One-to-one marketing: Understanding your customer story
Have you ever noticed when, a majority of promo mails come and land in your inbox? From the number of promo mails in your inbox when you open it in the morning it means most land before you reach work. A popular notion and the results of a study indicated that this gives higher results. Effectiveness of an email campaign may be gauged based on CTR or open rate. But if you actually look at what one wants to achieve – say a lead conversion or an enquiry do you term it successful?
Segmentation – the traditional way – where a large group of people are clustered together and fed the same meal, without sensitivity to subtlety in taste differences doesn’t seem to work to the extent it used to anymore. Consumers are exposed to various channels and are bombarded with advertising of various forms. The customer of today thus requires something that would strike a chord with him if your messaging needs to stand above the rest, which is something that understands the finer differences between him/her and the rest. Though segmentation is being practiced – several businesses treat it just as, just one step below mass marketing – say micro mass marketing. But the customers of today want to be treated as a single entity and not a part of a group i.e. they prefer one-to-one marketing. They want to see brands understand them as a individual and not a cluster or a segment.
In the past marketers were forced to market to masses. Then came the segmentation and profiling. But most companies achieve this through a specific time frame snapshot of their behavior. All customers are treated the same when a snapshot event happens without regard to what brought them to that moment.
Smart marketers have realized this deficiency and have realized how critical it is to understand the entire story of a customer and to extend that understanding to one-to-one marketing practices. This has led to the convergence of technology and marketing that has enabled the few companies and brands that has understood the criticality in understanding their customers deeper. Big data, cloud computing and machine learning may sound sinister to marketers but over time these terms will help describe the new way that marketing is done. Marketers are learning that the tools for one-to-one marketing, i.e., the ability to understand a customer’s unique behavioral patterns and anticipate their actions, are available and being deployed today.
This empowers what the customer of today wants. Getting the right thing at the right time. What he wanted yesterday may not be what he wants today. This is where jumps into context the importance of real time marketing. Data superimposed with context and is the X factor that has the potential to break the huge barrier that differentiates the big and the best.
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