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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