Monday, February 27, 2012

Marketers as Matchmakers

What can we learn from Yente?

"Matchmaker, matchmaker find me a match" - the classic lyrics from Fiddler on the Roof - apply to marketing as well as the marriage scene.  With a myriad of choices out there in nearly every category, marketers should be helping consumers choose.    On what basis can we can align needs and solutions?

There seem to be several possible ways in which matches can be made.
  • Product:  From product selectors based on usage to using data mining to pick appropriate products for flyers this is the oldest and most common form of matching.  The objective is to make a sale.
  • Consumer:  in industries where consumers share a common goal or style facilitating introductions may be the best way to create brand loyalty.   Homipholy is a power attractant and companies should create communities where appropriate.
  • Voice and Message: if consumers use a product or service for very different reasons then it is quite possible to change the positioning of the product.   If we can understand the outcome a consumer is looking for, then we can serve up appropriate content.    The objective is to simplify the process of creating an emotional connection. 
  • Finances: for real estate and automobiles sometimes the financing is as important as the house or the car itself. It can take the form of "you prequalify for $x" or "you can trade up for less than you're paying now."  The objective is to limit the range of choices to those within an appropriate payment envelope.
All of the above require an analytics engine of some type - from propensity models to collaborative filters to semantic technologies to complex business rules.   Mastering this diversity of technology is probably not a core competency of most marketers or companies. The implication is that analytics are likely to remain an outsourced function dominated by a cluster of boutique firms who do one thing well.  

Need to update my Rolodex in a couple of areas.

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