Today, many companies aim to widen the reach, and choose the best high-caliber marketing weapon for some area of effective results. Still, heavy artillery can miss the mark, and prove to be cost-ineffective. This is due to the fact that a customer wants to feel special, and have the sense of empowerment. To some people, keeping the fingers on the pulse of individual customers seems like an insurmountable task in an age of mass media, and legions of eager shoppers. But, bear in mind that one loyal customer can provide word-of-mouth promotion, and be more profitable than you might think.
1 on 1 marketing, also known as customer-relationship marketing (CRM), is based on an acquired knowledge about the individual customer. Thus, jumping on this bandwagon requires meticulous legwork. Therefore, to get a hold of the complex mechanics of this type of marketing, a company must train its staff, but also identify and monitor the customer’s behavior. This means that you need to possess means of locating and contacting a certain number of customers directly. A name will not suffice, and it is best to collect information on age, occupation, personal preferences, habits, etc.
The big picture
Customers can vary considerably in these categories, but also in terms of value they bring. Thus, differentiating them is no small feat. So, one could already begin to think what exactly the rationale for undertaking such a project is and how it pays off. Well, let us clear the air right away. The idea behind 1 on 1 marketing is grounded in the necessity to forge a lasting relationship with the most valuable customers the company has. This kind of relationship is a learning one as well, enabling a company to enrich its experience and get smarter about customer relationship.
You can consider 1 on 1 marketing as a process of maturing together with loyal buyers, an exchange of knowledge, business bonding at its best. Every new interaction brings you closer to molding a perfect product, or a killer service that is tailored to someone’s actual needs and wants. That way, it is highly unlikely that a content customer will switch sides, and go through the same process of acquiring prime convenience and benefits with the competition. Targeted marketing such as this reduces customer attrition, transaction costs and enhances the customer satisfaction. Hence, research shows that it results in a good ROI, so it is a win-win scenario.
Lines of communication
Moreover, today it is possible to utilize many inexpensive or automated communication channels. An expensive call center is not necessary in the age of internet and social media. Using a corporate website, businessmen can offer a great deal of timely, relevant information and instructions. On the other hand, direct messaging on social networks is becoming more popular for business purposes, and it is one of the ways to unlock their great marketing potential. The customers tend to voice their concerns via messaging, ask questions and demand clarification. Through it all, they also express their whims and desires, enabling a company to mass-customize the product palette and service ecosystem that surrounds them.
A little treat
Treating customer differently based on the information you gathered involves the shift of business thinking, and some fine tuning of marketing messages. Implementation depends on specific goals, and the scope of the program. Running limited initiatives is much less demanding than overhauling the services and launching enterprise-wide programs. For example, one of the simple ways to show care for the customer is to treat them with a nice gift. While T shirts, pens and office supplies remain a popular choice, others opt for modern, functional items like a promotional USB. Of course, one gift may not cut it, and such measures are taken in synergy with wider marketing strategies and tactics.
All for one
To put the 1 on 1 marketing program to work, companies first need to identify and differentiate the customers. This is stage of internal analysis, followed by reconfiguration of services and products to meet the needs of individual customers. When the full-scale marketing activities start, there is no turning back. A company must have sufficient operational capacity, trained staff and IT capabilities. A certain amount of capital investment is likely needed to fuel such efforts, something that is hard to come by in the current economic climate. So, prioritize your plans and activities before jumping in the new, exciting marketing adventure.
About the Author
Lilly J Adams has worked for six years in different marketing agencies across Australia. Her specialties are advertising, digital marketing, marketing for small businesses and consumers behavior. She loves art, books and watching crime TV dramas. Twitter | Facebook