Focal Points: Marketing Execs Share Their Top Priorities for 2017
Tech, data, and flexibility remain front and center when it comes to growing and monetizing audiences.
SVP of Marketing, Rodale
Folio: What’s your main area of focus for the new year?
Joyce Shirer: From a consumer marketing point of view, our main goal is bringing in new customers. We’ll continue to create products that allow us to more fully monetize the customers we bring in through our powerful brands. Our focus will be on digital marketing and expanding our channel mix, while still investing in traditional marketing channels as well.
Folio: What will you be doing tactically to meet your objectives in that area?
Shirer: We’ll continue our attention to email acquisition on our branded websites. Email remains an important channel or us. We recently launched a customer segmentation strategy that allows us to stream customers through a series that features our products. In 2017, we’ll include our licensed products in that mix, and new branded products too.
We will use social media to drive leads. We’ve tried selling directly and it’s working for us, but we’re not at the scale that we want to be. In 2017, we will invest more in lead generation to see if it helps increase monetization of our products.
We’ll also use content marketing to sell our products on the branded websites, and focus on making our transactions more frictionless for our customers. Making it easier to engage and transact with us in a mobile environment is key.
Folio: Which channel is your most important, both as a source of revenue and for its value in supporting your marketing efforts?
Shirer: Print promotions and of course the magazines themselves are important to drive revenue and support marketing efforts. We’ve had a lot of success (especially with Prevention) engaging customers in Transformation Challenges that have driven customers online to participate.
Our branded websites are key to product sales, and remain a high-margin business. Email is a large channel of sale for both magazines and products, and so is direct mail for our book business.
Folio: Are you engaged with marketing automation or account-based marketing?
Shirer: We haven’t been engaged with marketing automation tech yet—but I do think there is opportunity for us. I believe that being able to effectively communicate with smaller segments of customers in a more personalized, automatic way is important for longer term success.
Folio: Will you be further investing in technology to support your marketing in 2017?
Shirer: We’ll have an even sharper focus on our ecommerce business and taking it to the next level will require some additional investment in tech.
Folio: How will data continue to evolve your marketing operations in 2017?
Shirer: Data insights have always been important to us—we built our first iteration database in the 1980s to grow our direct mail business and it’s been a continued evolution. New initiatives center around digital data and learning more about our customers interests as well as how they transact with us, which will help further inform our product offerings and promotional strategy.