The Personalization Conversation

Group of Multiethnic Diverse Cheerful People

Group of Multiethnic Diverse Cheerful People

If you like movies and love the old Westerns, you know that the bartender knows the name of everyone who walks into the saloon – even the bad guys.

Today, we use technology to address people by name. We sometimes call it personalization. For a long time, it was considered the next big thing in marketing.

But a couple of articles that have appeared in Direct Marketing News recently, point to troubling confusion and misconceptions about personalization.

In the first, article the writer says flat out that, “If marketers have their sights set on gaining and retaining customers, then they’d better get to work on personalization.” His definition of personalization is “recognizing customers as the same person across all the shopping channels they use.” That sounds more like ‘addressability’ to me – which is good as far as it goes, but I know we can go much further.

The second article puts personalization in a better place. The writer comes quite a bit closer to my own view that, “Personalizing content has been dumbed down to first and last name. What once was revolutionary in direct marketing in the 1990s is now a given.”

I’m reading her article and nodding my head when she says, “Rather than focusing on the person we’re sending to, we are too focused on ourselves…The reality is, that person couldn’t care less if you know his name – that’s the easy part. What he really wants to know is that you are considerate of his buying habits, communication preferences, hobbies, and, more important, what he needs most from your brand.  So in a word, the difference is relevance. Relevance has proven to have three times the impact of personalization alone…”

But then, out of the clear blue sky, she stabs me in the back when she says, “but relevance is incredibly difficult…it is not realistic to expect that marketers can manage the thousands of versions that result from the requirement for relevance.”

No, no, no! Relevance is not incredibly difficult to achieve. At Loyalty Builders, we are doing it right now, every day for our customers and it’s getting exactly the response you’d predict – higher response rates, more revenue, and a fatter bottom line.

Call us and we’ll explain how we can do it at prices you can easily afford.

Yours truly,
Peter Moloney
CEO, Loyalty Builders, Inc.

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