Marketing can get too personal: Panel

Marketing executives at the ExactTarget Global Connect Tour in Sydney debate whether data-driven marketing is making things too personal for the customer

Inspired marketing is increasingly reliant on data and analytics for customer relevancy, but can your efforts become too personalised?

That was one of the key questions raised during a panel session of marketing executives at the Sydney leg of ExactTarget’s Connect Global Tour on 15 May. The panel was chaired by the chief of the Association for Data-driven marketing and Advertising (ADMA), Jodie Sangster and featured Microsoft’s head of digital, Jeff Flanagan; GrabOne head of marketing, Campbell Brown; DealsDirect CMO, Linda Barrett; and 12 Week Body Transformation marketing director, Jimmy Storrier.

While all four panellists admitted to pursuing more targeted, segmented marketing activities using customer preferences and behavioural information, Brown advised others never to underestimate the power of the wildcard. His own company, GrabOne, is a daily deals site launched in New Zealand.

“Relevancy is very important and we spend a lot of time on that, but leveraging what is trending also works very well for us,” he told the audience. “You need to understand the threshold of the customer for personalised information and know just enough to help make that decision for them. A big lesson we have learnt is that trending is a good fallback.”

Storrier claimed too much personalisation of information could in fact “creep” customers out and recommended a balance of individually tailored marketing with content that matched the “tastes of the tribe”.

“Consumers also want to belong to the group, rather than have us talking just to them and no one else,” he claimed. “I think we as marketers can get too personalised and we’re still learning the right balance.”

Barrett claimed the timing of purchasing was another key consideration in the 360-degree view of the modern customer and a factor in understanding when they buy. She pointed out the online-only retailer’s best-performing digital communication with customers is its 6am newsletter, which includes a plethora of offerings and in fact goes against the concept of targeting.

“As a customer I want you to know me, but also connect me with things that are relevant at that moment in time,” she said. “It’s about tailoring the offer and the occasion.”

Flanagan also saw the timing and value proposition of the product as key to keeping the customer front and centre of Microsoft’s marketing efforts, particularly given its broad product offering. Panellists were also asked what they considered to be the key essentials of today’s CMO. For Barrett, today’s marketing chief must work to a data driven, more analytical framework and hold strong financial skills.

“The creative is still an important part of the role, but these data and analytics skills are equally as important,” she said. “In the retail space, your core adjacency as a marketer is usually the head of merchandising and while this relationship is still relevant, you’re also going to be increasingly engaging with the CIO and CFO.”

Storrier agreed the CIO and CFO should be a CMO’s best friends and added a technology background and knowledge is also important. In addition, CMOs should be the customer advocate at the boardroom table and be able to tell a story well.

Barrett also saw marketers taking more risks and becoming more adventurous, while Brown stressed his passion for data. “There are so many products you can build off that and it’s what is driving mobile, email, ad serving and so many other different ways of connecting,” he added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia or take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

It's an interesting direction, and fair play that they've backed what their service differentiator in the market is. It's a bit clunky bi...

Jeff

Versa launches bot-activated website

Read more

Algorithms that can make sense of unstructured data is the future. It's great to see experts in the field getting together to discuss AI.

Sumit Takim

In pictures: Harnessing AI for customer engagement - CMO roundtable Melbourne

Read more

Real digital transformation requires reshaping the way the business create value for customers. Achieving this requires that organization...

ravi H

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

thanks

Lillian Juliet

How Winedirect has lifted customer recency, frequency and value with a digital overhaul

Read more

Having an effective Point of Sale system implemented in your retail store can streamline the transactions and data management activities....

Sheetal Kamble

​Jurlique’s move to mobile POS set to enhance customer experience

Read more

Blog Posts

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

You’re doing it wrong: Emotion doesn’t mean emotional

If you’ve been around advertising long enough, you’ve probably seen (or written) a slide which says: “They won’t remember what you say, they’ll remember how you made them feel.” But it’s wrong. Our understanding of how emotion is used in advertising has been ill informed and poorly applied.

Zac Martin

Senior planner, Ogilvy Melbourne

Why does brand execution often kill creativity?

The launch of a new brand, or indeed a rebrand, is a transformation to be greeted with fanfare. So why is it that once the brand has launched, the brand execution phase can also be the moment at which you kill its creativity?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in