One-to-One Marketing Is Here … and Has Been for Some Time
For years our industry has talked about true one-to-one marketing. It's the end result of all our database marketing expertise. Well, some B-to-B catalogers are still talking and not doing, making me wonder how they continue to survive.
Here are some of the better examples of one-to-one marketing I've seen recently:
- A catalog that uses variable data printing on the front cover to showcase related products to prior purchases.
- A Web site that recognizes new, returning and/or registered (i.e., signed in) visitors and presents them with custom Web pages reflecting past site visits, customer profiles and/or product purchases.
- An inbound call center that uses caller ID to match incoming calls to customer accounts in order to customize upsell and cross-sell offers.
- Customer service reps who use exception reports to alert shoppers to possible duplicate orders, duplicate payments or other potential transactional errors.
- Outbound transactional sales reps who are assigned to customer segments, demographic profiles or specific customers who understand the customer’s business enough to make appropriate product and solution recommendations.
The bottom line is that this technology has existed for some time, yet so many B-to-B catalogers continue to treat all customers in the same fashion, with little regard to profiles, shopping behaviors, past purchases or stated interests. Then those same businesses often wonder why their response rates are falling.
So, where does your business stand when it comes to one-to-one marketing effectiveness?
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Terence Jukes is president of Ability Commerce, a 140-person firm that designs, builds and runs e-commerce and related marketing programs for catalog companies. He can be reached at TerryJ@AbilityCommerce.com.