Goodbye to “Sir or Madam” Marketing

© Brunoil |

© Brunoil |

“Dear Sir or Madam,”

“Have you heard about our new [product/service]?  There has never been anything like it before.  Best of all, it’s designed just for you, [prospective client name here]!  Worry no more about [financial security/maximizing returns/funding college/on-time retirement].  Our [product/service] will fit your needs like a [glove/shoe/favorite T-shirt].”

Most marketing has gotten well beyond this level of obviousness, of course.  But below the smoother surface of our mail-merges, much corporate thinking about marketing is still stuck in the one-size-fits-all mindset that should have gone out with legwarmers.

American Express was successful for years with the all-purpose slogan, “Don’t leave home without it.”  But with the 1990s came the advent of a new consumer mentality, one that encouraged customers to feel that products and services were not generically designed for the masses but tailored “just for them.”  American Express recognized this and retooled its approach, adopting its revised, targeted slogan, “The right card for the right people.”  As Richard Weylman noted in Opening Closed Doors, AmEx had realized that “it is more important and effective to reach the right people than it is to reach many people.”

It’s one of the great insights of modern marketing.  In today’s advertising climate, the wider you cast your net, the lower your marketing ROI.  Instead, spend some time identifying and wooing the very specific fish that are most likely to bite on the bait you have to offer.

How do you identify these fish?  Look around your tank. They’re already swimming in front of your nose.  Your current happy customers are the best predictors of what your future happy customers will look like.

After all, your current happy customers are happy for a reason—they love what you have to offer.  If you think of them as generic “customers” and go out looking for more “customers,” you are missing out on the golden opportunity to discover just what it is that brought them in and kept them with you.  Do you have accounts belonging to young families?  Realtors?  Educators?  Members of the Kiwanis?  Golf-loving retirees?  New homeowners?  Each of these comes with specific needs and desires.  Find out what they love and want, then build tightly targeted marketing around that subset of your local population.

And how do you find out what they love and what they want?  ASK them!  Remember that people love to talk about themselves.  Send out a personal letter to every current client who recently bought a home.  Tell them that you are eager to have more clients just like them.  Who wouldn’t want to hear that?  Ask what would make their lives easier—from actual financial products and services to a pizza delivered on Moving Day—then create it, advertise it, and reel ’em in!

In the end, your marketing should consist not of one big blast of generic information, but six or eight smaller, more carefully crafted campaigns.  Believe me—it’ll be the biggest bang for buck you’ve ever had.

One Response to “Goodbye to “Sir or Madam” Marketing”

  1. http://www./ says:

    Oi galera aqui quem fala é Ana Carolina de Salvador- Ba, quero muito poder participar desse programa tão maravilhoso que é o idulos, pois não é apenas um programa é também um sonho que faz parte das nossas vidas que queremos mostrar o lado artistico e por isso quero muito participar dessa grande eatapa até mesmo para adquirir experiência.bjussss

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