Friday, February 15, 2013

360 Degree Views and Reality

Is there one 360-degree view of consumers?

As a consumer, I'm viewed thru one of three lenses from each marketer that has an interest in a baby boomer with a penchant for fly fishing, being a foodie, and travel (at least for work). Each and every marketer looks at me in one of three ways:
  • I'm a customer for the few I buy from, so they know I exist
  • I'm in a segment for others who have a vague idea that I exist
  • I'm hiding in the dark for those who know I should exist, but can't prove it
The result is that I'm completely different in the eyes of each firm's desire to establish a relationship.  In media planning rooms all across the country I'm on the board in one of those three buckets.

So I'm bombarded with all types of marketing campaigns based on different points of view. The mix includes broadcast, targeted, and personalized 1:1 each attempting to influence a very different "person."

And to reduce cognitive dissonance I tend to filter them out because I'm still just me - one person.

Now it is unreasonable to assume that companies will each take turns marketing to me - they have their objectives to meet.   So, how should you gain access and get thru the bubble?
  1. Recognize that reach, targeting and CRM are simply different layers of the same objective - influencing my choices.  I exist in your three media plans, please don't think of them as separate functions.  Package them up.
  2. Surround me with interesting content along the journey.  At any point in time I will be 'in different buying stages' for a lot of different things.   Since the brain is hard wired to filter out the irrelevant you need to find a way to fire those neurons. Don't be boring and predictable.  And by all means be consistent across the touch points. 
  3. Since we're not talking about the base of Maslow's need hierarchy it is the experience and the resulting emotions that really matter.  It takes more than a coupon.
From my perspective, there is no singular 360-degree view but rather a set of parallel universes.  Your job is to make it easy to decide which one I want to exist in.

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