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Why Target Marketing is Effective, but Often Ignored


Legacy marketers in the U.S. rarely invest the time and effort to understand the interests and needs of their customers, which would enable them to segment the addressable marketplace -- and thereby personalize their offerings.

Why is target marketing uncommon? It's hard for someone schooled in traditional mass-marketing methods to make the transition. eMarketer reports that it requires having the market data that can be applied in relevant ways to personalize the marketing creative for each of the target groups.

But for those that do the market assessment work and make the transition -- the pay-back can be significant, with personalized offers consistently outperforming the mass-market ones.

March 2011 research from web content management provider EPiServer found that a third of U.S. marketers considered personalized campaigns to be highly effective and measurable, with another 14 percent reporting a better response rate than traditional campaigns.

But the vast majority (64 percent) offered no personalized content on their company website. A major reason marketers gave for the avoidance of personalized marketing was a lack of useful tools for implementing it -- again, that's likely not the primary reason, but it's a common justification.

The survey found more than two-thirds of U.S. marketers planned to use personalization in their campaigns within the next 6 to 12 months. So, the intent is there, perhaps event the desire -- still the key thing that's often missing is the actual execution.

Personalization intent has apparently reached the mobile platform, as marketers look more closely at the new opportunity to reach their customers while on-the-move.

King Fish Media found in an April 2011 survey of companies with a mobile marketing strategy that while just 7 percent currently offered personalized mobile experiences for customers and prospects, 42 percent planned to do so in the next year or two. Nearly three-quarters thought it would increase loyalty.

eMarketer says that email personalization also consistently shows results. A December 2011 market study by Alterian found targeted email was the most commonly personalized marketing method used worldwide.

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