Are You Marketing Out Of Sync?

Jennifer Schulze

When it comes to quantifying a customer base, just like a free t-shirt, one size does not fit all. In marketing out of syncfact, the customers of one business can come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and the motivation that drives those people to buy a product or invest in a service can differ greatly from consumer to consumer. Thus, when it comes to choosing a marketing strategy to attract potential customers, one technique might not “fit all.” In reality, appealing to customers effectively can take a variety of different tactics and strategies, each tailored to a customer’s specific wants, needs, beliefs, and habits.

One of the best ways to create tailored marketing strategies that both impress and help retain customers is by using targeted and personalized strategies. No one wants to feel like “just a number” and marketing to customers in a way that speaks to them as an individual is key. Read on to learn more about how to use targeted marketing to effectively convert potential customers to paying ones.

1. Create targeted and customized messaging

When it comes to directly contacting a consumer for marketing purposes, abandon the idea of spam and faceless advertising. In terms of marketing, quantity NEVER trumps quality. In reality, spamming consumers with information that they cannot relate to may eventually turn people away from your business, rather than drawing them in. Instead, customize marketing emails and messages so that they directly relate to the consumers who are receiving them. For example, send holiday or event emails at the right time to the customers who are celebrating or taking part in that event. However, it is also important to play a little hard to get. For example, if a customer receives too many emails from you it may be considered an intrusion and will get your emails sent straight to the trash. Or worse – they will unsubscribe entirely.

2. If it’s not personal, it’s not business

There are many ways to personalize the user experience with some simple tricks:

  • Get friendly. Many customers make purchasing decisions based on recommendations from friends. By offering referral programs that provide special incentives to both the referrer and referee, everybody wins! This can offer a big boost to customer retention and growth.
  • Get local. For brands with a larger national, or even state-wide footprint, offering local websites can offer customers a feeling of shopping locally with a business that understands the community and their specific needs.
  • Get social. If a website is too labor-intensive, consider making local social network pages for specific areas. Post special deals, coordinate with local events, and share relevant local information. This positions your brand as approachable and knowledgeable as well as involved in the community.

3. Make it memorable

The best marketing evokes emotion in the end user. And the key to solicit those feelings is knowing what motivates customers to take action. And since that motivation can be different for each customer, personalization is a tool worth having in the mix. Finding the right partner and the right tools to break customers down into segments can be the difference between growing your business, and standing still.

To ensure you are using targeted and personalized strategies, you need to understand your target market and what behavior they exhibit. Knowing this allows you to tailor your message to be memorable and customized to their voice. Ensure that the content and messages you provide are of the highest quality so you keep them engaged and wanting to learn more.  One size does not fit all, so don’t try to force-fit your message. Are you sure you know your customer’s size and preference before you try to engage in conversation? If you don’t, you are clearly marketing out of sync, and likely soon to be out of business.

The CMO’s role is evolving from being focused on execution of campaigns and events to being responsible for the total customer experience. Learn more about Marketing’s Customer Experience Mandate.

About the author: Jennifer Schulze (jennifer.schulze@sap.com) is Vice President of Cloud Partner Marketing at SAP. She leads a global team of marketing experts to ensure partner demand generation, awareness, and go-to-market success. She has more than 20 years of experience in consumer and technology marketing, with expertise in software, services, and consumer and business products.


About Jennifer Schulze

Jennifer Schulze is Vice President of marketing for SAP. In her role, she manages customer marketing as part of the office of the COO. She has over 15 years of technology marketing and management experience and is a small business owner in the San Francisco Bay area.