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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Confessions Of A Preferences Fanatic

There are certain things in life that I am passionate about — golf is just one of them. But I am also a fanatic about marketing communications that come to me in the manner and frequency that I want. Companies who honor my preferences are more likely to get my business — and my continued loyalty.

Doesn’t sound complicated, does it?

Yet, I am constantly amazed at the number of marketers who just don’t get it. They invest big dollars and a lot of time and effort into campaigns that they think are relevant for their target audience. But too many times they don’t let the audience have a say in terms of the kind of content that they wish to receive, the desired media such as email, text message or direct mail, or the frequency of the communications.

I am a preferences fanatic. I like the ability to tell a company my preferred communication channel, my specific areas of interest and even how often I want to receive their messages. Companies who bombard me with messages that are not relevant to my interests or who insist on calling me when I prefer email will soon fall out of my favor.

Take my bank, for instance. I am a homeowner, so I might be interested to find out when interest rates drop or if there are new options for refinancing. But I am not interested in offers for new credit cards. And, I prefer email over phone calls or postcards. Considering the sheer volume of emails that I receive each day, about once or twice a month is all I that I would care to hear from my bank.

So, how can a company honor my preferences?

The simplest and most effective way is to offer an online preference center that makes it easy for me to express my detailed opt-in and opt-out preferences based on product or contact channel. The preference center provides the organization with a centralized, single view of my preferences.

My bank could remind me in my regular monthly statements to update my preferences in their online preference center. That way, when I do take advantage of a refinance offer, I could “opt-out” of that content and “opt-in” to hear about their other services that might be of interest. And if I change my mind and decide that I do want direct mail instead of email, I’d have that option, too.

Show me your preference center and you may win my business and loyalty!
MyPreferences Preference Center

About the Author: 
Scott Frey is the CEO of PossibleNOW and CompliancePoint. Scott leads the strategic mission to maintain its leadership position in global direct marketing compliance by closely monitoring changes in consumer privacy legislation, industry trends, and delivering innovative products and services to meet client’s needs.
 Follow me on Twitter: @ScottFreyPN | Connect on LinkedIn: Scott Frey 

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