Helene Blanchette
Feb 9, 2011

Five things you need to know about one-to-one marketing

Helene Blanchette, go-to-market strategy manager for international business group Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific, shares her thoughts on five 'must dos' for a successful one-to-one marketing approach.

Helene Blanchette, go-to-market strategy manager,  Fuji Xerox AP
Helene Blanchette, go-to-market strategy manager, Fuji Xerox AP

1. Have an integrated strategy. Assess the challenges you wish to overcome in your marketing approach, define goals on which you will measure the success of the programme and above all, do not select the channels of delivery before the strategy is defined. 

The strategy of communication should be a customer driven approach and directly impact the set goals and resolve the challenges, while the media of delivery should be seen as the tools used to communicate your one-to-one marketing strategy. 

When using more than one channel, including variable print, email, SMS and social media, the strategy is the locomotive engine and the channels of delivery should not be treated in silos.  Silos isolate data collection and subsequently reduces the capacity of a company to be relevant to their clients in future communications.

2. Look at the usable data. A company does not need a lot of data to start being relevant when the strategy is well defined.

A simple postal code can sometimes help attract more customers to specific stores, increase dining at restaurants or understand the first level of his/ her profile. Similarly, an email can be the first step in engaging clients in order to bring them to their personal website (PURL) and get to know them better. 

Look at the different fields available in your database, including name, address, email, date of purchase or contractual engagement, and review how they are input for usability. If 60 per cent of your database is usable, use it. Any usable data can help refine the relevancy of the first communication if strategic intelligence is driving it.

3. Take a moment to understand your clients. Break the internal silos and force a working session with the different product managers or heads of departments to define client profiles, including age group, your different products or services and the reasons why clients buy them, the next purchase you want to advise them on and more. 

Also discuss the reasons why they would not buy your products or services. Create a worksheet with all the information and you have your up-selling and cross-selling plan mapped. This will be the basic structure and guideline to develop the multiple copies of your messages.

4. You’ve heard it before: In-depth measurements. Clearly assess what you currently measure, the efficiency of your marketing approach and the measuring capacity in your company. 

If you wish to measure the success of your one-to-one marketing programme you should start understanding and measuring response rates (in each of your current BTL media), conversion rates, the value of your tier one to tier three customers (do not create an average ratio based on all your customers as it will skew their true value, measure for each group instead), life time value, value of prospects, requests and complaints at the call center, customer defection, retention, traffic and trends on your website. If you have already started to segment, you should also benchmark your measures per sub-segment of age, gender and demography (when available). 

Measure what you can prior to implementing your new approach and measure everything you can afterwards to understand and profile even more of your customers in the future. A new one-to-one marketing programme should have a positive impact on the customer experience, but also positively impact the efficiency and ROI of several departments.  

5. Keep the project alive. A one-to-one marketing approach is a continuous conversation. It's the knowledge gathering, progressive insight on customer behaviours and a gradual adaptation of the communication that will make customers the focus of your strategy. 

Each additional communication will be more relevant to your clients and more valuable to your company. Do not think and lead the project as if it has an expiry date. Instead, visualise it as an evergreen and fluid exchange of value between you and your clients.    

Remember, with one-to-one marketing your ultimate goal is to become a customer focused rather than a product pushing company.

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