One-to-one marketing is a new variation of an old concept, one depending on a customer relationship management (CRM) strategy that focuses on personal interaction and investing in personal communication. While much attention is focused on mass marketing simply because it is so visible, one-to-one marketing, also written as 1:1 marketing, has been showing signs of a resurgence in recent years.
While one-to-one marketing may be a natural fit with person-to-person marketing, that is only one component of the entire strategy. Some companies, such as Amazon for example, are very adept at using these types of marketing concepts to market products. The company does this by tracking what customers have looked at and what they have purchased, then displays products based on that past history.
This type of focused marketing serves a number of important functions. First, it lets the customer know that he or she has been noticed. Second, it provides easy access to the types of products the customer has expressed interest in, thus increasing the chances of sale.
Amazon did not pioneer the one-to-one marketing concept, but rather pioneered its use in a software format. For years, the small retailers always took care of their customers by anticipating orders, even picking orders before the customer ever came through the door. Most good business owners understand that a customer can purchase products, at nearly the same price, from a number of different suppliers or retailers. Given that level of competition, one way suppliers can separate themselves is in the service area. Having those customer interactions and appreciations is key to delivering great customer service.
While a business owner may not put it in exactly these terms, one-to-one marketing depends on data. It must be acquired, stored and utilized. In some cases, this could be through a formal, well organized process. But for many in business, this is accomplished through the course of everyday business and instinctive intuition.
Once the data is collected, one-to-one marketing moves into a promotional phase, where a customer may be profiled in order to more effectively meet his or her needs. While the term profiling has a negative connotation in some situations, this strategy can actually help the customer and supplier by saving time, energy and money.