Marketing Strategy

18th September 2015

Mass Marketing is Dead

by Howard Birch, Project Manager

Image: Eggs

The way in which brands speak to us has changed. We have transitioned from traditionally generic comms to more individually tailored offers and messages. Nice touch. But is that all it is? Or has it become an essential strategy of how brands communicate?

Well, not quite, but there is certainly a case to suggest that it is rapidly diminishing and we are moving towards a more personalised, micro marketing focused environment.

As you’re well aware, the marketplace is daunting with countless options, substitutes and alternatives available for every product and service under the sun. Due to this plethora of choices and messages, consumers are becoming more and more resistant to homogenization and generic offers that communicate with everyone in the same way. Think about it, as a person, you don’t speak to your family, friends and colleagues in the same manner; you adjust your approach/chat depending on the individual you’re talking to. The same is required for brands. They need to tailor their message to specifically targeted (and increasingly savvy) consumers who want connection on a personal level.

This personalisation of customer experience is absolutely crucial in creating and maintaining a trustworthy brand with which people want (or need!) to engage – which is essentially the end goal for any marketing campaign. At a basic, day-to-day level, you are more likely to have a favourable opinion of, say, a hairdresser who knows your name or a bar in which you can ask for “the usual” – you engage more with those who care about you, and it’s the same for brands.

As consumers’ expectations increase, as do brands’ need to match and ultimately exceed these. From this, individually shaped communications has understandably been touted as a ‘tsunami’ that will shape the future of our industry. Unquestionably, the brands best suited to surf this wave are, as unglamorous as it sounds, those with robust research methods and data capturing techniques.

The reasoning behind this is fairly simple. Simple, not easy. As I’ve mentioned, the more you understand consumers on an emotional level, the more you’ll be able to foster engagement and consequently, maximise customer value to build a (lasting) relationship.

Companies with thorough data capturing instruments will be able to track past behaviours, habits, patterns and preferences and consequently build specific consumer profiles. This allows companies to target and communicate to consumers with unprecedented accuracy and personalisation resulting in more meaningful and emotional engagement.

"Delivering relevant product offers and personalised content to customers is how to establish and develop a relationship"

Jaye Taylor (Marketing Executive at Retail Assist)

Recent research provides evidence of this. A study in the paper Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field shows that 78% (4 out of 5!) of consumers feel that personalised content leads to a deeper relationship with brands. As reiterated by Jaye Taylor (Marketing Executive at Retail Assist); “Delivering relevant product offers and personalised content to customers is how to establish and develop a relationship”. And of course, this will be mutually beneficial for brand and consumer. For example, Amazon’s “Response To Buying Suggestions”, which recommends products based on your purchased or recently viewed items, is said to generate an additional 10% to 30% revenue for the business. That is added value. Personalised content for the customer leading to stronger brand/customer relationships and increased revenue. Win win. The profiling/targeting of consumers based on robust research and data capture is the cornerstone of a personalization strategy. As demonstrated by Amazon and many others, brands who nail this and apply appropriately will be winning.



For me, a game changer in the personalisation of products game was Coca Cola. You know where I’m going with this: you uploaded your personalised bottle of Coke to Facebook, you kept it, you bought someone else’s for them… at the very least, you looked for it. And if you are unfortunate enough to have a name like mine (Howard), then you are probably still looking in vain. Either way, you can’t deny that this genius marketing strategy appealed to you on some emotional level and thus (whether consciously or subconsciously) improved your opinion and engagement with the brand. Chapeau, Coca Cola.

And this is the challenge for us Marketers; to work with unprecedented originality, creativity and consideration for the end consumer. The personalisation of marketing strategies is not a fad and will become a necessity for all promotional campaigns. So, get your trunks on and prepare to ride this proverbial tsunami.

I thank you, [insert your name here], for reading.

Howard Birch, Project Manager

Mass Marketing is Dead