Why context is everything in direct marketing

“Treat your customers like individuals.” You hear that all the time. Yes, but how?

It sounds simple, but it can be a little tricky, because human beings are not one dimensional.

Let’s presume you’re marketing to a mother. Sometimes she’s at home with her children, yes. But other times she’s enjoying some quiet time with a book or she’s at the office prepping for a big presentation—and this is all a single individual we’re talking about.

Or, say you’re marketing to the general manager of a software company. He’s responsible for developing new software—but he also likes racing cars. Or say you’re marketing to the director of consultancy firm. She spends her days thinking about business solutions for her client, and she spends her off time as a kickboxing instructor and doing karate.

I could go on, but in essence real people have a variety of interests. They’re not just one thing, and they don’t want to be treated like a segment—unless it’s done well. Nine out of ten customers expect personalisation—that’s nine out of ten.  Customers are, on average, willing to spend 20 minutes of their time setting up personal preferences to let marketers know how, when, and why they want to receive communications, but a mere 32% of marketers claim to be highly effective in engaging with individual consumers.

So, to address the question of how brands can connect with customers on an individual level in context?


1. Harness Big Data to personalise at scale.

More than 80% of the data being created today, and there’s lots of it, is unstructured—videos, pictures, voice. To get a handle on it, take all that rich information you have in structured form, then bring in your unstructured data, and then apply analytics on top of that.


2. Maximise and own the moment.

You can’t really “own” the customer relationship anymore. Channels are just too fragmented and customers have too many choices. But you can own what is becoming known as “the moment of interaction.”


3. Exploit the convergence of physical and digital.

Don’t think of digital and live interaction as two separate things.  The real magic happens when you bring the two together…and break the boundaries of innovation.


Healeys have the experience of working with clients data to produce individual and personalised marketing pieces which work, whatever the size of project.  For more information about how your data can be used to improve response rates and sales then please contact our sales team [email protected]

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