The Myth: Consumers are no longer willing to share in-depth information with marketers.
The Reality: There are five prerequisites that, if addressed by marketers, have proven effective in engaging consumers, (BtoB and BtoC), to share detailed Opt-In self-profiling information.
In a previous blog, we discussed the critical consumer decisions that take place within what I call the Reciprocity of Value Equation. Insights which identified the Reciprocity of Value Equation and the following 5 preconditions are based on numerous Voice of Customer research efforts conducted for companies such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, NBC Universal , and HMS National.
Research findings indicate that decision makers in both the B-to-B and B-to-C realms have 5 pre-conditions for sharing in-depth information:
- Consumers have to trust that the company will adequately safeguard their information and use it in a responsible way.
- "Responsible" means that consumers must believe that their information will not be rented or sold to third parties.
- "Honor my preferences" reflects the expectation that their Opt-In self-profiled preferences will be used to drive increasingly targeted communications and offers. To overcome the legacy of receiving untargeted and irrelevant communications, consumers must see an obvious improvement in relevance. If the value is not obvious, consumers will assume you are sending "more of the same old" and feel you betrayed their trust and expectations.
- The value consumers receive in exchange for providing in-depth information must be obvious and compelling. To overcome the legacy of receiving untargeted and irrelevant communications, consumers must see an obvious improvement in relevance. If the value is not obvious, consumers will assume you are sending "more of the same old" and feel you betrayed their trust and expectations.
- Consumers must see proof that the company will be able to deliver on requirements 1 through 4 above, not just once, but consistently over time. If this occurs, they will be motivated to update their ever-changing interests and preferences and thus, ensure that your Opt-In database remains fresh.
Ask your prospects and customers how they would define "relevant and targeted" communications and offers from your company...and what information they would be willing to share with you in order to receive that value.
Also, check that you have the support to create the "clearinghouse" function to evaluate all the various communications that different divisions and business units want to send...and that you will be granted the authority to suppress those communications that are not relevant to the expressed preferences of individual customers.
Ernan Roman is President of the marketing consultancy, Ernan Roman Direct Marketing.
Recognized as the industry pioneer who created three transformational methodologies: Integrated Direct Marketing, Opt-In Marketing, and Voice of Customer Relationship Research.
Clients include Microsoft, NBC Universal, Disney, Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
Ernan was named to "B to B's Who's Who" as one of the "100 most influential people" in Business Marketing by Crain's B to B Magazine.
His latest book on marketing best practices was published in October, 2010, and is titled: Voice of the Customer Marketing: A Proven 5-Step Process to Create Customers Who Care, Spend, and Stay.
Ernan is also the co-author of "Opt-In Marketing: Increase Sales Exponentially with Consensual Marketing" and author of "Integrated Direct Marketing: The Cutting Edge Strategy for Synchronizing Advertising, Direct Mail, Telemarketing and Field Sales."