That is where the business has enough information about their customers that they can personalize their marketing efforts at the individual level.
As small business owners, this is how our business has always been. It’s been about relationships and connecting with our customers. There is now just more technology available to help facilitate doing this on a larger scale and with more people.
Today, computers, technology and databases allow us to make better use of the information that we are gathering and to take full advantage of the knowledge we gain in interacting with our customers.
No more generic mass marketing messages, but rather personalized messages for each customer based upon their past history.
My first experience with 1-to-1 marketing was back in 1999 when I was on a project with a Canadian phone company when the technology to do that kind of thing was in its infancy.
Our project was to take that infant technology and market to the phone company customers based upon their current service plan as well as any past one-time or recurring purchases they had ever made.
They wanted to use the existing relationship and the knowledge they were keeping in their database about their customers to facilitate suggestions for additional purchases.
Later Amazon really grabbed ahold of it and are now the masters are 1-on-1 relationship marketing.
Are you using your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for Customer Relationship Marketing?
Almost everyone is familiar with Amazon these days, so it makes a good example.
When you have an account at Amazon, they keep track of all your past purchases and then have sophisticated algorithms that will assimilate that information and make buying suggestions based upon similar items you have bought in the past.
Now Amazon has taken this to the next level by also keeping track of your browsing history as well, so they don’t even have to wait for you to make a purchase before they have relevant data that can be feed into their algorithm to make suggestions for you.
Relationship marketing is all about the data you are collecting on your customers behaviors and then how you are using that data to market to them, because just collecting the data doesn’t do you any good unless you are using it to not only grow your business, but even more importantly to improve the customer experience within your business.
That improved customer experience in turn will cause your business to grow, because your customers will become more loyal and do even more business with you.
Remember that the number 1 reason that people stop doing business with a company is that they feel un or under appreciated.
1-on-1 marketing is a way to bridge that gap and get a deeper, more personal connection with your customers and keep them coming back again and again.