Human beings love categorizing. It must be our survival instinct. You see something and you need to know: Friend or foe? Predator or prey? (My dogs get confused on these issues quite a bit. Thank goodness they don’t live in the wild.)
Human beings hate being categorized. When you put people in a box based on age, gender or skin color, you’re going to annoy them – at the very least.
That’s the fun of database marketing. It’s a politically correct way to put people in boxes.
Some marketers still don’t realize how powerful this can be. We have an idea in our heads about sending out one-to-one marketing messages – but that would be impossibly expensive and time-consuming. In reality, we pick out similar people in our database and send a message to the group.
What are good groupings for targeted messages?
- New customers. People love you most when they first come across your wonderful product. Now’s the time to ask them to refer their friends to you.
- Customers who’ve bought from you in the past 30-90 days. For most consumer products (except annual subscriptions or very expensive purchases), the longer it has been since a purchase, the less likely that customer will ever buy from you again.
- Customers who spend a lot with you. They deserve special treatment. Make sure you know who’s in this group.
- Customers who bought product A and, because of that, are likely to buy product B. Retailers are often brilliant at cross-selling. Look at Amazon – they have it down to a science.
- Prospects going through a life change. Marriage, births, divorce, moving to a new city – these are spending triggers for many, many products.
These are the broadest of categories. Depending on the size of your database and complexity of your product offering, there can be thousands of ways to slice up the data and achieve significant results.
It’s really up to your imagination to see the interesting ways your customers fall into patterns.
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