Concierge Marketing – Know Your Customers Before They Are Customers

I am a marketer, so I have the same priorities and hear the same trends as you ….. “use more data, segment, personalize, optimize”.   But this can all feel a little distant and hard to grasp when we are putting together that next campaign, or go-to-market strategy.   So (as I was taught) I decided to look at this from the consumer perspective….how can we make this notion of data-driven personalization more tangible?

I am a marketer, so I have the same priorities and hear the same trends as you ….. “use more data, segment, personalize, optimize”.   But this can all feel a little distant and hard to grasp when we are putting together that next campaign, or go-to-market strategy.   So (as I was taught) I decided to look at this from the consumer perspective….how can we make this notion of data-driven personalization more tangible?

It turns out I have a pretty strong perspective here.  I travel a lot (and I mean a lot – I have some pretty uniquely colored loyalty cards in my collection), I stay in some nice places (and also some not so nice places when the WealthEngine budget demands).  As a result of all of this, I am a rich target for a lot of high end travel-related prospecting.

From this unique vantage point something struck me.  As a time starved, but relatively affluent (I’m English so you have no idea how hard it was for me to type that….in case you didn’t know, we don’t talk about money!),  I’ve come to expect concierge-like experiences at the point of consumption.  But the experience I get across the rest of the marketing lifecycle is very different.   As a customer, when I check into a Kimpton or a Ritz Carlton, they make an effort to show that they know me, they listen and they understand me and my needs.   But as a prospect, I get nothing.…I get the same bland messages as everyone else who fits a broad profile of a relatively affluent, executive traveler.

So a phrase came to mind that we have started using a lot here at WE….’Concierge Marketing’.  It basically means that as a consumer, I expect a level of personalization and understanding not just at the point of consumption, but also at the point of persuasion.

Reassuringly, the data supports this…..There was an interesting survey done by another marketing personalization company recently  – Monetate – that showed that 96% of consumers are frankly ‘ticked off’ with the mis-targeting of marketing messages.  That’s staggering, and it speaks to the fact that as marketers we continue to pay lip service to customer understanding at the top-of-the-funnel and continue to fall into the “volume trap” of just filling the funnel at all costs; sending the same message to a broad audience, letting the law of probabilities do its job to pop out customers at the end, that we only then invest in to treat like individuals.   With the pressures on ROI, and in particular pressures on you as luxury marketers, this is simply untenable.

Often times we hide behind the excuse that “using big data to get insights on people is just creepy and is a violation of privacy”, but here’s the really interesting thing.  Those people from that Monetate survey went on to say that they WANT you to personalize….75% of us WANT providers to use data to personalize outreach….they want concierge marketing and they want you to use their personal data to do it!

I’m not preaching big data and analytics or even personalization here – as marketers we hear that daily.  It’s about application.  It’s about applying it to the lifecycle of engagement.   Unless you invest to understand your prospects as you reach out to them at the start of their journey with you, you’re always going to be playing catch-up when they talk to your actual concierge.

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