What are we trying to achieve?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

The playbook to develop strategic brand moats

Warren Buffet is an unlikely ally for marketers. But his belief businesses need strategic moats that increase their value in the market while acting as barriers to competitors can offer marketers a new playbook for brand building and driving growth.

Fabian Di Marco

Founder and managing director, Tzu & Co

Sign in