By Trey Moser, Senior Director, Retail Analytics
I'm continually fascinated at how, despite the wealth of data available about us, most of the messaging we receive from marketers is so completely irrelevant. I thought about this over the recent Thanksgiving holiday when I was absolutely bombarded by "Black Friday" deals coming to me through email. Almost none of the emails — even from fairly sophisticated retailers — had any real relevancy to me, whatsoever. Moreover, some companies demonstrated a serious lack of strategy regarding their volume of messaging; I received THREE separate emails from an online eye-care company…and I don't even wear glasses.
Of course, there is a place for mass marketing but it lacks the personalization that people (don't call them "targets") more often respond to. It's true that communicating broadly with a broad audience builds awareness and can create consideration but is it enough to stimulate purchase and drive up sales volume? Singular reliance on yesterday's paradigm, even if new vehicles are used to deliver the message, is missing the opportunity to leverage the complementary impact of more individually-focused communication.
There is something genuinely satisfying about receiving a message from a retailer that shows they are leveraging their data for something more than just generic communication, and is, instead, using the information to make the lives of their shoppers easier, less stressful and, hopefully, more rewarding.
Phrases such as "based upon the items we know you like" and "we chose these deals especially for you" grab attention and stand out from the crowd of untailored messages. And when multiple, irrelevant emails from a single company are hitting a mailbox in a short period of time, standing out becomes an even more critical element of engagement.
The "message," of course, has to be backed up with content of substance. A clever subject line may get a shopper to open an email, but the relevancy of the content is what will help build loyalty over the long-haul. Shoppers want information, products and offers presented to them that readily appeal to their unique interests and buying patterns. Falling short of that puts the message into the sea of undifferentiated noise and shoppers will quickly lose interest.
At Inmar, we're helping retailers capitalize on the value of their data. Using our targeted engagement platform, we are bringing offers from a vast network of manufacturers together with rich individual shopper-transaction histories and empowering retailers to provide shoppers with a truly personalized, one-to-one promotion experience. That experience is driving share-of-wallet and growing sales revenue for retailers leveraging our platform.
In the end, this result is being driven by the fulfillment of an implicit promise retailers make when they collect shopper data. That is, let us see what you buy and what you like and we will, in turn, communicate with you like you are a loyal friend instead of a nameless face in a crowd.