Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What is the Cost for Different Phases of Outbound Marketing

A colleague recently sent me an email asking:
I'm trying to find out the cost/spend associated with different phases of outbound marketing campaigns. At a high level, I'm trying to understand the process as,
  • Idea generation/ Message theme discussions (e.g. what is the campaign all about)
  • Associated content generation (web site promotion, hard print material, email
    content summary, (creative + message) generation  )

  • Outbound execution : actual delivery, publishing of hte message
Can you provide guidance as to,

1. If I missed any major step(s)
2. What % of total cost will be allocated to each of the above if you can add the vertical (retail, hitech software, hi-tech mfg etc), it would help me more
Not that I'm an expert, but my response was as follows - see if you agree or better yet, can add in your 2 cents:

I think you have identified the key themes. I tend to think about outbound marketing in the following categories

  • Who will you contact? who is your audience? what is your access to that market? If you want to  go direct (email, direct mail, telemarketing), how are you going to obtain contact information
    -- homegrown lists, purchased lists?
  • Is there a segmentation strategy applicable? If so, what are you costs/efforts to define/implement it?
  • Once you know who you will reach out to, you need to craft your message. This involves figuring out the creative for each media (email layout, direct mail layout, video or radio ad, etc.) and producing it
  • Different elements of the message - creative content, offer, promotion, etc.
  • How will the message get out? What are the different media channels? Are you going to work with an agency that can manage all channels, or do it yourself?
  • How will you co-ordinate the different channels? e.g. someone who got an email offer ends up calling your telemarketing center, are they all in sync?
  • How well are you able monitor your campaigns in progress and how quickly can you respond to feedback?

This is more around anayltics, but a critical part (of course I'm biased :-) -- which is to look at the operational metrics of all campaigns and optimize mainly for 2 things - determine the most profitable/relevant segments and for each segment, figure out the optimal contact strategy

Cost-wise, execution will be the biggest chunk, probably 50-60% of overall cost, closely followed by "target" (acquisition of contact information or markets).  Rest is probably evenly divided.

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