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Evolution of Marketing Data – The Path to Personalization

Real-time marketing is an evolving concept, but will be revolutionary once fully implemented.

1960 – Advertising and direct mail is designed on a macro scale, aimed at a broad target and hoping for mass appeal.

1961 – The “chip”, or integrated circuits, replace individual transistors in computers to do more with less space, reduce size.

1963 – The ZIP Code and two-letter state abbreviations are introduced into U.S. Mail system, allowing for more targeted direct mail advertising.

1967 – The term “direct marketing” is coined, referring to communicating directly to the customer based on household and demographic information.

1977 – International Assoc. for Statistical Computing is founded to “convert data into information and knowledge.”

1979 – Birth of Relational Database – Oracle debuted the first commercially available Relational Database Management System in 1979.

Early 1980s – Database marketing begins to take shape at the intersection of direct marketing and computer processing, analyzing consumer lists to target segments through direct mail and telemarketing.

1988 – “Database marketing” is first defined as an interactive approach to marketing using various channels to keep an electronic database memory of customers to improve future marketing strategy.

1990s – Rise of Customer Relationship Management – The Internet and financial, telecom and retail industries led to the rise of CRM in the 1990s. Campaign Management Software is Born – Campaign Management software providers have given marketers scalable tools to effectively manage multichannel relationships.

1955 – The Internet as we know it is deregulated for commercial and personal use, and services like AOL and Compuserve began offering public subscribers Internet and email access, opening up new opportunities for direct marketing and greater personalization and segmenting via email marketing.

1988 – Growth rate of data traffic on the Internet is calculated at 100% per year.

1999 – The term “Big Data” is first used, and its challenges of application are discussed: “…the purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.”

2000s – Near-real-time – Near-real-time has taken center stage as the next technological advancement for marketers. Real-time marketing allows marketers to speak to customers individually and in a matter relevant to them.

2003 – Digital information storage officially becomes recognized as more cost-effective than paper. Do Not Call (DNC) Registry Initiated, giving consumers the power to limit the amount of telemarketing calls they receive. DNC and the internet saw email marketing emerge as the number one channel. Opt Out Compliancy Launch – The CAn-spam act established the first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and enabled consumers to opt-out.

2007 – The first iPhone is released, ushering in the mobile smartphone era – creating the always connected consumer via email and SMS marketing.

2008 – Americans consume information for an average of 12 hours per day, and the world’s companies process an average of 63 terabytes of information annually, all of which can be analyzed to market intelligently.

2011 – Twitter hits more than 500 million users worldwide and 175,000 tweets sent every 60 seconds.

2012 – Facebook has more than 1 billion users worldwide and 293,000 status updates every 60 seconds.

In the “Age of the Customer”, marketers must move toward command centers. The ideal command center not only integrates all channels together into a central platform, it also allows for deeper insights and targeted, customized marketing to the right audience, at the right time, through the right channel. Real-time marketing has finally become a reality, and its importance must not be ignored, or brands will lose their competitive edge.

Here’s how to develop a command center that converts customers based on their preferences:
1. Unify all of your compiled data sources into one hub.
2. Use an outside specialist for regular data processing and make sure to stay consistent. Data in today’s world can become out-of-date very quickly.
3. Speak to the right person in the right channel. Know your customers’ channel of preference, whether it’s direct mail, email or social.
4. Know your data intimately and create sound strategies. Spend time and resources now for strong return later.
5. Customers have an equal, if not greater role in determining how they want to communicate with the brand. Knowing your customer today, will ensure they’re your customer tomorrow.

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