Lately I have been gazing into my crystal ball trying to conjure the future of digital marketing. And, you know what I see, I see a day when we can create experiences that are so real time, offers so personal that we embark on the age of what I call One:Me Marketing. One:Me Marketing is something that I have been talking about and writing about for nearly a year. It is the next step in our marketing evolution. Right now, we are elbow deep in one-to-one marketing. We used to and still engage in one-to-many marketing. And with the advent of open social platforms, the promise of One:Me can be realized.
Before all the chatter created by social, brands had to rely on mass media to communicate their messages to the widest audience possible. Didn’t matter that the audience was not in the market for a luxury vehicle, we wanted to show them a super fancy, aspirational car commercial. The point is, we wanted to get our brand in front of as many eyeballs as we could in the hopes of reaching the right few. In my opinion, mass media is a lot like throwing spaghetti against a wall. Some will stick and sales will happen, but it is just simply so difficult to track and measure. However, since we have been using these mass media vehicles for so long, we have a very good general sense of what will happen when we run an ad on television or send a direct mail piece. It is understood that traditional media will return an expected ROI based on its historical performance. Tried and true, yet quickly diminishing.
And then came digital and we could offer people a way to opt in to get more information. This allowed people to show interest in our products and services so that we could start to have a one-to-one dialog with them, primarily through email and now through social media. One-to-one has started to dip the toe into personalization and through great marketing automation; you can build profiles on people to build specific content to help move them through the sales funnel. You can set up content triggers to see where they are in the funnel and work toward closing that sale. The problem with this approach is that it is one size fits all for both brands and for consumers. There is still guesswork involved. Your automation system has to suppose motivation. What if you could take the guesswork and software supposition out of the equation?
With big data and social media, we could take this experience even deeper. Instead of the experience ending at the point of opt in, what if you could aggregate your customer’s social feed into your marketing automation system. The guesswork would get to be incredibly limited. For example, let’s say I am a member of LEGO club. I get monthly messages from LEGO and am also a loyalty member. I also follow them on Facebook. Then one day, I mention on Facebook that I am looking for something for the family to do on Saturday. LEGO sells a lot of LEGOs at their in-store building events. They know if I bring junior to the store, the chances are great that I am walking out with LEGOs. (LEGO is one of my favorite brands and I think they are marketing geniuses.)
The message is tailored, specific, and most importantly for me.
So, in the One:Me future, their marketing automation system will take this information about my desire to find a good activity for the family on Saturday, aggregate it with my loyalty account and send me a note inviting me and Junior personally to the in-store build event. They would probably remind me I have credit from the points I have accumulated and they might even offer me something special like a coupon or a minifigure to get me there on Saturday and it would work. Mention that you want to make something easy for dinner tonight, get a recipe from Kraft that is tailored to your families tastes, budget, etc. Start the couch-to-5K running program and have a social affinity for Nike, get a message from Nike to try their new sneakers. Take this scenario in any direction and it creates a more precise marketing practice and enables a brand to understand customer intent like never before. The message is tailored, specific, and most importantly for me.
If personalization as it exists today drives an increase in sales, what if that level of personalization could be layered with social data to drive scenario based or intention-based personalization. As far as I know, this is not available yet. If you are building this, oh, please shoot me a message; I would love to talk to you! So as of today and my knowledge of One:Me Marketing automation software, it is crystal ball gazing, but you just know someone is going to figure this out soon, because the promise is so big and the opportunities are endless. It creates wins for brands by offering them the ability to get precise about the sales funnel based on real customer intelligence. It benefits customers by giving them what they want when they want it.
One:Me is the manifestation of our on demand world. Are you ready?