01 Mar

Posted by Roger Martin

One piece of information is vital to anyone looking at marketing on the internet – Data.


The Internet is a direct marketing vehicle. You have to follow the principles of direct marketing to make sure it works for you. The old saying ‘Build it and they will come’ does not apply. ‘Build it and wait for the tumbleweed’ might be a better analogy if you don’t have a strategy for marketing your Auction House. Auction Marketer has been developed over ten years to help Auctioneers suceed in the digital marketplace.


Numerous auction marketplaces that have proliferated in recent years, formed to meet a need from Auctioneers to provide professional looking online bidder platforms. They provided services including live internet auction webcasts enabling Auctioneers to widen their audience and appeal to buyers outside of their standard geographical area.


As these marketplaces grew they developed their own digital marketing strategies based on the single most important commodity in direct marketing – data. They began to build data lists and started communicating with people using the modern day equivalent of direct mail – email.


Early on these approaches were scattergun and users were bomabarded with emails on every conceivable topic. At Auction Marketer we’ve been profiling our client data since 2006 to deliver relevance in email communications. The Auction marketplaces now copy us!


Data is so important because when it’s linked to user outcomes it tells a story that enables your Auction House to effectively target users at the right time and in the right way. In our experience whenever we are approached by an Auctioneer to deliver the Auction marketer solution we find that they have a reliable data set including the email addresses of less than 5000 individuals, and their data is rarely profiled.


Auctioneers using the online bidder and auction marketplace platforms generally only receive the winning bidder information at the end of a sale and then in a lot of cases genericise the transactions into a single account in their back office systems. They don’t use the data effectively after the event. They certainly don’t have under bidder data to use in the next sale to target people that had desire, but didn’t win. They are throwing the business opportunity that all of that data presents to them.


The auction marketplaces realised that their platforms were delivering a lot of value to Auctioneers, and naturally adjusted pricing models accordingly. Most Auctioneers pass the extra live bidding charges to their customers and that has become a norm. But whichever way you look at it, increased costs for customers is an antithesis to successful internet selling…


Not to mention that the danger with marketplaces as they become more powerful is that they can then lock you into their system because they hold all of the data and marketing reputation amking it ever harder to build your own brand and capture your own data.


The Auction Marketer solution is designed from the ground up to encourage all visitors to the web site to either sign up for targeted auction alerts (This is called the nurture list) or create a commission bidding account and signify their preferences. This alone makes your web site more professional and interactive to prospective bidders and therefore ‘sticky’. Visitors are more likely to come back to see what items you have for sale driven by your email marketing auction alerts.


We offer simple digital marketing plans to help you target new users and particularly vendors so that you can build both types of user on your own database.


For clients that take advantage of the Auction Mailer solution all of this data is automatically stored in the Auction Marketing Cloud not just as an email address but with all bidder history too. Subsequent email broadcasts such as Auction Alerts, Day of Sale Emails, Invitations to Consign and Valuation Day Alerts are then highly targeted resulting in strong open and click rates.


Auction Marketer also provides deep level user analytics as standard so that you can see how many pages on average the email users are viewing, and you would be surprised at how many pages they do look at. We also measure the number of bids left by commission biddeers and can provide monetary values.


Combine this with the fact that all bidder activity on your web site is recorded, including under bidders with their time from registration to first bid, bid values per sale and date range, win values and lifetime values and you can see why the data is so empowering.


We even have extra modules allowing you to auto import third party marketplace bidder data an automatically invite those users to set up an account on your web site.


The vital piece of the puzzle for any Auctioneer looking to grow their business into the future and develop a strong brand identity is ownership of data. Without it you will be at the behest of an ever increasing and data savvy marketplace environment. And their goal ultimately will be to charge more and more for data and the use of their services.


Building your own data pool is a really sanity check for Auctioneers, if you don’t start now you will be behind the curve. And if you don’t use that data wisely and properly you won’t stand out. The future is uncertain. Digital marketing has been a disruptor to the Auction marketplace and whilst that has been positive for many in the short term you cannot rely on it continuing to be so.


With the advent of private webcast services and active timed auctions becoming a reality, any Auctioneer with their own loyal digital data will be at an advantage. Able to offer their customers a bespoke experience at less cost and capturing all of the data on every sale to feed into their ongoing marketing. It really is one of the easiest business decisions for any Auctioneer to take.


Remember, the Internet can be all smoke and mirrors. If you think of it as a simple direct marketing channel and apply similar budget and tactics you will build up that valuable pool of data, and succeed.


If you want to know how Auction Marketer can help you succeed in your data and marketing ambition for growth please call 01604 696385 and ask to speak to one of the team.

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