In the first of many interviews with leading marketing industry figures from Markedu’s key markets in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, here is an interview with Rui M. Nunes – country manager of Media Response in Portugal.
1. What is your current job function and what was your background prior to that?
I’m the Portuguese Country Manager of MediaResponse Group, which is the leading online direct marketing firm in the Portuguese and Spanish speaking languages with a myriad of complementing companies such as Canalmail, LeadtoLead, NewBriefing, EfficientTarget and HOTWords.
My background always have been in the marketing and advertising business (offline and online media), from a simple communications designer to a creative director, and finally more sales oriented account manager to climb the ladder to Country Manager of the entire operation.
1A . Do you work internationally as well?
As a top executive – which is the link between the country’s strategy and the company’s worldwide administration – my responsibilities reach the entire organization since I’m one of the members of the international board where we discuss the worldwide strategy and future developments. As a commercial insight, a great deal of sales are from foreign countries, so my approach is always worldwide and we develop targeted campaigns without boundaries.
2. What are some of the techniques you and your company have found to be most effective for lead acquisition?
Our techniques are always evolving and adapting to trends and to users behaviors. For instance, right now, the technique which is being most profitable has been to send specially designed email pieces for each target, and those pieces have special landing-pages to correspond to the entire communication.
Let me explain: We set 7 to 10 different email designs (each one dedicated to a special target), and each email, with clear call-to-actions embedded are directed to the same line of communication landing-page of the previous email. Then we set different automatic auto-responders which besides engaging several thousands of people at the same time, gives the client a filter to reach the more interesting leads and then convert a lot better. More than just leads it’s almost a complete e-commerce solution in some cases.
3. How are you feelings about targeting – are new solutions coming into the market that will help advertisers target their audience more precisely?
Technology is always evolving and these days with even more speed. Actually, I think the biggest problem for someone to choose the best solutions to send targeted campaigns is the quantity and noise of several products with similar functions and capabilities. It’s very hard to understand which is better for each problem.
One of the solutions we’re developing is EfficientTarget, which is precisely a targeting communication product that’s transversal to the media to be used. For instance, there are several million users on databases around the world from whom we know a great deal, like gender, occupation, industry sector, age, location and so on… at the same time, we’ve got one of the largest partner network in Portuguese and Spanish language.
Then, why not offer CPM display campaigns to clients who wish to target users that we really know that they’ve got 25 years, from Lisbon, an executive with interest in Bank Loans and Credit solutions? This way, the budget doesn’t go to waste and the client knows that the communication is reaching the right people, even if the site doesn’t usually have that kind of segment.
4. What are the keys to good lead acquisition – for example to acquire newsletter subscribers – do you have any advice you’d like to share?
My advice for that is quite simple and it’s divided in a few steps, but I’m going to focus on a newsletter subscribing campaign:
4.1. Make a clear message about what are the real value for the subscriber to register to that newsletter. What is he going to get with that? Is it some sort of flash news/ instant, vital messages? Do they’ve got access to special discounts and offers? It’s about the quality of the information? Wherever the purpose, make clear and simple to understand.
4.2. Make the subscribing easy and avoid messy programming code (which doesn’t work in the majority of browsers) and huge forms (you can always ask more data in future messages).
4.3. Make very clear for whom this newsletter is oriented, even if that means that you are going to get less conversions. Why? Because it’s much better to have 20 good and enthusiastic readers than 2000 who don’t connect or give a damn about your product. This is basic, but often forgotten specially by the specialized leads gathering companies that are paid per lead (so it’s in their best interest to grab the most they can).
4.4. Activate auto-responders that can use some of the best content you’ve already sent previously and these new subscribers didn’t get the chance to read it. This creates more impact and engagement.
4.5. Make it clear to the users how to unsubscribe at all times. The reasons are simple: ethics, brand reputation and the because you just want to engage with people who care about what you’re saying (I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s never enough to say it).
5. What do you believe are the current trends in lead profiling – are advertisers more likely to focus on building profiles with including more information than just the basic data?
This is a paradigm. In countries like Spain, England, France and México I notice a will to increase the profiling of their users to engage with them with targeted messages. Obviously creates more responsiveness, their attention and good will if you like. But in Portugal, Italy, Brazil and some other countries in Latin America I notice that companies just want to have the biggest database they can find, not much caring about profiling or targeting their messages. It’s broadcast like a TV or Radio Ad.
6. Last but not least; what do you see as the biggest changes in this industry this and next year?
The biggest change it’s clearly the absolute somersault that marketers need to face. What do I mean by that?
We cannot continue to push our message down the users throats and expect them to buy our product. Mass communication have their advantages in some media and markets, but for a digital direct marketing strategy, we need to respect our consumer and that means to first we bother to ask them or filling down their interests, think about what they really want and then provide valid, quality information. Then, we need to send them just what they ask for it. Respect their wishes and interests. This way we gain their mutual respect and above all, their beloved trust.
What I mean by that it’s obviously to have a transversal system that knows and gather information about their claiming in social networks, in their blogs, in our surveys, in our newsletter tracking system. Show them, that we’re listening.