Most of the year turn on the TV, open your Inbox, wade through the Sunday paper and just about all you see are advertisements filled with store-wide sales and category-wide coupons and double points this and double points that.
During this Holiday season it’s even worse. More advertising. Promotions layered on top of promotions. Door busters. Early opening specials. And on and on.
It’s the retail industry’s equivalent of carpet bombing.
Why focus on best fit consumer segments? Why worry about reinforcing–or at least not denigrating–your brand positioning? Why fret about profitability? Let God–or the Finance department–sort it out after the fact.
The typical defense of this approach is that it works.
Really? Show me the data.
If your definition of “works” is market share, rather than building progressively deeper relationships with valuable customers, I will grant you that. If it’s about revenue, instead of profitability, okay you win.
But the real reason is that it is easy.
Developing actionable customer segmentation methods, building a permission asset, testing your way into progressively deeper personalization and increasingly differentiated and relevant value propositions takes time, involves risk and requires a financial investment.
Relying on mass, undifferentiated marketing is taking the easy way out. And for many, it will be the shortest way out of relevance and, ultimately, out of business.