Thursday, July 28, 2016

Personalization Driven by Bad Data Ends Up Crashing

Personalization is a fundamental necessity for direct marketing response today. So why do personalization efforts still flop? It's usually a data problem. A recent post by Spider Graham for highlighted five common personalization mistakes and illustrates our point. First, pretending to know a recipient when the marketer clearly has nothing more than a name is a response killer. True personalization is about crafting message, offer and value proposition based on understanding the target and his or her needs--which requires recent, multifaceted, quality data. On the other hand, getting the name right is still the first, most basic requirement. Using the wrong name or a misspelled name is a data sin, but even using the wrong version of a name can backfire, especially with opt-in e-mail or telemarketing, Graham points out. Spam suspicions rise when someone who always subscribes as Bob is addressed as Robert. That's why it's important to consider list data sourcing when personalizing, especially in terms of hygiene and rented versus house quality. Third, Graham reminds that marketers are chasing moving targets; many attributes, from address to relationship with a brand, change over time. Good personalization relies on up-to-date data about multiple demographic factors and purchase patterns. A promo for stuffed toys to a household where all kids are grown and gone stirs up nostalgia not dollars. Fourth, don't lie and imply a relationship that doesn't exist based on a one-time visit or query, warns Graham, or "come back" and "we miss you" will not only alienate but waste an opportunity to start a new relationship. Finally, check your basic data quality! Dedupe, normalize, update and watch for missing data fields as well as faulty fill logic so you don't end up with "Dear FirstName" or "We miss you, N/A." The good news is that the worst personalization errors can be avoided by committing to smart data hygiene, logic and processing. See the complete article:

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