Which Target Should You Target?
If you read this blog regularly, you probably know I believe good marketing campaigns target the right prospects. But sometimes, some targeting isn’t good or effective. Here’s why.
During a conversation with a financial services marketer about a project I was scheduled to write for her organization, she mentioned the types of people she wanted to target. She obviously knew lists with specialized categories of consumers are available. I had to explain that wasn’t what we intended to do.
Why? Because this was a checking account consumer acquisition campaign. It takes a different type of targeting than what she expected.
Here’s an obvious fact. Nearly everyone needs a checking account. That’s a great advantage for bank and credit union marketers. Another fact: People move their accounts for reasons like poor service, lifestyle changes, and relocation. Generally, depending on the market, about one-quarter of consumers are shopping for a new place to bank. That’s why you must continue to promote your financial institution and your products.
The kind of targeting my client had in mind is excellent for, as an example, an equity loan promotion. You want to target homeowners and, obviously, omit renters. You want homeowners who have equity in their homes, so you probably look for those who have owned the property for X number of years. You might exclude homeowners who have second mortgages or equity loans elsewhere. You purge your own mortgage customers from the list.
But what did I say about checking accounts? Everybody needs one. So what sort of list do you compile? By age? Nope, everyone from the 80-year-old married couple to the new college student needs a checking account for some reason. By income? I know bankers would like only wealthy customers, but realistically, there arent’ enough to go around. By political party? Quality of education? Middle initial?
Or do you fall back on that age-old system of saturation mail where you blanket an entire market with your promotion?
No, instead of targeting personal factors (like age, income, marital status) you target areas where you find people who are like your current customers or members. How do you find them? They’re living in the same neighborhoods where your current customers or members live because factors like convenience and drive patterns are important factors.
At ACTON Marketing, we use our proprietary TASC predictive statistical model to find those areas that are most likely to have prospects who will open accounts with you. We built TASC to factor in advantages and factor out anything detrimental. For example, if there’s a river along one side of the FI’s market, there are consumers who live within a mile of that branch, but they won’t go there because they need to drive miles to reach a bridge.
Can you still use a highly targeted compiled prospect list? Sure, but you’ll spend a lot of money for it and you’ll omit many good prospects. Can you use saturation mail? Yes, but you’ll waste mail (therefore money) on neighborhoods where you historically see little or no response.
So, yes, targeted marketing is good and effective. But for some promotions, like a checking acquisition campaign, it’s best to target in a different way — target homes in neighborhoods and areas where you’re already seeing success instead of trying to target personal traits.
Here’s a page that graphically shows how the prospects-like-customers idea works.
A market penetration map shows where your current customers are located. It’s one of the reports in ACTON Marketing’s Personalized Market Analysis.