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A Guide to One-to-One Marketing for the Forward-Thinking Enterprise, with Examples

Use their first name a lot. Oh, and definitely track their online activity so you can make subtle references to things they like and their recent purchases.

What may sound like one person’s creepy dating tips are another’s marketing methods in the age of personalization.

A study of 1,500 U.S. consumers from Marketing Insider Group and OneSpot found that 78 percent of people are more likely to make a purchase when the brand provides relevant content, 50 percent would pay more for a product if they received a personalized experience, and 64 percent would recommend a brand that delivers relevant content.

If you’re interested in capturing the ever-growing portion of the market that’s looking for one-to-one experiences, keep reading to learn about benefits, examples, strategies, and everything else the forward-thinking enterprise marketing team should know about one-to-one marketing.

What Do We Mean by One-to-One Marketing?

One-to-one marketing—also often referred to as 1:1, personalized, or individual marketing—is a customer relationship management strategy in which companies leverage data to deliver personalized interactions and offers to customers and leads.

Recent advancements in technology have enabled marketers to collect more data, analyze it in record time, and leverage it for real-time personalization. Translation? Now is the time for forward-thinking enterprise marketing teams to embrace one-to-one marketing to boost loyalty and ROI.

Examples of One-to-One Marketing in Action

Even when it isn’t specified as “one-to-one” marketing, many of us experience personalized marketing regularly in our everyday lives. The following examples show that enterprise-level marketing isn’t only about the cutting-edge software and multi-million dollar initiatives. Sometimes, adding a thoughtful and personal touch can go a long way in establishing trust and, eventually, sales.

Customized Recommendations

Some of the world’s favorite online entertainment and shopping outlets got that way because of their ability to provide a steady stream of offerings that consumers are actually interested in. How do they nail it every time? With recommendation engines.

Recommendation engines use algorithms, A/B testing, and sometimes even AI to predict and recommend something on-site (or in-app) that a user may like based on what they’ve consumed in the past or what users similar to them have consumed. They’re what suggest related items to you on Amazon, keep you engaged after your series ends on Netflix, and create Spotify’s recommended playlists to keep you pumped up during your workout.

Personalized Emails

Like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, you’ve got mail. In fact, we’ve all got mail. In the U.S. alone, 85 percent of adults and 78 percent of teens send or read email. One of the best ways B2B and B2C businesses have found to cut through the clutter is to invest in personalization.


One-to-one email marketing comes in many forms, several of which you’ve probably gotten yourself. The followup email asking how your meal was, the hand-written email offering to schedule a demo for the software you were just researching, and that email reminder that it’s, well, been a bit too long since you ordered your last electric toothbrush head are all stellar examples of personalization that generates loyalty and revenue.

Relevant Retargeting

Ever notice how many of the ads you’re served online seem to get a whole lot more tropical after you search for plane tickets to Hawaii (guilty) one time? That’s retargeting.

Retargeting uses Javascript to attach a “cookie” to a user’s browser when they visit a website. Even after leaving that website, that cookie enables brands to serve ads to that user across the internet.

On average, only about 2 percent of traffic converts on the first website visit. Retargeting allows marketers to keep their brand top of mind (and offer discounts) for consumers who are comparison shopping or taking their time to read reviews and consider their purchase.

Advantages of One-to-One Marketing

With all the technology on the market to enable personalization, creating a personalized buyer’s journey is nearly the norm for successful enterprise marketers. The great thing is, there are plenty of advantages for the enterprise that chooses to invest in one-to-one marketing.

Higher Customer Engagement

Consumers are fine with sharing their personal data as long as they get customization in return. Your customers are literally offering to pay you in data for a one-to-one experience. Give it to them and watch your engagement levels rise.

Evangelism and LTV

One-to-one marketing naturally lends itself to creating a 360-degree customer profile. By relying on historical and behavioral data, you can keep creating more and more personalized offers, upsells, and messaging; thereby forming brand evangelists who not only spread word-of-mouth marketing but also likely have a high lifetime value (LTV).

Proactive Support (and Sales)

Sure, support and sales aren’t exactly your realm of expertise as a marketer, but they’re still areas where the business benefits of one-to-one marketing can be seen.

Taking into account that full-circle view of customers we just mentioned, customer service representatives are empowered to use deep customer knowledge to offer proactive and even preventative support that’s hyper-relevant to clients. Sales teams can use that same customer knowledge to reach out to hot leads with relevant products or services to improve their current experience.

3 Steps to Making One-to-One Marketing Work for You


We understand that, in enterprise marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in conversions, sales, clicks, and tons of other numbers. Plus, personalization can seem like an overwhelming undertaking. However, you can’t ignore it any longer. The consumer is in charge and, while they have easy access to all kinds of competition, they won’t spend the time to change providers unless they have toToday, the enterprise that uses one-to-one marketing to cultivate lasting customer relationships will win.

So now that you’re well-versed on the ins and outs of one-to-one marketing and convinced of its advantages, we hope you’ll take our honest recommendation to try it out for yourself. Here’s how to get started in your own organization.

1. Get Down to the Nitty-Gritty

If you’re going to provide personalized marketing, you first have to understand the person. So, the first step in implementing one-to-one marketing is gathering as much data as you can about as many customers as you can.

We’re talking more than contact information. Use smart profiling software to identify customers and website (or app) visitors so you can attach habits, preferences, and maybe even a social media profile picture to their name. Enhance these profiles by continuously gathering data throughout each person’s lifecycle. You should be able to greet them by name at every point and in every department where they make contact with your organization.

2. Segment Carefully

Customers almost always have several different needs and concerns that motivate their purchases. They also typically provide different levels of value to your organization. Use the customer data and behavioral observations you’ve collected to group your customers by these motivations and values. Now, tailor your marketing campaigns to only deliver the most relevant messaging and offerings to each of these segments. You’re one-to-one marketing!

3. Put Your New-Found Knowledge to Work

In this final stage, you might find yourself needing to adapt your own marketing behavior to meet each person’s individual needs. Let your new-found customer data guide you to connecting with leads and consumers using the specific language, channels, and timing you already know will resonate best with them.

When you can see the full context of every interaction and start picking up where the last conversation left off—whether it was on the phone or on Facebook—you’ll know your one-to-one marketing strategy is off to a powerful start.

Learn More About One-to-One Marketing

Personalization in marketing has a fascinating history. If you’d like to learn how personalization has evolved since the Mad Men era and dive deep into current statistics, developing trends, and what today’s marketers can do to keep up with tomorrow’s personalization demands—check out our infographic all about why personalization is the most important marketing trend of this century.

If you’re ready to bake one-to-one marketing right into your content management and delivery efforts, we’d recommend a headless CMS like ContentstackSign up for a free trial today and create a proof-of-concept to see how we empower personalization through unique, turn-key integrations that work with your best-in-class marketing tools.

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