I heard a great term from an analyst recently who talked about a “segment of one” when referring to the new breed of personalized one-to-one communications. I think it nicely captures both the aspirational nature of improving customer communications by treating each customer as an individual, as well as the seemingly daunting task of trying to accomplish it. A million plus segments, really?
Practically speaking, I think we all recognize that the idea of a “segment of one” is not really about saying something truly unique to each and every individual customer. After all, we acquired our customers based on some degree of commonality with the services we offer, and we hope to keep them and motivate them to purchase additional complementary solutions.
Segment-of-one is really about moving away from lowest-common-denominator type messaging towards a higher degree of personalization and relevance in our every day communication with customers. More importantly , it seeks to clearly demonstrate to customers that you “know” them, that you took the time to care by tailoring your offers and communications appropriately. Yes, the customer is still a number, but you’re treating them each as number one.