One-to-One Marketing: How your peers use Facebook, display ads, and email to create a conversation


Flowers“We believe that people buy from people, that people don’t buy from companies, from stores, or from websites; people buy from people. Marketing is not about programs; it is about relationships.” If you have not taken our training courses before, that is Article One of The MarketingExperiments’ Creed and a central tenet of Transparent Marketing.

But, you say, I am a multi-national conglomerate (or perhaps small business that depersonalizes marketing like a multi-national conglomerate), how can I possibly communicate like a person?

On our free June 9th web clinic – One-to-One Marketing at Four Levels: Strategic ways every marketer can enter into an online conversation with customers – we’ll explore this topic and give you actionable advice to communicate with (instead of “marketing to”) your prospects. In the meantime, here is a look at how your peers are engaging in one-to-one (aka 1:1) marketing…

Find and tap into deep relationships

One of the biggest disappoints of early Web implementations has been the lack of effective consideration of one-to-one strategies within all aspects of digital marketing – email being a singular exception.

In a nutshell, what 1:1 means for our clients is to be relevant each time they engage with a consumer on their website, in their media buys, and increasingly in social outreach using transmedia, Facebook et al.

What that means in real terms has been the ability to apply 1:1 strategies that have worked so well in email, etc to display.

For example, an electronics retailer was able to see that it had a relationship with 40% of its users and segmented these dynamically. The retailer learned that 63% of its response was coming from 11% of users – the ones they have a deep relationship with (basic 1:1).

By segmenting based on behavior, the retailer also found a high affinity to specific products which helped with more relevant merchandizing and seasonal planning. It was able to do this at no more cost than it paid for ad serving. It was then able to translate this to media planning and buying and include relationship in determining media effectiveness.

We are just at the start of this process and 1:1 will only really get going when:

  1. We remove ambiguity around privacy – consumers want relevance and choice with companies they have relationships with but do not want to be stalked
  2. We manage data efficiently – this is critical so we don’t exponentially increase cost and negate value
  3. We get past this generational thing – many “digital marketers” have not been schooled in the value of 1:1 techniques or are overly invested in product substitutes such as re-targeting when 1:1 is about re-marketing. Maybe it takes a few grey hairs to know the difference. Thankfully my colleagues have plenty of them (I’ll pay for that comment later).

– Martin Smith, Chief Technology Officer of TruEffect

Personalized communication based on prospect type

Our company is setting up a relationship marketing process for a business coach to generate qualified leads. We are creating a custom HTML-coded Web form consisting of a series of qualifying questions. Specific email content will be created.

Response data is housed in a database. Based on the answers, each prospect will be automatically funneled into one of several tracks and receive a series of timed, customized and personalized emails specific to the “prospect type” defined by the responses on the Web form.

The objective is to create customized and personalized email communication relevant to the individual’s needs – thereby driving increased conversion rates.

Eric Mohr, Principle at EBM Direct Marketing Services

Use social media (with extreme caution)

One way to be incredibly relevant and relational is to reference personal information from someone’s social profiles – a favorite movie, for example. I DO NOT recommend this for most brands or entities. You don’t want to scare anyone. Also, it can take a TON of time – so again, it’s not for everyone.

It DOES work well if the audience wants to feel a personal connection with you. Say you are a musician (as I was) and you get a positive comment on MySpace, Facebook, etc. from an obvious influencer. It’s not hard to glance at their profile and find something you have in common with them and then relate to that. It can create a real evangelist if done right.

This could potentially work for politicians, company figureheads, or local business owners – as long as it is done in a friendly, non-Big Brother way. This is just one way to close the gap between

“that organization” and a “real person.”

– Kennedy Pittman, Radically Epic Uber Strategic Visionary at Square Hat Media

Related Resources

One-to-One Marketing at Four Levels: Strategic ways every marketer can enter into an online conversation with customers

One-to-one Marketing: The true promise of Dynamic Offer-Content Customization

Transparent Marketing: How to earn the trust of a skeptical consumer

Photo attribution: bensonkua

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  1. Geoff Jackson says

    Facebook is generally perceived as a much more “personal” network rather than business/professional networking although with the largest global reach on the internet, the opportunities should not be overlooked.

    I find Facebook one of the easiest social media channels to engage with others, it is simple to identify your target market or others with similar interest and thus strike up a conversation both parties would be obliged to participate in.

  2. Kavi says

    Twitter, if anything, represents a great 1:1 marketing tool when used effectively. Brands that take the time to respond and follow up to each and every single customer through Twitter makes the network 1:1.

    If I’m a disgruntled customer, the first thing I want is ONE person to deal with my problem and follow it through until it is resolved. ATM, Twitter is the beginning of that until a situation is routed out to the appropriate channels. But, in reality, and one day, we could have 1:1 customer models where the person managing a Twitter account can complete every step of the customers scenario.

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