Is Consumer Marketing Irrevocably Broken?

Clive Humby
dunnhumby

What is a successful marketing campaign? When it comes to direct marketing, these days most organisations seem happy to achieve a response rate of 1%. Yet that response and the potential conversion rate masks the true picture: a picture few in marketing care to consider, let alone admit. If 1% respond to the campaign, what was its effect on the other 99%? Were another 1%, 2% or 3% so fed up with receiving yet another irrelevant message that they have gone elsewhere? Who knows who measures?

Of course, such measurement is complex. Customer churn or migration in value cannot be attributed to one single factor. But every customer interaction from marketing materials and promotions to customer service at the call centre has an effect. Measuring DM or any marketing activity in isolation will never provide an accurate picture of customer response.