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March 08, 2008


Krishna Mony

You make a great point. Personalized marketing (PM) was supposed to be a palatable alternative to ever so annoying interruptive advertising. It was expected to refine segmentation and employ efficient targeting techniques to offer bespoke solutions. But did someone check what the customer got?

When I get direct mail from my bank that begins with “Dear Krishna, you’ve been our preferred customer” and then proceeds to stuff me with a personal loan at an IRR of 21%, I feel insulted. I get more, I trash them unopened. This is not PM; it’s a complete rip off. They can’t do this to a loyal customer that has multi-layer and multi-year relationship, has never taken a loan in years and enjoys a high credit score. They have all the data, all the technology. They know the customer is intelligent enough to be wealthy, financially savvy and certainly not a walk over. Still they act up and get naughty. Taking customer for granted; big mistake. It’s like getting only 50 HP output from a 500 HP engine. Who loses out in the end? I ask.

You call for `intensity' to move the needle. I say they sometimes get a little too mindlessly intense with my data. I realize this only when I get called by tele-marketers of service providers whose offerings I’ve never used. I am shocked at the level of their acquaintance with all my personal data that I know I’d given only to my bank. This is no SEO. This is downright indifference or even trivial profiteering from data peddling. How long before some crook gets to forge my signature and wipe my accounts clean? I move all my accounts in the next one hour. Again, who loses out?

Perhaps that explains why only 56% of marketers believe personalized communications out-perform mass-marketing. What of the 44% that reject this notion? I think Donovan Neale-May, ED of the CMO Council makes a great point as he says PM lags potential.

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