Brian Russell
Brian Russell / Marketing / May 10th, 2012

Shotgun method marketing often has collateral damage

The shotgun method of marketing is often not the most effective. It can often result in collateral damage — e.g. the view that you’re out of touch with your customers’ needs and wants. And once you’re seen as out of touch, it’s not a long way at all for a permission marketer to fall to the trash or SPAM pile and be replaced in the minds of their once-customers.
Thankfully, there’s a lot of great intelligence that can be gathered via the internet about your current and potential customers that can help business owners and marketers be more relevant. Isn’t technology grand!?
Some of the deeper data can be gathered using for-pay services, but much of it can be had for free.
Just a few examples of actionable data include:
  • what words people use to search for products like yours
  • when people search for products like yours
  • where they’re located
  • and what information they gravitate toward when they’re browsing products/services at your site
You can even ask current and potential customers to self-identify their interests. Retailers also have the benefit of analyzing purchase history to suggest what else to buy and when to buy it.
In my inbox today, though, were just a few examples of retailers who apparently aren’t using the information about me to which they are privy.
Yes, I’ve bought jewelry from Blue Nile, and I’ve been pleased with the quality and service. But I’m a man, and I’ve never bought from them any men’s jewelry. I also would find it difficult to believe that I had even searched their site for men’s jewelry. There should be no reason for them to believe that I would want to create a wishlist for others to purchase me jewelry for my birthday. I wear my wedding band, and that’s it. My wife is even surprised I wear that much bling.
From Best Buy I’ve purchased computers, external harddrives, memory cards, flash drives, a couple of phones, a couple of TVs, and a few cameras. I go to Best Buy because I’m immediately able to feel the product in my hand and give it a test drive. They tend to have more of a variety than the other box stores, and when I make my pick I can take it home immediately. Never have I searched for country music on its website, or made a purchase of music from its stores. Modern country music is actually one of my least favorite things. There should be no reason for them to believe I’d be interested in a Carrie Underwood concert — or whatever it is because I’m not even going to open the email, yet another piece of evidence that country music is not something that interests me.
There are a lot of ways to make a more targeted, and likely more effective, pitch to your current and future customers. And these intelligence gathering methods are not all new technologies, although strides are made regularly and the techniques become more accessible to smaller businesses.
My suggestion to every business is to evaluate what information you already have handy about your current and future customers, and how can you use it to make a more focused presentation to them — individually or in groups.