When I’m home, I like getting the mail. It’s a way for me to get up from what I’m doing, stretch my legs, and take a break. Like many, I flip through the magazines, mailers addressed to “Dear Occupant,” bills, and checks as I walk back to my desk. Do you know how many of those I recycle? 99% of the time ,everything but the bills and checks get chucked.

Why? Because I’m not in the market for dog food, baby supplies, or pool supplies. I don’t own a dog, my children are grown, and I have a bridge at my property in South Dakota, not a pool. I am not the target market for these suppliers, yet I still receive their marketing materials. Their money literally goes up in smoke, as I tend to use these as fire starters.

Whether through snail mail or email, how do you ensure that your marketing materials aren’t dead upon arrival? 

Thanks to the lightening speed of the Internet, and customers being connected all the time through their mobile devices, it’s a guarantee that they’re getting bombarded with all sorts of marketing. From flash ads to promoted posts to commercials before YouTube videos, it’s constant information constantly. So whether you’re using postcards or post on Facebook, it doesn’t matter how fast your message gets there if it’s like the rest of the message they receive—irrelevant on arrival. 

The holy grail of marketing is the one-to-one relationship. To achieve this, you must start thinking about the Power of One—the power of making something relevant to a customer. 

It’s easier said than done, but it pays off big-time. I owned a printing company, and every time we would reorder products, whoever packaged the box always threw in a handful of Tootsie Roll candies. You can bet my team members remembered when to reorder, and raced to accept the delivery when it arrived. Candy may not always do the trick, but personalizing emails and sending customized postcards will help your materials stand out from others.

Achieving the Power of One means that every marketing asset, tool, and strategy needs to be deployed. Customers want to feel like they’re the only customer and have your full, undivided attention. This means networking, data collection, customer relation’s management, digital technology, social media, and more to create messages tailored to one person that will be opened, read, and acted upon by that person.

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: the key to all of this is customization. You already have all of the information you could ever need about your customers right from their receipts and online customer profiles, why not use it to your advantage? Yes, it takes time and effort, but the results will be worth it.

In The Mirror Test, I write of a bank, headquartered in New Mexico, decided to offer special rates for “preferred customers.” Rather than send out one standardized mass mailing, they broke their targets out into three segments and designed three sets of images and graphics that reflected the makeup of each segment. As you can guess, the results were money in the bank for this business. They generated nearly $15 million in new investments—all because they took the time to design images and graphics that would speak to their customers. You can apply this same customizable logic to events, email campaigns, special offers… When you have the data at your fingertips, the sky is the limit.

HayzlettJeffrey Hayzlett is a leading business expert, cited in Forbes, SUCCESS, Mashable, Marketing Week and Chief Executive, among many others. Follow him on Twitter: @JeffreyHayzlett





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