Ads not performing? Strategies to steal from the email marketing playbook

Columnist Mike Sands says if you’re not connecting with your customers, it might be time to take a page from email marketing, which has high performance metrics thanks to meaningful interactions with consumers.

I don’t know a marketer today who doesn’t marvel at the pace the industry is moving. But ask any CMO what his or her priorities are, and chances are good that a key focus today was also on the priority list five, 10, even 20 years ago — and will continue to remain so for years into the future.

What marketing goal could possibly stand this test of time? The answer: connecting with customers.

Consumer behavior has evolved, and the technologies available to marketers seem to multiply by the day. But the true purpose of marketing is and has always been to help brands get closer to their customers.


It was certainly one of my top priorities when I started my career two decades ago in the agency world, and it remained a chief concern when I was CMO of one of the first online travel sites in the early 2000s. To steal a phrase out of today’s playbook, marketing has always been “people-based.”

Of course, with the introduction of digital technologies, the holy grail of marketing — right person, right place, right time — was supposed to be easier to achieve.

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