As people increasingly tune out the most common forms of advertising, savvy marketers are turning to four surprisingly affordable strategies.
For several years now, marketers have been urged to embrace one-to-one marketing and to offer microsegmented consumers customized products and services through targeted outreach. While the “market of one” approach can pay off, says the author, it requires a significant upfront investment, including: implementing customer relationship management software applications; filtering, enhancing and cleaning customer data; and personalizing interactions (e-mail, billing, offers and so on). These activities take time and coordination of multiple parts of the organization (marketing, customer service, sales, information technology), which can be daunting for companies trying to react quickly to a changing environment. In addition, those systems have often produced disappointing results because their use was not well integrated with corporate strategy. Also, micro-marketing strategy, on its own, is too narrow. Companies still need to reach broad groups of people with messages that are not dependent on an individual’s decision to open an envelope (whether virtual or physical), pick up the phone or click on a box. But broad-based, broadcast media is ineffective and expensive. Fortunately, there are alternative solutions, such as one-to-one targeting and the broadcasting of 30-second television spots. The author’s research on trends in marketing spending and consumer attitudes about advertising reveals four strategies available to companies that want to reach broad groups of people without breaking their marketing budget. The strategies are liberally illustrated with examples of Nike, Microsoft, UBS, Delta, Sony, Procter & Gamble, Citibank, Nextel, Honda, Nokia and McDonald’s, among others.