Any respectable comic book fan knows Betty and Veronica: the smart, dependable girl-next-door and her sexier, unpredictable BFF. Everyone likes Betty, but it’s sure hard to ignore Veronica (especially for Archie). Email marketing and social media aren’t so different.
Marketers have relied on email for years. It’s tried-and-true, yet with so many digital marketing channels available, it sometimes feels dated. Social, on the other hand, is new and exciting. The business applications of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook seem endless, and marketers have been quick to explore their potential. Yet, again and again, email has been shown to deliver the highest ROI. Marketers haven’t forgotten this and are now showing renewed interest in email.
Email Tops Marketing Trends
Email is the #1 B2B marketing trend for 2017, according to True Influence. Research conducted over the last 30 days of 2016 shows that marketers searched on the keyword “marketing email” more than 5.5 million times. That’s far more than any other marketing term except online video, which was a close second.
Marketing management software, marketing automation, and relationship management also make the firm’s list of “Top 10 Marketing Trends,” but social marketing is conspicuously absent. True Influence attributes this to a combination of fixed marketing budgets (that leave little room for experimentation) and the need to reach the right audience with the right message via the right channel.
Marketers are interested in automation tools for similar reasons. Delivering the right message at the right time requires knowledge of the entire customer journey. Both email and automation tools provide new ways to gain intelligence and increase campaign effectiveness.
Email Continues to Evolve
In our rush to try out the latest marketing channel, we sometimes forget that email is evolving too. The days of “spray and pray” campaigns are far behind us. With a high-quality physician database, today’s pharma marketers can segment by everything from specialty and office location to claims and procedure data. Using audience identity management technology, you can even incorporate real-time, individual website data to more accurately define your target audience.
It’s also easy to overlook the fact that audiences have distinct preferences about how they receive information. In B2B, email is still professional’s favorite communication channel. In fact, when physicians opt-in to receive professional information via email, they typically provide their personal email address. They put such a high value on this information that they don’t want to risk missing it in their office inbox.
AIM-enabled email marketing allows you to develop highly specialized content, deploy it at the time it is most likely to be read, and send it to the address each physician prefers. You can then track each reader’s response, not only by opens and click-throughs, but also by following their digital path from your email CTA to the related offer on your website, and even the pages they visit after.
In pharma’s small, but sophisticated, market, building long-term relationships is essential. Email makes it possible by allowing marketers to understand physicians’ evolving needs and address them with meaningful content at every stage of the buyer’s journey.