Thank God for my colleague Scarlett. She knows everything. Or if she doesn’t know something right off, she knows how to find out. It’s not just that she’s worked here for a long time, though she has, it’s that she’s really good at what she does, and when you combine that with historical knowledge, it’s a powerful combination… (Does anyone feel a marketing lesson coming on?)
Connecting the past to the present is the foundation of understanding your clients and prospects, which in turn is founded on good and accurate recognition. Understanding how consumer needs and preferences change over time and how your marketing must change with it. Recognizing that Lorel Wilhelm-Volpi and Lorel Volpi are the same person, and if, as one non-profit recently did, you send letters to each of them (at the same address!) you’ve just wasted some of your already tight marketing budget. Sure, it’s no biggie for just one person, but chances are it’s actually X% of their entire list, resulting in more waste than they probably realize.
But the need for good recognition goes far beyond minimizing wasted marketing dollars. There’s much talk about the evolution of marketing, from focusing on campaigns to focusing on relationships. How can I, as a consumer, have a relationship with a brand who doesn’t even have a clue who I am? For example, recently another colleague of mine, Diane, received an offer for 3 months of online viewing of the New York Times for $5, so she could enjoy the Men’s Fashion Guide. Now, in this case the offer is great (who wouldn’t like to have 3 months of the NYT for only $5?) but when the hook was supposed to be perusing the Men’s Fashion Guide, it was less appealing (even though Diane is a very well-dressed fashionista).
To get it right, brands need to harness the potential of the data available to them and integrate it across channels and platforms to enable a connected and seamless customer experience, regardless of channel. Internal silos (data segregated by department, or channel) are not acceptable, since they will become apparent to your target audience too and the customer experience will suffer. I’m sure all of us have had an experience where we ordered something after multiple searches, and continue to get emails/offers for the same item long after the purchase.
At the heart of the long-sought positive experiences lies the ability to recognize who is engaging with your brand, across devices and across time. If you’re curious to learn more about how to do this, check out our recent paper on the topic. Or of course, you can always ask Scarlett, because I’m SURE she has a good idea of how to get started…