Magazine article CRM Magazine

Getting Personal: Be Appropriate or Beg for Forgiveness

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Getting Personal: Be Appropriate or Beg for Forgiveness

Article excerpt

WHEN IT COMES to improving customer relationships, contemporary wisdom posits that organizations should connect with customers on a personal level. After all, who wants to be treated like a number or a stereotype? However, if they're not careful, companies trying to get too personal too quickly can get burned, so knowing the right mix of personalization is paramount.

It can be tricky, though. Clearly, doing too little to personalize interactions with customers and prospects would likely make them feel disconnected to your company and brand, as Editorial Assistant Koa Beck points out in her cover story, "The Feminine Marketing Mystique" (page 18).

According to research cited in the feature, more than half of women feel misunderstood by marketers in various industries, and 91 percent said that marketers don't understand them. Part of the problem is that too many marketers assume they can appeal to women by casting a wide net based solely on their gender. Some scenarios work better than others, but when you move further away from industries that cater to women, it tends to get progressively worse.

But even a company that targets women should not assume to know them when crafting an advertising campaign, or when considering the design and layout of a retail store, for a large female audience. That is especially true when the company has very little information about the audience. In an advertisement, a company is better off focusing on the feelings that it wants the product or service to convey. For example, women who buy a product might appreciate similar things about it--perhaps it makes them feel independent, confident, or elated. …

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