break-up

Learning From 'The Break-Up': 4 Steps to Better Customer Relationships

  |  November 13, 2012   |  Comments

If you're not listening to the story being told, then your program will fall flat and victim to things like testing for the sake of testing.

I wonder how many marketers have ever heard of or come across "The Break-Up." If you're reading this and immediately associating the title with that of the Jennifer Anniston/Vince Vaughn romantic comedy, entitled with a similar name, you would be mistaken. I'm referring to a very witty two-minute YouTube clip developed approximately five years ago that does a great job of putting a consumer's frustrations with an advertiser into real-world context that is still being echoed among many of us today.

Just to give even more context, the clip opens with both consumer and advertiser regrouping over lunch. The conversation is very matter-of-fact with the consumer laying her cards on the table with an advertiser with whom she's placed a level of trust in - to represent her (voice or brand) appropriately - not to mention the advertiser's banter is just genius. The consumer does an excellent job of conveying some very specific points of contention with the advertiser in question:

  • We don't talk anymore
  • One-sided conversations aren't a dialogue
  • You speaking for me is not genuine
  • I've changed
  • You're not listening (to me)

I'm actually encouraging everyone to take two minutes and watch this clip. It undeniably resonates and echoes the sentiments of all consumers at some point within the customer lifecycle. If you get nothing from this clip other than the last two points the consumer is trying to make - "I've changed" and "You're not listening" - then you have done yourself a great justice in arming yourself to market and speak to your audiences better already. Even with the advertiser in this scenario reveling at the fact that he knows X, Y, and Z about his customer, he isn't taking the appropriate measures to use the information to the best of his abilities.

4 Steps to Getting It Right

  1. Score. Set up data rules and begin scoring your data appropriately.
  2. Segment. Easily made possible by step number one, go beyond labeling someone as registered, non-registered, lapsed, dormant, inactive, purchaser, or non-purchaser.
  3. Version. Different iterations of messaging are needed to speak uniquely and explicitly to various individuals or groups - no two will ever be quite alike, and likely shouldn't be spoken or communicated to as such.
  4. Rinse and repeat. Learn and adapt, allowing for data-driven logic to drive decisioning.

The latest buzzword in the industry is "big data," but I prefer the term "actionable data." I say this because of the simple fact that the beauty about data (whether it's acted upon or not) is that it's one of the few things that we'll each tend to come across that's truly black and white. After all, it is what it is, and if data is anything, it's a story. Like every story told, we get many different interpretations out of them. But if we're not listening to the story being told, then our programs fall flat and victim to things like testing for the sake of testing - and that never gets us anywhere, does it?

Break Up image on home page via Shutterstock.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kara Trivunovic

As an email marketing veteran dating back to 1999, Kara Trivunovic has been actively involved in programmatic email development, execution, and strategy in a variety of senior positions on the client, agency, and provider side. She was founder and principal of The Email Advisor, a respected email marketing consultancy focusing on email strategy and channel optimization that was subsequently acquired by an enterprise email service provider in 2009. Over the course of her career, she has had the opportunity to work with a variety of brands and global organizations structuring a variety of custom email education programs, conceptualizing and implementing new and innovative email programs, optimizing contact strategies, and developing staffing and budget plans. Kara currently serves as the vice president of digital solutions at Epsilon.

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