The one-to-one marketing comes in the context of relationship marketing, on the simple idea of treating different customers differently. A company decides to develop a one-to-one marketing program because it recognizes in the strength or weakness of the relationships with the individual customer the determining factor for a lasting profitability and success.
The most forward-looking companies have always encouraged the active participation of customers, involving them in the development of products, services and new possible solutions, and yet they have almost always considered the “typical” customer or the “average” customer and, rarely, every single customer.
One of the reasons why today many companies are starting to become interested in 1-to-1 marketing is that it is a strategy that allows the customer loyalty and trust, allowing the company to optimize resources and obtain more profits, once they have been identified the most profitable customers.
After clearly identifying our customers we will be ready to interact with them through new technologies, often combined with traditional distribution networks. Sales officials, resellers, web call centers, are all players in the two-way exchange of information between our company and each individual customer. The goal is to establish a learning relationship, that relationship through which we learn from each customer, thanks to the information that he gives us, how to customize and gradually improve the products and services offered. And the more the customer will invest in teaching us how he wants to be served, the less motivated to repeat this process with other suppliers, our competitors.
The phases of the one-to-one marketing strategy
1) Marketing Intelligence: An effective 1-to-1 marketing program is based primarily on the collection of data and information during each customer interaction. The database marketing activities are complex both in the planning phase (which data to collect and with which modalities?) And in the use (and in the diffusion within the company) of the collected data. The objective of marketing intelligence is, on the one hand, to identify customers to understand their habits, preferences, needs and different purchasing behavior and, on the other, to classify customers based on current and potential profitability criteria, to determine and identify which are the most profitable customers. Through the use of projective statistical techniques it is possible to determine the so-called FLTV (Future Life Time Value) of each individual client.
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2) Get Interactive: Once the first identification phase is over, it is necessary to interact with each client, using traditional methods and channels (where possible), combined with the use of new technologies (web call center, web site, mobile etc.). In terms of one-to-one marketing, every moment of communication must be considered as an opportunity for further learning (learning relationship) that allows to refine the customer’s knowledge to move on to the next phase, the offer of customized products / services.
3) Customize: To establish a long-lasting learning relationship with a client, the company must be particularly adaptable and flexible, to meet the needs of each individual customer. This can lead to mass customization of a product / service, or to the adaptation of some aspects of the services related to the product (information, packaging, warranty, help desk, logistics, payment methods etc.), with different shades depending on the case. On-line personalization allows to exploit also a series of automatism to offer information.
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One of the hot topics related to new technologies and collection, for the database of sensitive data and information (as in the case of online customer profiling) is that of respect for privacy. It is therefore appropriate, when addressing a one-to-one marketing strategy, to evaluate the legal aspects related to data management and to take all necessary measures to ensure privacy, within the limits established by law and, of course, by the common good sense.
The first objective, therefore, to start a one-to-one marketing strategy is to involve the company at all levels from the beginning, demonstrating what results can be achieved in terms of greater profitability in the medium term, such as the reduction of a series of processing and transaction costs. Show the unbelievers a series of data and tangible projections in the short term because only by overcoming resistance to change will it be possible to start the project and, over time, the results and the increased global value of your customers will only confirm the validity of the new orientation of the company.