Forget the digital cluster bomb – be more like Bob

 Forget the digital cluster bomb – be more like Bob (in the wine shop)It’s said that the average person is exposed to 30,000 marketing messages a day. To me that’s worrying news for us marketers – especially if it’s your job is to build marketing relationships with consumers.

But this is the reality. So with all those messages fighting for attention in the consumer’s brain, be that on billboards, website or the inbox, it’s crucial to make your business standout. Easier said than done? Let me use a personal experience to show the way forward.

I have a favourite local wine shop that I visit all the time. It all has to do with Bob, the manager of the shop. You see, Bob knows me. He knows what I like and what I don’t, the kinds of things I like to cook, my attitude toward wine, where I work, what I do for a living – the list goes on. Using this information, Bob tailors his wine recommendations to me, every time offering the perfect bottle or suggesting something I hadn’t intended to try, but was glad I did.

So what has this got to do with good marketing? Let me explain. To me, the relationship I have with the owner of this shop is critical to my being a returning customer. After all, as a result of Bob’s knowledge about me, I:

–        Buy five times more wine from him than from my local supermarket.

–          Tend to leave the shop having spent 30 per cent to 200 per cent more than I thought I would.

–          Wouldn’t think of buying my wine anywhere else.

Clearly, Bob and I have built a great buyer, seller relationship, which has turned me into a loyal and (no doubt) valuable customer. What can marketers learn from this?

Well, if we compare this to most of today’s marketing efforts, you’ll see that most of them are unlike Bob. In fact, they’re decidedly un-Bobular. As illustrated by the initial statistic, marketers have a carpet bomb approach to their customers, which is impersonalised and therefore ineffective. If Bob was one of these marketers, instead of saying “John, how’d you get on with that Riesling?” he’d say, “Hello potential customer. This is a wine shop. We have red wine and white wine and sparkling wine. Some of it is from France.” Instead of saying, “I’ve got a Rioja that your wife is going to rave about,” he’d say, “buy three cases of Asti and get one free!”  (I loathe Asti).

So, how do you get to be more Bob-like with your marketing? How do you build up that kind of rapport with a target audience who you’ve never met? Behavioural marketing is the best way. And it really is a simple idea that involves being a listener like Bob. Here’s how: 

–          Capture the things people do when they interact with you across all channels (email, Web, mobile, social, call centres, etc.).

–          Combine that data with the stuff you already know about that person – the profile and preferences, or past behaviours.

–          Apply a few rules to that data.

–          Use these rules to generate a personalised interaction and a multichannel, multistep relationship that delivers the most relevant customer experience for the individual.

It’s all about being Bob-like on a massive scale — being that personal, informed brand that doesn’t treat every customer like a new person who just walked in off the street. Treat each one like the valued individual that he or she is.

It’s so important that you get on board with the behavioural marketing journey – today, to avoid blending into the masses and to make your business heard. So, for this reason, I urge you to go forth and become more like Bob.

John Watton is the senior director for marketing at Silverpop.

  • CaptainObvious

    Forgive me for pointing out but what “new” is there in this piece? Surely most marketing managers are aware of these pitfalls , and for those that are not by now then I don’t think they’d be able to take anything away from this .

  • Partager

    This is, of course, the standard “White Paper” come-on that has been in use in the Marketing World for decades now. These sort of “insights” used to be faxed.

    Preaching to the choir. Salespeople to salespeople, marketers to marketers. Obviously John has the answers over at Silverpop.