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« Brand, Interactive Marketing, Blogs | Main | No Excuses »

October 01, 2004



If you allow me to do it, I'd like to translate it and use it on my professional blogeletter, (precising, of course, that you wrote it).
I was happy to meet you yesterday and I hope that you did not have too many difficulties with this fast french blog conversation...


You are quite welcome to translate this! I am looking forward to the day when my French improves. It is very frustrating to have so much to say and simply not be able to get it out fast enough to keep up with the conversation!

Cliff Allen

There is a good reason that one-to-one marketing draws criticism about not not working, not being truly personal, and -- most importantly -- not creating a true customer relationship.

The reason is that most companies don't implement one-to-one marketing correctly. Instead, they believe that buying personalization software will magically transform their marketing communications activities into generating extra revenue.

There are three problems with this thinking.

First, one-to-one marketing is a methodology for how to treat customers, not a category of software. If a company doesn't truly want to help customers make good purchase decisions and get the most value from those purchases, then no amount of software can help.

Second, the term "one-to-one marketing" is misused. Many people think of one-to-one marketing as a way to improve their direct marketing activities -- and that it has nothing to do with sales. Xerox and HP sell printers that produce highly personalized direct marketing materials, but that is only a small part of the way to successfully apply one-to-one marketing techniques.

Third, too many companies keep their advertising and promotions department separate from their sales department, which keeps their people from truly understanding the needs, wants, and desires of prospects and customers. If a salesperson doesn't know which ad a prospect responded to or which Web pages the prospect has seen, the salesperson can't have a good relationship-building conversation with a prospect.

The solution is to treat prospects and customers with respect, listen to what they say about themselves, and learn how to help them make appropriate purchases. Having a unified marketing and sales system can help, but that should come only after top management understands the value in establishing a conversation that leads to a mutually beneficial relationship.

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