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Are you an old school customer marketer?

“Broadcast the message and they will come!”  “Segment my broadcast and I will have better response.”  Both of these time–honored methods of reaching our customers have worked for as long as there was print and radio–TV to get the message out.

And both have become increasingly obsolete as new channels of reach have evolved, allowing direct and personal contact with our potential customers, and better yet, free and near–free forms of marketing just for the asking.

Today, if you are not targeting your marketing effort with predictive analysis and retro-icons-megaphone_MkCCxV_d_Lsegment–focused communications, you are way behind others who do.   Big data analytics enable us to find and target just the right audience at the right time, something we could not do even a few years ago.  If you feel overwhelmed by this, there are experts waiting to serve you with new tools, ideas and channels you have never used, and which will open your eyes to powers that may shock you.

But the leaders of this new school practice customer–driven communication, personalized to the point of basing communication upon individual customer behavior.

[Email readers, continue here…]  My spouse just visited a website for women’s clothing, then followed it with a search for a service using a browser.  Immediately, seconds after her shopping effort, ads for that same online retailer surrounded her on the other site.  Those ads could have been for a competing online retailer looking to take business from the first. But either way, targeted marketing worked with her that day.  She bought again.

But the pinnacle of direct new–age marketing comes in the form of interactive conversations between company and customer, progressing from the contact through purchase through follow–up offer. Surely you’ve experienced this in your own online shopping efforts and perhaps have used that time–limited 15% discount to purchase something you may or may not have needed.

Old school or new school. Spend lots and not be sure of the return on investment; or spend much less and offer some of the savings to the customer.  Hmm.  Which is the win–win here?

Now, if you had a choice and the inclination to do something about it, which would you want to be?  Old school?  New school?

  • Great piece, Dave. Data is a marketer’s friend but so is “common sense” and many of these re-targeting approaches we see on some websites lack both trust and respect for the all-powerful consumer. They are based on a philosophy that says “if a little bit of marketing is good then more MUST be better.” Brands need to be careful that they don’t sacrifice long-term brand relationships for short-term sales.

  • Michael O'Daniel

    I don’t think it’s an either-or. Good marketing in whatever form identifies the prospect and learns as much as possible about him/her in order to create more targeted sales strategies, messages and offers. New technologies now simply make it easier to execute on those in real time.

  • Richard Walsh

    Great article Dave! So very very true and yet so many cling to the old world marketing methods.

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