Alokananda Chakraborty

Personalisation is vital in online marketing

Not just communication, but even product, price and promotions should be personalised to reap maximum benefits from online marketing

The key to unraveling the power of the Internet lies in building a personal rapport with the user or customer. This thought was put forth by Alok Mittal, co-founder and vice-chairman of at the day-long seminar organised by OgilvyInteractive on the subject of ‘Making Digital Marketing Work', in Mumbai, on October 14, 2003.

Mittal was speaking about his experience in acquiring online customers during the session on ‘Customer Acquisition - How to effectively use interactive to generate leads'. He emphasised on the need to not only personalise communication but also product, price and promotions. "Personalisation is the greatest power of Internet-based marketing," he said.

Mittal cited the example of an online campaign initiated by Jobsahead to promote its resume-writing feature. The mailer, in the form of a letter, was dispatched to people from various sectors, keeping in mind their experience, background and qualifications. The letter had a personal touch to it, and received an overwhelming response from the target audience tapped.

Mittal also stressed on the need to exploit the quality of interactivity inherent in the net. "Brands can now interact with customers and increase the level of engagement," he said.

Mittal pointed that a longer period of time, more energy and money is spent in devising creatives for an online campaign. "The creative cycle on the net is short," he said. "If you spend 3 to 4 per cent of your budgets on creative and divert the rest into media when offline, you could be spending close to 20 per cent on creative and the balance on media when online," he added.

Mittal pointed that the need of the hour was to organise processes and not pages. "You could, for instance, use exit pages to provide information about your brand rather than bombard the user or customer with information while he is performing a task online," he added.

Harsh Vardhan Roongta, CEO,, discussed the lessons he'd learnt in setting up and managing Apnaloan, a website offering loans and credit cards. Roongta pointed that there are four elements that work in a marketing medium - online experience, CRM, delivery and value. "The link between the four is technology and if combined well, can go a long way in winning over customers," he said.

The digital medium competes with other media, hence, customers expect value propositions to be superior and more attractive, he highlighted. "You need to narrow the gap between the offer, consideration and final transaction by keeping the lead capture mechanism very simple," he said.

Roongta stressed that viability will improve if quality implementation is sound. Contactibility, personalisation, addressing complaints, work towards keeping the database of customers happy apart from serving as a strong referral point, enticing non-users to try out the service. "Don't waste time and money in acquiring a customer if you cannot serve him or her," he cautioned. "Avoid bulk mail shots, and track conversions at every stage," he added. © 2003 agencyfaqs!

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