We were skeptical when first hearing about one-to-one marketing: using individualized personal messages to create a supposedly wondrous relationship between brands and consumers. This is a world where the brand identifies a consumer's personality and builds on the relationship each time the two meet. Companies take the consumer's bike rides and weekend jogs through the park into consideration when targeting advertisements, more than the fact that she's a 40-year-old female living in Manhattan generating $100,000 in annual income.
One-to-one marketing isn't a new idea, but until now the technology didn't exist. Adidas takes a step into this world by integrating near-field communications (NFC) into its footwear and sports equipment in the hope that by triggering more than a billion touchpoints, it can gain data from consumers.
The technology allows Adidas to keep talking to people long after they make a purchase. By tapping an NFC-enabled smartphone to their shoes, wearers receive personal messages depending on what they have done while wearing the shoes. The messages can range from shopping suggestions to exclusive content like information about a specific sporting event, explains Jon Werner, innovation explorer at Adidas.
Adidas began testing the connection in 2013 by adding a lace jewel with an embedded NC chip to its Boost running shoes.
Advertising marketing will "go the way of the Dodo," says Sanjay Dholakia, CMO of Marketo. "It's disruptive, too noisy. Smarter people than me figured out that between 3,000 and 5,000 messages hit each one of us daily."
The audience segments built around behavior will continue to narrow as technology turn one-to-one marketing into real-time messages by following behavior, not demographics. In some instances, programmatic will quicken the pace and accuracy of ad delivery. Brands will listen to determine the consumer's likes and dislikes, and then target messages accordingly depending on the moment in the relationship. If the brand already knows the consumer likes pink rather than purple T-shirts, it won't continue to ask the consumer her favorite color. The conversation will pick up where it left off each time.