Friday, March 29, 2013

The First Commandment: Know Thy Customer

According to David Edelman of McKinsey - the first commandment of good marketing is to know your customer. David recently wrote an article about the importance of really knowing your customer in order to get the best return on your marketing dollar. The more a company knows about a customer as an individual the better the marketing message can be tailored to fit a specific person. David talks in the article about senior managers touting the importance of spending time with and getting to know the customer, but that is not the norm.

David wrote the following, "The reason to unlock your data is so that you can be more relevant to your customers by sending them messages, offers, and products they really want. Research shows that personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales 10% or more." This was, for me, the key to the entire article. I find that when I look at our customer base as a whole, by segment, by sales person or by individual account, I see a much different picture. We are fortunate that we only have about thirty customers per rep, so we are able to get a much more personal view of the customer. When there is a personal view of the customer, then a tightly focused personal message can be sent and a much better ROI can be achieved.
Our company can, with digital printing, create direct mail that is unique to each person when we have the right data. This is something we are promoting to our customers because it is a way to cut through the clutter of the generic market. If you are looking at your customers, spend some time to get to know them on a personal basis and then reach out with your marketing in a 1to1 way to get the best impact.

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