March 21, 2008


Collectively we have become more savvy about when to contact our customers, but why have we not done the same regarding how we contact our customers?  Usually for compliance reasons, we all collect information about what marketing channels our customers will ‘allow’ us to use for contacting them; and subsequently we create internal “Do Not Call”, “Do Not Email”, etc. lists.  What if instead of making the acquisition of the customer’s channel a necessary formality, we saw it as the golden opportunity that it can be?

If a customer is already at the stage where they are freely giving us their channel allowances, then it is up to us to get the most out of that ‘information giving’ mindset.  If we just asked, they will gladly tell us the best ways of communicating with them – their true channel preferences.  Simply put, we have a captive audience willing to share personal insights and we do very little to capitalize on it; sadly, we collect only what we need for compliance sake.

To make this idea work, we must take the time to fully review our own business marketing models and then be able to categorize them so that we can then present those categories to our customers.  For instance, one company may be able to classify all their communications in to the following groups:

  • Urgent/Time Sensitive
  • Membership Renewal
  • General Promotions/Offers
  • Informational

Then I, as a customer, could say for Urgent messages call or text me.  For Membership Renewal I’d prefer direct mail and for all other communications (General/Informational) please send me an email.

In this way we are truly meeting the needs of our customers by empowering them to tell us the most effective way of communicating with them.  This will help us yield those more meaningful marketing contacts that we are all looking for by truly meeting the needs/wants of our customers.