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INSIDE ACCESS: REPORTER'S NOTEBOOK



A Long Road to Personalization Perfection

A new study from the CMO Council, "The Power of Personalization" shows that inadequate customer data is the key obstacle facing top marketing executives in their adoption of personalized communication techniques. As a result, many CMOs just don't bother doing it.




Forty-four percent of the 700 respondents indicated a "low" usage of personalized communications in their customer
acquisition and relationship management programs. Another 39 percent of respondents said their usage was "moderate,"
while only 17 percent indicated a "high" level of usage.



More than 55 percent plan to allocate 10 percent or more of their marketing budgets toward personalized
communications in 2008. However, 38 percent said they didn't even know whether personalized communications
had outperformed traditional mass marketing tactics.



Data issues are marketers' biggest challenge to personalized communication strategies. Forty-nine percent of respondents blamed "inadequate systems and infrastructure" for limiting personalized communication initiatives. Forty-six percent complained of a "lack of customer data and insight," and 43 percent said they faced and "cost and complexity" issues.

-- Elizabeth Glagowski



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INSIDE ACCESS: READER FEEDBACK


Re: The Economics of Customers' Emotions


Issue Date: March 3, 2008

In the end, I always go with feelings over features. Features come first, but emotions are what last and are usually remembered. Your personal experience is what you remember. I have many examples over the years from both personal and business negotiations that validate what many people have said. It is 5 percent about the price and terms (features) and 95 percent how one feels when the deal is done. When Starbucks started (I know they are struggling a bit right
now) they could charge $4 for a coffee because of the experience they created.



Dave Gion

Director

Canvis

Des Moines, IA

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It's no contest, really. As Dr. Claude Rapaille always says, "The reptilian always wins."



We've all seen really bad advertising -- way too much of it -- that's chock full of wondrous special effects. Every
conceivable gimmick in the book is employed by the brand stewards to make the spots memorable. The gimmicks are
the substitute for, well, substance. More often than not what is missing in bad advertising is a sensibility, or
message, that touches the HEART.



Good advertising moves people emotionally. Emotions connect us to feelings advertisers want the customer to
associate with their brand. When you make a customer feel something, they respond: They laugh, they cry, they
buy.



Rich Jachetti

Corinthian Media

New York



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Creating the sense or notion of "ally" goes a long way toward customer loyalty. We all crave relationships in an
impersonal Internet world.



Companies that outsource their customer service to people who speak with an Indian accent and misplaced idioms do
not build customer loyalty.



American Express used to have it. It still does, for the most part. However, it has let down on the practice. As Baby
Boomers age, many of them, me included, have been loyal AMEX customers for many decades. AMEX used to recognize
these significant "Customer since" years. It seems not to do it any more. Not smart.



Verizon Wireless and the other companies have no idea how to do it. They buy your loyalty with "free phones" and
two-year contracts. That doesn't build loyal customers, only legal ones.



Companies should treat customers with a bit more respect. They should give loyalty as well as expect it. Quality
restaurants know that tonight's meal has nothing to do with tonight. They already have your money for tonight. The
service they offer tonight is for the next time. Companies offering service ought to think in the same future-oriented way.



Jeffrey Weisman

President

ProPath Marketing Group

East Hampton, NY



*Letters may be edited for space or clarity.


EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION