Really Knowing Your Customer: The Right Message at the Right Time

In the course of our work with CMOs, we often hear of the eternal quest for marketers to be able to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time.  As a consumer, I actually appreciate that companies want to get to know me better and tailor emails and promotions to my preferences.  In fact, they are frequently effective in their marketing efforts and that one email about that popcorn popper that I had been browsing is enough to make me hit the purchase button.

Given the positive experience I have when companies tailor their marketing messages extremely effectively, my expectation is set high.  I anticipate that I will only receive promotions of items I have previously shown interest in or that are on or related to my wish list.  Efforts to show that they know me and my preferences are often rewarded with a purchase.

However, when their efforts fall short, I tune out.  A prime example is when one of my favorite home furnishing companies sends me an email, complete with product photo, “We’re saving this for you!”  Yet what they have sent to me was nothing I had ever clicked through to look at on their website.  How is it that some companies can get it right every time, and customize my experience accurately while others fail consistently in their use of data?

There are many organizations out there that focus on helping companies use data to effectively serve up a custom experience, to the right person, at the right moment.  The bar is high, with myriad options available to consumers, and customers are turned off when the push is not connected, at a minimum, to historical data patterns.  For marketing efforts to be effective, it has to be real, not fake data, or businesses may actually drive their loyal customers to look for products elsewhere.

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