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How To Prevent A Marketing Meltdown

Increased ProfitsWhat can marketers do so they are seen as part of a machine that drives revenue and profits? How can marketers take more control over the revenue process, build the respect of their organizational peers, and earn a seat at the revenue table?

~ Marketo

If you could invest $25,000 to make $2.5 million, would you do it? Through the power of marketing analytics, more and more marketing executives are taking ownership of the way their companies obtain new customers, drive revenue, and increase profits.

By using analytics to identify and track key variables in your customer’s purchasing behavior, you can accurately predict future buying habits. Once you know who’s likely to make a purchase and when, you can drastically reduce your marketing spend and increase profits by only marketing to those folks most likely to buy.

This past summer, I met with two different marketing executives from small ($50 million) businesses who weren’t yet using marketing analytics. When I asked each of them how much it cost to obtain a new customer and other questions about the cost of doing business, they were unable to give me a clear-cut answer.


Because their companies were making plenty of money and their bosses were pleased as punch. The only metric they were measuring was their overall sale metric, and since business was booming, they assumed their marketing was working.

On the surface, this looks like a pretty good place to be.

But think about this – what happens when and if the tide suddenly turns, and the company starts losing profits? How will those marketers know which key variable is negatively impacting revenue and what to do about it?

Without knowing the cost to obtain a new customer or which key variables to track long term, those marketers will have to play a very expensive guessing game when and if profits begin to dwindle.

Marketing without metrics, or without the right metrics, reminds me of the 2008 housing crisis. Prior to that time, analysts had built a predictive model to determine the likelihood of a person being able to pay back their mortgage.

The problem? They failed to account for an important key factor when they built the model: what is the likelihood a person will be able to pay their mortgage if the real estate market goes down? By overlooking this key factor, many people were given loans who’d never be able to pay them back in the face of a tanking real estate market.

Then, when the real estate market did in fact tank, millions of people defaulted on their mortgages in a move that could have been predicted and prevented.

If you’re not using marketing analytics, chances are you’re also overlooking a key factor that could better predict customer buying habits, and in turn predict your profits.

What’s more, you’re likely leaving a lot of money on the table every month. If you’re like the two executives I met with this summer and your boss is thrilled with the company’s revenue, imagine what would happen if you took the lead as a marketer and significantly increased your profit margins even further?

For instance, a $50 million company that boosts their margin by just 5% would increase profits by $2.5 million. That’s no small chunk of change for a small business!

There’s no reason to keep leaving money on the table. Spending $25,000 to make $2.5 is just good business, no matter how you look at it. And the way you do it is simple – by identifying the key factors you need to track in order to accurately predict customer behavior.

Once you know the cost of obtaining a new customer and which customers are most likely to buy, you can drastically reduce your marketing spend and increase profits – often by millions of dollars.

Food for Thought: Raspberry Tiramisu

While in Italy a few months ago, I learned to make a version of Tiramisu that will make your brains fall out! Because it has no coffee or chocolate I suppose it can’t be called Tiramisu, so I put the word raspberry in front as a disclaimer.

This dessert reminds me a lot of marketing without metrics, like the executives I met this summer. If you don’t know which ingredients are being used to create the tiramisu, it’ll still taste great. But you won’t be able to recreate the recipe for your friends, and you won’t be able to protect someone if they have an allergy to a particular ingredient. Only by monitoring each key factor in the tiramisu can you accurately predict who will love it and how much to make!

Do you know the cost of obtaining a new customer, or are you simply guessing? If profits plummeted tomorrow, would you know how to pinpoint the problem?

Don’t wait until your business is burning to the ground to find out which key factors predict your customer’s behavior.

Take control of the marketing process by using the data you already have to drive profits, increase revenue, and prevent marketing meltdowns. Find out more by calling (312) 463-1050 or contacting us online.

Serves 8 people
8 oz mascarpone cheese
3.5 ounces of sugar
16 oz frozen raspberries, thawed and blended together to make a puree
½ C raspberry liquor
½ C heavy cream
Lots of Lady Fingers

In a bowl, blend the mascarpone with the sugar and yolks of 4 eggs.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff.

Add the egg whites to the cheese, sugar and yolk mixture carefully so as not to destroy the air in the egg whites.

In an 8×8 dish, spread a small amount of cheese mixture on the bottom. This will serve as the glue that holds a layer of lady fingers in place in a snug row.

On top of the lady fingers, carefully pour/spread half of the raspberry puree you made.

On top of the puree, carefully spread a layer of the cheese mixture, making sure the red does not show through from below. Then add another layer of lady fingers in snug rows and carefully cover each lady finger with some of the heavy cream and then the raspberry liquor.

Next, spread a thin layer of cheese mixture on top followed by another layer of lady fingers. Cover this layer of lady fingers with the rest of the raspberry puree and cover the puree carefully with the remaining cheese mixture, being careful not to let the red show through from below.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Sprinkle super fine sugar on top before serving! Enjoy!

Bonnie Massa is Founder and President of Chicago-based Massa & Company, Inc. She works with companies and nonprofits to make the best use of their information about customers, partners, donors and sponsors. With more than 40 years of experience in marketing and predictive analytics, Bonnie is passionate about helping clients make informed, data-driven decisions to increase the value of their customer base. She strongly believes that making pasta and ice cream from scratch are worth the effort, and she spends much of her free time testing and re-testing that theory.

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