Targeted marketing campaigns have been around since merchants began selling goods. Over the past 40 years, they have become increasingly sophisticated, moving from targeting new brides, moms, or teenagers to demographically/psychographically targeting 50-something golfers who live in a certain zip code, make over 100k and drive a luxury car.
With the advent of the web, companies have begun personalizing emails, landing pages and offers based on user behavior. Did you put something in your shopping cart and then abandon it? We’ll send you a little reminder. Have you been looking at vacations to Hawaii? Here’s a discount just for you! Amazon has led the pack with “other people who bought that item also order this.” This type of easily accessible buying history has led to widespread use of propensity modeling, analysis of macro purchasing trends that leads to micro-targeting.
Until recently, however, all this information has been external, meaning things that can be learned by observing the buyers: where they live and work, what they buy, their family structure, how they spend their time, etc. Social media has added an entirely new dimension to this. Now, you can see what buyers think: their opinions, preferences, interests, likes and dislikes as posted on Facebook, Twitter, and on community websites. Leading marketing organizations have been wrestling with the best way to wade through the sheer volume of information to find actionable and meaningful information that can be integrated into their CRM system, and then applied to better personalize the buyers experience. We call this Social CRM: the harvesting of relevant social media information which is used by digital marketing systems such as ExactTarget, Neolane and others to personalize marketing campaigns. Adding this to external information already gathered, and leveraging propensity modeling, means some companies are actually approaching the holy grail of 1-to-1 marketing.