Imagine my surprise (and frustration) when a marketing letter arrives in the post, from an accountancy firm, announcing their skills and reasons why so what consulting should use them as their accountant. It all sounded positive, but I couldn't move on from the addressed to section. Because they forgot one vital thing. The sent it to the only male director on the register. Yes, that's right folks a classic example of failing to know who your customer is.
If they had thought about it, they would have seen the two names listed on the company register and that those two names would talk about the information that they had received. After all, those two directors need to agree what they are going to do about an accountant, it's something that they both have to agree on. Instead what they did do, by sending it to only one director was to cost themselves a potential customer. We were still in the market for an accountant at the time. They could have been considered. Instead, rather than carrying out a bit more research and identifying all directors on the list, there collateral went straight in the bin. I bet we aren’t the only prospects either, with over 80 new companies being born an hour, that's a huge percentage of missed opportunity. I suppose it's not quite the Julia Roberts moment in Pretty Woman ("Big mistake. Big. Huge...") but the principle is the same.
This is not the first time that I have received incorrectly targeted marketing material. Not so long ago, an energy company sent around a brochure about rolling out a boiler replacement offer. The collateral was about an installation happening in a town that is over 30 miles away from where we live. Not that I'm a keeping up with the Jones' type person, but something more relevant to my household might have encouraged us to do something with it. Given that it was expensive direct mail too, how many other people had they sent the same, apparently personalised content to, that in reality was way off the mark? Again another one that ended up being trashed. This is where automation without proper analysis of your customer data can go wrong and prove costly. With over 60% of marketing budgets being spent on the wrong strategy, never mind when you get that strategy right but you don't implement it as you should.
These are great examples of why it is so important to know your customer. On the surface, they may seem like small mistakes, but they impact a customer's engagement with your brand (and the assumptions that they may make about your brand as a result of this). Get your customer profile and segmentation wrong and you will be losing out on a multitude of potential sales, future revenue and that all-important customer lifetime value.