How to Get Personalized Offline
In an age when consumers have come to expect the ability to design their own shoes on Nike.com and choose from more than 50,000 apps to customize their iPhones, it's become all too clear that personalized interactions drive brand engagement and long-term relationships. While the digital world quickly migrated from the one-way street of Web 1.0 to the interactivity of Web 2.0, there’s a common misconception that the offline world has lagged behind.
While this may be true for some brands, many marketers are harnessing the power of personalized offline marketing to differentiate themselves during this period of marketing clutter and mounting customer sophistication.
Direct mail has come a long way from the early days of the Sears Roebuck catalog, where consumers were expected to weed through content to find the most relevant brand offering. Since then, brands have attempted to maintain a level of intimacy with their customers through marketing personalization as a form of scalable familiarity. In many ways, it was the evolution of offline database marketing that laid the foundation for the customized e-marketing wave to follow.
However, if marketers are honest with themselves, many have withered on the vine of personalized marketing with half-hearted attempts, such as the personalized greeting that prioritizes perceived novelty over sound strategy.
Your Spot on the Personalization Spectrum?
As marketers and consumers ourselves, we're confronted on a daily basis with the fact that all marketing personalization isn't created equal. In fact, the majority of marketing today still lingers on the basic “left end” of the spectrum: Who is the customer? It doesn’t take an overly complex marketing engine to version communications by customers’ names, where they live or what demographic buckets they fall into.
Likewise, these communications typically generate moderate response. As Forrester Research recently noted, “The effectiveness of traditional advertising and direct marketing tactics is declining because consumers are sick and tired of the volume and irrelevance of ads … mass advertising encourages churn, not loyalty.”