How To develop one-to-one relationships with customers

Jun 1, 2017 | Personalized Marketing

From Product Led To Customer Focused

One-to-one marketing is a customer-oriented strategy that focuses on maximising the spend of a customer over the lifetime of the relationship between the customer and brand. This contrasts with a more traditional approach to marketing focused on acquisition of as many customers as possible for one product at a time.

Whereas with a traditional approach the focus is on showcasing the product, developing clear product led messaging and maximising reach, one-to-one requires a deeper understanding of individual customers and the ability to communicate in ways that reflect their preferences, tastes and needs.

From Product led to Customer Focused

Delivering One-To-One Marketing

The start point for developing one-to-one relationships is data. Today’s retailers are blessed with a treasure trove of sales, behavioural and social data to understand customer behaviour, preferences and more. The race is on to bring that data together and harness it effectively.

Historical data can then be combined with Predictive analytics, which use algorithms and machine learning techniques, to identify the likelihood of future outcomes.

This customer intelligence is matched with content to identify the experience that is most relevance for the customer and has the highest probability to deliver the desired outcome.

Delivering one-to-one marketing

Today, much of the focus from brands is on their data, where it is, how to harmonise and exploit it. A recent survey of B2B marketers found that 70% of respondents use big data, historical information and predictive analytics to improve their marketing effectiveness. That makes sense as the foundation stone for building one-to-one relationships. However, brands shouldn’t lose sight that data is a ‘means to an end’ but the output for success is personalized content.

The One-To-One Relationship Premium

Injecting greater relevance into relationships with high value customers and providing timely interactions based on understanding their needs at a particular moment in time, offers a lucrative return for brands. 59% of US internet users agreed that content customized for them increases their purchase intent somewhat, while another 19% said it significantly increases their intent to buy.

Not only can brands grow their total spend from each customer. Strong customer relationships also turn customers into advocates, who through the power of social media, online communities and forums can become a highly valuable driver for customer acquisition.

Effective one-to-one marketing can also undermine the ability of competitors to take your business away. In a digital world where product differentiation is increasingly difficult, the consumer has complete pricing transparency and the ability to compare competitive offers at the swipe of a finger, this is a powerful new weapon for marketers.

An Agile Transition

Understanding the need to transition from a product led approach to a customer driven one, is an important step. Too often when companies then evaluate how to make the transition, they see a daunting task to restructure the existing sales and marketing operations. To some extent transformation in sales and marketing is the new normal, with major investments in key areas that support one-to-one, such as bringing disparate data sources together to create a unified view, and investing in content to support better customer experiences. However, in a fast moving and ever changing market, major restructures can be slow (giving the competition opportunities to exploit) and risky (will expectations move whilst you reorganize).

A more agile approach that targets high value customer groups early and tests the benefits of personalizing key customer journeys can deliver performance improvements sooner, accelerate the organizations understanding of how to deliver a customer-oriented approach and direct the roadmap for future success.

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