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Ultimate Target Marketing

Does anyone remember One-to-One Marketing? Don Peppers and Martha Rogers pioneered the concept when they introduced their book, “The One-to-One Future,” about 20 years ago. Great book – and an even better idea. The kernel of the book: technology allows us to replace mass marketing – one product for the many consumers – with personalized solutions for individual consumers.

This has come to pass, for instance, with Amazon recognizing you, knowing what you’ve purchased in the past, knowing what others who bought the same book have purchased and suggesting books (or music or whatever) that might appeal specifically to you. Mini Cooper will economically produce a car to your exact specifications. Nike will do the same with shoes. Michael Dell made a living – and a fortune – doing the same with PCs. Through my shopper loyalty card, my local Buehlers grocery store prints coupons based on my buying patterns. That’s 1:1 marketing, enabled by cheap, ubiquitous technology.

Now, mobile marketing promises to deliver the same kind of individualized attention with coupons and other promotions that happen in-store or even right in front of a particular product. Pretty cool.

Even with all of this one-to-one attention, the shopper often still prefers to see, touch, smell and otherwise sense what they’re buying. And it happens in a store where 93% of all consumer purchases still occur. Technology will make marketing better, more focused and more individualized with each passing year but, at the end of the day, turning shoppers into buyers is the name of the game. And the point-of-purchase is where it’s played.