It’s amazing how much junk mail we continue to receive, considering the cost and waste associated with each mailing that gets tossed into the recycle bin daily. In many cases, I get the same letter from the same company about a dozen times. If I haven’t responded after the first five mailings, you’d think they might cease efforts. And, worse than junk mail are the evening phone calls from telemarketers with non-relevant offers.
Customize Programs and Offers
Organizations track customer transactions, record customer service phone calls, communicate via email and chat sessions, and many now monitor social media discussions that relate to their brand. However, most still don’t leverage this data effectively enough before sending out a new offer to a large customer segment or launching a new marketing campaign. Instead of tailoring customized offers based on customer behaviors and preferences, some companies prefer the law of large numbers hoping for even a 1% response rate from a mass customer list. What may be overlooked is that even if 1% responds, you may be causing more harm by alienating the other 99% that may now subconsciously have a negative perception of your brand.
Many television commercials are also non-relevant, but thanks to DVR capabilities we can fast forward or skip the commercials. The cable company has the potential to track every show I watch, and maybe even every commercial I skip. While I’m not sure if they’re allowed to use this information, I would be happy to authorize them to screen out all commercials they think are non-relevant for me. Perhaps viewers could fill out a survey regarding their areas of interest. This may save them from having to click through channels and commercials.
Marketers and advertisers would probably gasp at the potential loss of ad revenue from such actions. But, if commercials were more relevant, people wouldn’t skip through them as much, and the actual conversion rates and awareness would likely be much higher and more positive. Companies like Amazon and Google are perfect examples, as they have built their empires on the value of customized ads, offers and suggestions.
Converge Multiple Worlds
In today’s social era, many people seem to happily trade in their privacy and share their preferences so they can download a free song, app or even just for the sake of expressing themselves. Organizations take advantage and constantly collect more customer data. It’s somewhat paradoxical that so many offers are still so off message and target. I believe the root cause is not the lack of data, but instead the missing integration between all the different customer channels. Big data holds the promise to change this as long as organizations also break down their internal silos.
Different departments own and manage varied customer channels so everybody sees a different version of the customer’s voice. From a single department perspective, each customer survey, marketing offer or campaign may seem relevant, but the customer ends up being bombarded with all these non-relevant offers, requests and confusing messages.
In 2014, try this experiment: pick a single customer and try to find out everything you can about this candidate. This includes leveraging all their transactions, phone calls, web chats, emails, and feedback surveys even social media postings if available and try to tailor one single personalized offer. Sure, there is cost and effort involved, but you may find the value for the customer and your business worth it. If it works on one customer, there must be a way to scale it to many more and multiply the returns.
May the New Year bring us all less junk mail and more high-value engagement opportunities!