The Problem With “One Size Fits All” Marketing –

The Problem With “One Size Fits All” Marketing

You've heard me say it before: "If you're not collecting data, you're forced to communicate with everyone the same."

That statement certainly rings true in this example submitted by Peak Potential Profits member "Nick Liberati." It's an e-mail he received from the club he belongs to wishing everyone born in April a "Happy Birthday."

The problem is: his birthday is NOT in April and he receives 12 of these per year even though it's only possible for ONE of them to ever apply to him.

Where do we begin?

Here are just a few problems with this approach.

Lack of data strategy
If this organization was using a CRM system like Infusionsoft, they'd easily be able to store birthdays in the individual contact records of each member. What's more, they could launch a Birthday Follow-up sequence, similar to ours, which automatically counts down to the individual birthdays of each member. Not only would they be able to send a personalized "Happy Birthday" to Nick and other members on the actual date of their birthday, but they wouldn't have to send this "one size fits all" e-mail to EVERY member.

Which is my next point...

Wasted real estate

Every communication you send, every banner you place on your website, every announcement you include in your newsletter is valuable real estate. Just because you're operating in a digital, "virtual" landscape doesn't mean you can think of these assets as unlimited resources. If this were direct mail and you had to pay $.60 to $1.00 to send this "one size fits all" mailing out, would you be as apt to do so?

Truth is - every useless e-mail you send takes away from a useful, targeted, higher performing e-mail you could be sending. Not only will your audience only tolerate so much but there are also opportunity costs to consider. That e-mail to all "April Birthdays" could very well be a targeted offer to all "non-April" birthdays, while the April birthdays are contacted directly and given their free dinner entree. Instead, Nick and others must ignore every monthly Birthday e-mail until it applies to them.

Which brings up my next point...

3) You train your list to ignore you

 You've only got so many times to make an impression. Like the "3 Strike Rule," if your audience gets in a habit of feeling like your communications don't apply to them (I'd give it 3 times), they will soon tune you out --- if they don't unsubscribe FIRST!

To be fair, there are times when you need your general list to raise their hands for something specific. That's fine as long as you don't keep bothering the general pool with communications only meant for a small subsect. Besides, there are other ways to collect this data.

4) You're forced to use broad language like "For those"...

One thing I've learned in developing my philosophy of "scaling personal attention" is you want to communicate as if you're speaking to one person. When you're doing "one size fits all" marketing, you're forced to speak to the whole group with broad language.

Sure, third person communication has its place but broad, corporate language will hardly ever outperform personal, one-to-one language. If you're always having to begin with "For those of you," you're probably not using CRM and data collection optimally.

I could go on and on but you get the point.

Are you guilty of "one size fits all" communications?