Your marketing needs to generate revenue.
That’s not a judgment; I’m not saying that your marketing efforts don’t generate revenue. I’m just saying that that’s the way of things. Marketing needs to generate leads, who need to become customers. If a company’s marketing efforts don’t do this, or do it poorly, then there’s something seriously wrong.
Getting it right is complicated. The term “marketing” is vague and nebulous. There’s no “right” way to go about designing and executing a comprehensive marketing plan, but there are a lot of wrong ways to do it. Marketers must tread carefully in this complicated, fickle, topsy-turvy world of ours. But as complicated as marketing is, it really all boils down to two key equations:
Relevance + Timeliness + Ease of Consumption + Value = Engagement
Engagement x Time = Revenue
What’s that you say? You don’t see Rich Media in either of these equations. That’s funny… I do. Let’s define our terms, starting at the top.
- Relevance – Your message must be important to your audience. That does not mean that your audience should consider your product or service the greatest thing since sliced bread. It does mean that it should be clear to your audience how your product or service is useful to them. Outbound messaging should be highly personalized. Create messages based on the needs of your audience, and then personalize every message you send so that it reflects the particular situation of the person who receives it.
- Timeliness – It does your audience no good to hear for the first time about your fundraising gala two days beforehand. If you are advertising an event, give your customers tons of advance notice. Similarly, while there is something to be said for a “Today only!” kind of email blast, advertising an event well in advance gives you as a marketer an opportunity to touch your audience multiple times leading up to an event. Organizing your messaging to coincide with holidays and other major events is also a proven method of engagement.
- Ease of Consumption – You’re going to attract more attention from your audience if you create a message that’s easy to digest. If you can’t explain in twenty small words what your product or service can do for your audience, find someone who can. It seems people are becoming increasingly attracted to increasingly shorter messages – Twitter, anyone? – which means that their tolerance for longer messaging is probably declining. Now more than ever, the old K.I.S.S. adage rings true.
- Value – Your message has to provide two kinds of value. First, there has to be some kind of value in the content of your message. You have to be offering something for a relatively low price. That’s the value proposition. More importantly, however, is the value inherent to the consumption of the message. In other words, your audience should be able to glean a good chunk of information from your message without having to work too hard to consume it. This concept can be understood as the intersection of Relevance and Ease of Consumption.
If your messaging has all of these elements, you will succeed in engaging your audience. Do this consistently over time, and that engagement will turn into opportunity, which will eventually turn into conversion.
So where does Rich Media fit in all of this? Well, using dynamic audiovisual content certainly improves the relevance of your message if you can show how people just like your email recipient using and benefiting from your product or service. News clips and event videos are great for bolstering timeliness. You cannot do better than video in the ease-of-consumption department, and because of this, your message has greater inherent value – your audience has to do less work to absorb the same amount of information. Add all of this up, and you’re on the fast-track to increased engagement and, more importantly, more money.
That’s what I call easy math.