Have you checked if your direct marketing is personalized?


We all get direct marketing emails these days. This is the most common way for retailers and sellers to entice you to buy from them, especially if you are a repeat customer. All of your data is stored in a database somewhere in our cyber world.

I recently received an email (for women only) and it started with:

Hi Kevin,

If you are like many women, Kevin, you feel deep inside, in your clearest moments, that there are more possibilities for your life than you have been able to realize until now … which is why I am writing to you today with a FREE gift that can magnify your power to manifest what you desire most!

I have to admit I felt a little outraged. Me? A woman? The retailer obviously had my contact details, but how could he be so wrong? Especially in our current climate of ultra-sensitivity to gender discrimination, why would a retailer alienate a loyal or potential customer in this way? Even if the marketer was running out of time (translation = just being lazy), surely you could have written the email in a way that it appealed to both genders? For example. For the women or the special woman in your life)

A 2018 Accenture survey found that 91% of consumers are more likely to buy brands that recognize, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. This email was an experience I’ll never forget – it’s memorable for the wrong reasons! All the fundamentals of marketing and communication have simply been bypassed. The offer was irrelevant, the segmentation was totally wrong, and there was simply no surprise and no fun. Rather shock and horror.

In the mobile and digital age, consumer expectations for relevant, contextual, practical and memorable experiences have reached unprecedented heights. Consumers have gotten used to getting what they want. They look to brands that recognize them as individuals at every stage of the customer journey.

Meeting those expectations is clearly the responsibility of marketers, who must take advantage of smart personalization tactics if they hope to retain and retain potential consumers and come back for more.

Yes, the email I received could be in error. After all, we’re all human, but I got no follow-up to apologize for the mistake. This leads a consumer to also question the security of his data. If data can be used in error, can it also be sent or viewed in error? What checks were in place before hitting that “schedule” button on the mail campaign software? From this experience, my recommendation to marketers is to ensure that processes are in place for the correct selection of segmented data and to apologize for mailings sent in error as soon as possible after the event.

Acknowledge the mistake and recover quickly so the relationship with your customer gets back on track. After all, as a marketer, you invested time and effort into building that relationship in the first place.

Putting all that conspiracy theory aside, in the “Insta” world we live in, once we’ve established a relationship with our clients, it’s important to maintain that relationship by always being relevant to them. Strange surprise and pleasure are important in keeping this relationship fresh and intimate. It’s a sure-fire way to keep your brand high on my mind – in a good way!

The author is Kevin Kan, CEO of Break Out Consulting Asia.

Photo courtesy: 123RF


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