The Mass Customization Of Marketing

from the this-pitch-specifically-designed-for-you dept

A few years ago we wrote about Harrah’s somewhat creepy “rewards” program that so thoroughly tracked users’ preferences, that they knew much more about everyone who walked in their doors than most people would have ever imagined. They used that data mining system to create very personalized pitches directed at customers, and it’s worked wonders. Harrah’s apparently now gets 43% of their customers’ gambling money, up fro 36% a few years ago. Other companies have taken notice and lots of them are buying into similar marketing and data mining tools to help create that perfectly customized pitch. This, of course, was the promise of plenty of CRM technologies that never quite lived up to the hype. However, now, like so many promises in the late 90s boomtime, it appears the technology may be ready. While it is creepy to some who realize just how much data is being stored and analyzed about them, others notice that in some bizarre way, it has the opposite effect. By creating such a customized appeal, it makes users feel more special — more like they’re going to the old corner grocer who happens to remember them and everything they like. Still, at some point, the level of customized marketing coming from a large multinational company may seem a bit too creepy when they remember much more than a corner grocer ever would.

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Comments on “The Mass Customization Of Marketing”

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dorpus says:

Fear of a chi-square planet

In Michigan, there is a wal-mart like retailer called Meijers, open 24 hours, which sells everything a wal-mart supercenter would sell, plus gourmet food on top. I’ve bought stuff that even Whole Earth Foods doesn’t sell, like fresh gooseberries. The store is as big as a city, and employees often don’t know where to find stuff. If Meijers were to sell computer stuff too, I would never need to go to other stores anymore. Maybe we’re headed toward a future of one-store economies?

Loraan says:

No Subject Given

Harrah’s and other casinos are second only to the insurance industry when it comes to demographic statistics–maybe even first! Given demographic information for a person, they calculate that person’s lifetime payoff–that is, the amount of money that the person can be expected to lose in the casino from now until they die. People with higher payoffs get bigger perks from the casino.

Joe Baderderm says:


I recently attended a CRM conference in SF. The funny thing (at least to me but not to vendors) is that CRM really needs to be about the customer and not the technology. Most companies are failing to realize that and implementing technology that just annoys people rather than help them. How many times have you entered in your account number on customer service call and then have the person pick up and ask you for that number again?

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