Small Business and Church Unwillingness to Be Personal

‘”We believe the new bars will inspire people to not only quickly identify their own symptoms and satisfy their hunger, but give them a new, fun way to call-out friends and family on who they become when they’re hungry, too,” says Snickers brand director Allison Miazga-Bedrick.”

Source: Snickers Swaps Out Its Brand Name for Hunger Symptoms on Painfully Honest Packaging | Adweek

Brand apathy” is a very real and serious issue for both large and small businesses, nonprofits, and churches looking to make a connection with varieties of demographics, community, consumers, and people.

It has been interesting to see Coca-Cola roll out their “Share a Coke with…” campaign and the various amounts of reception it has generated. I’d love to see those internal metrics on which names, which zip codes, and which demographics perform the best.

Motorola, Nutella, M&M’s, and Kleenex are among the larger companies that have jumped on the idea of using personalized packaging to increase brand engagement. Smaller companies, such as those in the wedding and service industry, have long used personalization as a marekting tool.

However, beyond using a first name and last name scheme on an email newsletter or a “personalized” letter in an offline mailing, many small businesses have yet to use the tools available to do more personalization despite the potential benefits.

I’m always surprised by clients or potential clients who are so strongly insistent on their brand identity (whether it be a logo or a particular style of packaging) that they are simply unwilling to even consider a form of personalization despite the metrics and data.

“Consumers” in 2015 and beyond are accustomed to the idea of personalization, partly because of large brands such as Coca-Cola, but mainly because of the web. If you’ve spent any time at all browsing, surfing, or buying online (and who hasn’t), you’ve certainly noticed personalized ads that follow you from Amazon to Facebook to Google to Huffington Post and back again. While we’re currently debating ad blocking and tracking in the nerdy sectors of the internet, there’s no doubt that the web has become full of trackers because they work. Granted, adtech hasn’t been the best steward of these tools, but there’s real benefit to using them ethically.

So why aren’t small businesses, churches, or nonprofits making more use of personalization online and offline?

I’d say it mostly has to do with the psychology of their leaders and an unwillingness to do better marketing through exploration.

“Talk, don’t listen … decide, don’t engage” sums up that mindset. That’s a mindset that will lead to organizational death. The Cluetrain Manifesto is old in web years, but still very applicable.

 

Author: Sam Harrelson

Marketing and Technology Strategist at https://samharrelson.com ; Podcast at https://thinking.fm

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