Fast Company

Engaging the New Consumer: Database and Variable Marketing

Gone are the days of a media landscape dominated by mass-market advertising and the cookie-cutter consumer. No longer are effective marketing campaigns targeted to mom, dad, son, daughter and grandpa. Today, effective advertising engages the affluent mother who’d rather go to a spa than pull weeds or the introspective father who cares deeply about the hem on his pants. Personalization and customization are essential as businesses seek to establish meaningful relationships with prospective and current customers.

Segmentation is a marketing tool used to identify and develop communications for key consumer groups. Through a variety of business intelligence tools and comprehensive market databases, companies can synthesize a large amount of consumer data into key target segments.

Variable Browsing

After visiting Amazon.com, doesn’t the homepage start to recommend books you’d actually buy? The same goes for a YouTube user. As your browsing history accumulates, Amazon and YouTube sifts through their mountains of data to recommend customized product / video pages just for you.

Beyond YouTube and Amazon, there are many repositories filled with billions of data points. Sweepstakes, contests, online registrations, even browsing history generates mounds of data about each and every person. In essence, as we browse and engage with the web, we are creating a trail of digital crumbs. Those mountains of data are valuable for companies seeking to quantify, qualify and synthesize their target segments. A tremendous amount of money is spent purchasing this data–whether it’s by a senators re-election campaign or a Fortune 500 company.

Variable Marketing

To further engage consumers, there are many tools at your disposal. One of those tools is variable marketing. Variable marketing uses an overlying theme coupled with a personalized message to every consumer or segment. Imagine a piece of...

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