Magazine article Marketing

Simplicity Ends Confusion

Magazine article Marketing

Simplicity Ends Confusion

Article excerpt

Targeting the consumer with made-to-order options can be confusing and alienating. Making it easier and more attractive for the customer will build a loyal relationship

There is good news and bad news about the development and implementation of marketing theory in the UK over the past few years, which when taken together cause me to question whether we could all be having a little too much of the 'good thing' that marketing undoubtedly is.

First the good news. Whereas we have all become accustomed to the sharpest and fastest-moving marketing ideas coming from small, entrepreneurial companies, it is clear that the giants of UK industry have caught up and are rivalling their smaller competitors.

Larger firms in areas such as air travel, telecoms, utilities, banking and retailing have been far more proactive and focused in recent years, with loyalty schemes, segmented marketing, targeted offers and themed mixed-media advertising working above and below the line. They have moved into customer databases with great enthusiasm and invested millions in improving customer service and general customer-facing operations, whether over the counter or on the phone.

It demonstrates that, for the first time, marketing theory has permeated large, traditionally slow-moving organisations. While the boards of these firms will still keep a very close eye on the costs incurred by the marketing department, in terms of overall company culture they are intent on displaying a very different approach and attitude to their customers.

And yet some industries are going so overboard on this exciting new concept of marketing that there seems to be a real danger of customers feeling, in the words of the old song, bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

Information overload

Every month or so, it seems, some organisations send out details of a new tariff for a certain type of customer, overall or segmented price deals, loyalty schemes, incentives, competitions, special offers or third-party promotions. …

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