Great Marketing

One-to-One Marketing

I had an interesting example this week where the concept of One-to-One marketing crossed with some of the reading I have been doing on preferences. In one-to-one marketing the goal is that your database is so rich that every single person can get a message tailored to them specifically. I first came across this term in ’98 or so, and Peppers and Rodgers were doing a lot with it.

Cross this with recently reading Dan Ariely’s Predictably Irrational and Barry Schwartz’s the Paradox of Choice last year and I found an interesting thing:

I get a daily email from a local lunch place. It has the specials for the day that everyone gets. I noticed that I look at the specials and if I don’t like any of them I go somewhere else. If I do see something that looks good I’m more likely to go there. Here’s the crazy part – every time I go there I see something I like better, or I hit the salad bar. I never actually buy the specials. So even though the email about the specials influences my choice to go there, it has nothing to do with my purchases.

The solution is to patch the disconnect – if they could get to my purchase records they would see that they could send me the same email every day: “Hey John, the seafood salad is fresh and cold on the salad bar and your Nantucket Nectars Half and Half is waiting for you” and that email would never discourage me from going there.

Something to think about as you craft your copy.

photo courtesy of Consumatron

5 replies on “One-to-One Marketing”

I agree with your thoughts here, but I still think there’s a fine line between personalized marketing and creepiness. I remember you and Chris Penn talked about that some time ago on Marketing Over Coffee.

That’s a good point, it comes down to awareness, you only get creeped out if someone gives you a personalized message you don’t expect. I think affinity cards like you use at the supermarket or big box retail stores are a good way to get around this – if you sign up for a card the vendor can remind you that you are going to be tracked more closely.

It also helps to provide extra value, any weird feelings I had would vanish if it included a $1.00 off coupon for my Half and Half.

True, permission based marketing is a good thing, and if you could get tailored e-mails highlighting the specials you would be interested in that would be extra cool…but who do you see crafting all these individual e-mails? One large e-mail blast is one thing, telling individuals their Reuben on Rye is the lunch special, based on previous purchasing data, is quite another.

True, being able to slice your purchase history is a true competitive advantage. It would be a must, b/c you couldn’t generate individual messages, it would have to be dynamic. You’d pick the 3 specials for the day and then pull the customer list that has those favorites and use merge fields to plug in the right ones. A lot of work, but hopefully the customization would pay off in additional purchases.

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