When you sit back and look at the technology today versus 15 or 20 years ago, the first thing that probably comes to mind is, “Times have changed.” When you think about it, the advances in technology over the years is quite phenomenal. The same holds true for marketing personalization, one-to-one marketing and hyper-personalized customer communications. At one time, acquiring customers, boosting revenue, growing a customer base and retaining customers required a much different and often tedious process.
Some of you may remember these “old school” methods.
1. The 3 Foot Rule – Although it was somewhat awkward, this method entailed sparking up a conversation about your business opportunity or product with anyone within a 3 foot radius.
2. Prospecting Strangers – This is sometimes referred to as cold market recruiting and it involves a strategy of approaching strangers, creating curiosity, getting people’s interest and implementing a path to present your idea, opportunity and product. Talking with potential customers was also a way to gather information for a customer profile.
3. Paper Ads – At one time, paper ads (ie magazines, newspapers, catalogs, etc) were heavily relied on for marketing campaigns as this method was the only way to reach thousands of potential customers.
4. Trade Shows – This gave business owners the opportunity to display products, introduce upcoming products, sell in mass quantities, acquire new customers and distribute paper ads in the form of fliers. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people flock to trade shows every year to “get the scoop,” take advantage of special offers, and see what’s coming in the year ahead.
5. Mass Mailers – Hands down, this had to be one of the most grueling tasks. The process of mass mailing was a complex strategy that was extremely time consuming. You had to collate a target audience, print out hundreds of fliers, address envelopes, seal and send. Then, wait. Unfortunately, this approach didn’t deliver results that were immediately visible.
6. Door to Door – At one time, going door to door to introduce and sell a product was a sole means of getting the word out there about your product and would drive immediate results. You had the product in hand, a sales pitch and, if warranted, a demonstration. When all was said and done, you knew if you had a new customer or not.
7. Word of Mouth – Regardless of the advancements in technology or marketing personalization, word of mouth will never phase out or lose it’s impact. This is by far one of the most important elements in a business. Positive word of mouth is the modus operandi engine behind reaching and obtaining success.
Granted, most of these techniques have been modified and advancements made however, there is one thing that hasn’t…the need for marketing personalization.
Although some of these are still used and hold a great deal of importance, the marketing personalization road map has changed drastically. The process has been intricately modified to cover every detail and behavior to substantiate big data. A great deal of time and work that has gone into developing solutions to connect customer data for marketing personalization, trigger marketing, personalized communications and data integration.
Old School has transpired into the here and now…
1. One-to-One Marketing – Individualizing every bit of data and leveraging social data to establish and create one-to-one marketing messages across all digital channels. This technology allows the market to engage with a customer in ways they never could before.
2. Connecting Customer Data – Facilitating data integration based on browsing & purchase history, web & mobile click tracking, email, CRM, demographics, social, etc.
3. Creating a 360 Degree Customer Profile – In the process of connecting customer dots, and customer lifecycle management, a complete customer profile can be obtained so your company can deliver relevant content to each and every customer in real time.
4. Generating Hyper-Personalized Content – Your 360 degree customer profiles, along with segmenting your data, will determine the most accurate route to deploy content, products and information based on immediate customer needs.
5. Trigger Marketing – Executing a successful and profitable campaign is possible by honing in on triggers, identifying events and communicating in real time during these pre-planned points in time.
6. The Small Details – These details aren’t so small and play a big part in the road map to success. Listening to what your customer is doing and using adaptive algorithms gives you the ability to observe, test and optimize, key in on insight generation, evaluate and optimize your hyper-personalized content. This in turn will fine tune accuracy, value and appearance of marketing campaigns.
Modern technology has come a long way and it’s a far cry from hitting the pavement and go about your company or solely relying on paper ads to spread the word. Old school methods are still applied today and the importance of these shouldn’t be ignored. One feeds off the other and the end result is a strong and loyal customer base with a steady stream of new customers.