Market to Me on My Own Terms

October 24th, 2011

Today’s digital marketing landscape is a lot more different than it used to be. The days of simply sending an email newsletter, or regularly posting to your blog and calling it good, are over. Consumers are increasingly savvy and too familiar with general mass-marketing techniques. Their expectations have been raised, and consumers themselves are largely responsible for the higher expectations. They’re telling marketers what they want to hear and how they want to hear it. They want only what’s relevant to them, and they are the only ones who are truly able to judge whether or not what they find is relevant. It’s our job to listen and to act. In fact, they expect it.

Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever to customize messaging, to speak directly to the individual and to take things to (what some refer to as) the hyper-local level. Whether it’s sending a consumer the message they have requested, or identifying consumers who are ideal matches for very specific conditions, it’s no longer smart or necessary to always take a shotgun approach to marketing.

Reach people the way they prefer to be reached.

One of the easiest ways to achieve a hyper-local level is to listen to what consumers are already telling you. If you’ve got shoppers with a loyalty card, email newsletter subscribers, website user profiles, or other specific customer preference data, then you already have the ability to tailor your message to the individual. By simply asking or listening, you can tailor your message and make it relevant to the individual. This makes your target happier and reduces your cost in reaching them, because you’ll have fewer mass-marketed messages.

Reach people where they are.

Pay attention to a person’s actual location. More and more people are noting and broadcasting their actual locations on an ongoing basis. For example, Facebook and Twitter have integrated location into their mobile apps. FourSquare, which lets people “check in” to locations via their mobile devices and alert their friends of this, just surpassed 10 million members. This means it’s possible to know who visits your establishment, your neighborhood and your competitors – on an individual level. Knowing where someone goes and where they have been gives incredible insights into their interests and behavior.

Reach people based on a profile (who they know or who they are like).

It’s possible to take the various input we receive from individuals and start forming profiles for them. We can then use predictive analysis to combine engagement preference, location information and various demographics to better target individuals. We use the profiles to zoom out on a broader group of people matching the profile, or zoom in on a very specific group or individual.

It’s a two-way street.

The ability to take advantage of the responses and feedback from customers is another powerful component of today’s marketplace. By asking for and receiving actual consumer preferences, we’re able to get what we want, while delivering more relevant messaging to our customers. The trick is, if you ask for and receive consumer-preference data, you need to use it.

By paying attention to and incorporating consumer preferences, location information and profiles into your marketing and communications strategy, you’re able to communicate more effectively. When you can combine multiple elements, you can truly achieve a hyper-local level and increase the relevancy of your message to the people with which you’re communicating. The amazing thing is that the digital marketing techniques available today have made this not only possible, but also affordable. All that’s left is to start doing it.

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