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One-to-One Done Wrong, Done Right

CorporatePR: One-to-One Marketing a False Trail

Elizabeth Albrycht has this insightful post on One-to-One Marketing which she contributed to the Carnival of the Capitalists, a sort of traveling spontaneous online business publication (more about that later).

The most damning thing she says about "one-to-one" marketing is that it never creates trust because consumers know it's just a mail-merge technique. If a consumer receives a personalized email from a large corporation, he or she can't hit reply--there's nobody there. That's certainly the predominant "bastardization" which can happen to "one-to-one."

The point of her article is that a blog written by an individual on behalf of the company can be much more authentic. And I agree that it has certainly been the case, especially with that guy from Microsoft.

However, "one-to-one" marketing can happen much differently for companies that are small and also with companies which are more business-to-business oriented. Last week I saw a presentation by Chris Baggott of ExactTarget email solutions. The weekly corporate emails personalized by his marketing department are set up to include the photo of each customer's sales representative, who may have the marketing department include a message for the accounts (not quite one-to-one, but authentic). And finally, if you hit reply--that's right--it goes straight to your company representative. And I like having someone at the company who represents me.

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