Laying a Marketing Foundation

The use of data is paramount to the success of nearly any business today and should have resounding impact across all divisions and departments, all of which impact marketing spend. From a marketing only perspective, data should assist in driving consumers through each stage of the marketing funnel, or as we call it at our organization, our AER framework. After setting up the basics of the framework, the application of data-driven logic to help decide where to send consumers is the next logical step – or as we refer to it, Aer1.x logic. Finally, once you’re able to implement and leverage if/ then logic, you need to roll out the strategy through all your communications – what we refer to as our Growth Framework.

1)    AER Framework – The Chassis

Pronounced “air”, the AER strategy for our group is a framework we developed to help our group focus our marketing efforts. Often, I am asked whether or not AER is unique to our group or something that I developed out of thin-“air”. Although we developed the framework from scratch for our organization, the concept is hardly new as it’s simply an altered view of the marketing funnel. Our iteration has 8 stages to form the acronym WAAERRRW, W-welcome, A-awareness, A-acquisition, E-engagement, R-redemption, R-retention, R-referral, W-winback). Taking this a step further, the true purpose of AER is to develop data fueled strategies for each program, partner, or product. This includes building segmentations and targeting based on member data insights for each partner and service. In turn, this leads to personalized communications, behaviors, and experience. Finally, we can’t lose sight of what is good for the business. Some members may be a positive margin to our business while others may be negative to our bottom line. Because our organization includes points and cashback incentives, AER also focuses on insights and modeling dedicated to turning negative margin behaviors into positive margin behaviors.

 2)    Aer1.x – The Transmission

We decided to evolve AER to incorporate greater persona and value-driver insights to improve precision in our targeting and communications approach. Part of the reason we did this was to achieve deeper personalization in our communications, doing so by continuously sub-segmenting our audience to extract more specific insights. The new approach was simple and helped us accomplish a few things:

  • Greater resonance with members through higher quality, more relevant content

  • Better identify members who drive the greatest value to our business

  • Better activate and engage with our existing member base

  • Increase exposure throughout all of the elements of our existing AER framework beyond just awareness, acquisition, and engagement.

3)    Growth (Comms) Framework – The Engine

After reaching a point that saw us utilizing a customized marketing framework (AER), and injecting data-driven logic (Aer1.x), we created a Growth Framework to allow further customization and personalization across all organization communications and channels. The Growth Framework combines the data logic that had been applied to our AER framework, but now applied to the broader ecosystem of all our products (apps), programs, partners, and services, with accounts for what medium to communicate with a consumer on (email vs. mobile push vs. SMS vs. personal outreach, etc.), and data-driven logic from our Aer1.x development.

Each of these initiatives are heavily connected and each grounded by use of data. The data flows through our business intelligence unit that oversees our analytics, reporting, forecasting, modeling, data visualization, and empirical research. Their data-driven research and analysis fuels the frameworks above and is the backbone behind the actions for the marketing strategy and growth divisions. Data keeps our marketing design moving forward with a consistent feedback loop that optimizes our results.