Customer Retention through 1 to 1 Marketing

Customer acquisition, retention and engagement in the digital age

”The time for 1:1 Marketing is now and business success is riding on it” 

Jim Miller is right on the money with this recent statement from Direct Marketing Magazine . Miller, co-Founder and VP of Marketo, says there has never been a better time to capitalise on marketing automation technology that is enabling consistent one-to-one, targeted messaging to customers.

Businesses with the will and understanding to capitalise on this technology are achieving high customer engagement and great customer retention results.  One-to-one marketing was popularised by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers in their 1993 manifesto “The One-to-One Future” published in 1993. Their book, amongst other things, extols the virtue of designing marketing communication to engage individuals rather than the masses in the traditional broadcast media.  Their philosophy was ahead of its time. It foreshadowed what MA technology has today made a reality with the important benefit of its affordability to large and small businesses.

In my view, the 12 Week Body Transformation is a great exponent of this approach. According to BRW in January 22 this year 12WBT achieved 350% growth from May 2012 to May 2013. The phenomenon continues as it has now launched in the US.

Clearly Michelle Bridges’ profile is the secret sauce of this business. However this product’s success must be attributed to the combination of Michelle Bridges, Bill Moore, the IT know-how of Tim Phillips and the Health and Fitness background of Amelia Burton. It is my belief that the customer connections have driven the rate of growth. And this is something from which we can all learn.

The 12WBT’s customer acquisition and engagement has been driven through:

  • Use of technology.
  • First class content marketing.

Just like the originators of 1:1, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Michelle and company have focussed on delivering an intensely personal experience. The backbone to their dialogue with customers has been enabled by Salesforce Desk crm, and Exact Target Marketing for marketing automation.

This allows their expert nutritionists, trainers and customer service representatives to manage email marketing, social media, website and SMS campaigns to create a consistent and personalised message.
Michelle Bridges says, “I can’t train everyone and everyone in this country wants me to” so this technology makes it possible.

Social Media provides the platform for communication and connectedness, which for 12WBT are predominantly Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pintrest. Each of these social media channels is managed through the CRM in combination with Exact Target Marketing to build customer engagement and save time in maintaining relationships.  A partnership with app developers enhances the connection and allows customers to keep track of their calorie intake or exercise progress through MyFitnessPal.

In terms of behavior change, this technology’s compelling content drives personal accountability. A personal email, SMS or the weekly Michelle video keeps followers on track.   This is classic change management and that’s why it’s so impactful. The Inner West Facebook Group, Sydney Inner Westies 12-wbt is a great illustration of this ground up activation. The ethos and culture of this approach builds and manifests itself in groups that self-organise, exercise together and develop a further layer of accountability. These “crews” are replicating across the country and are the Joseph Jaffe Zealots of the integrated marketing handbook, ZERO  the so-called bible of the “new” marketing.

The technology in itself is not the silver bullet; it is the combination of the technology and the first class content that creates the power. I encourage readers to take a look at the website and join for a 12 week session to see the extraordinary power of this combination.

The take out from this article goes something like this; a successful business still starts with a clear perspective of a good idea that has a market. The exciting thing is how technology and compelling content delivered 1:1 can create high customer engagement, customer retention and literally “raving fans”, a key business accelerator. If you want to replicate this success please call me at Retain and Gain.  We can build on your idea to meet its market in a way that will accelerate results and potentially build a business way beyond your original expectations.


Andrew Sinclair