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Business to Business Internet Marketing

Business to Business Internet Marketing


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Published by: arron1fr on Dec 14, 2009
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Underlying one-to-one marketing is the rapid move toward Internet per-
sonalization. The original definition of personalization in marketing meant
using a person’s name or other personally related information in a com-
munication, but today it has taken on a much broader meaning. Person-
alization, in fact, often crosses lines with customization, which represents
the packaging of information in a customized way. For example, Dell
Computer (www.dell.com) customizes Web pages to meet the specific
needs of its major customers. By customizing these Premier Pages for
each customer (Figure 7.3), Dell provides a very personalized experience.
More important, this customization makes it easy for customers to al-
ways know the discounts and other terms and conditions of their rela-
tionship with Dell, thus making it easy to do business with the company.
Another very effective example in the context of customer service is
the way Amazon.com (www.amazon.com) advises its customers on pur-
chasing. Amazon makes instant recommendations and relates books to
“purchase circles” (which show who’s reading what by company and
town). Amazon also provides one-click ordering, which customizes the
ordering process so returning customers don’t have to reenter basic data
already on file. Amazon’s innovation in 2000 was New for You, a per-
sonalized page of buying recommendations that it creates for custom-
ers, reminding them to reference it via e-mail.
As mounting evidence of widespread Web personalization, you will
notice the presence of My pages at a growing number of sites, in par-
ticular at portals and search engines. My pages give users considerable
individual power to customize home pages and other Web pages to meet
their specific needs. These pages typically use personalization engines
and tools that provide users with choices, usually in the form of check
boxes, from which to select personalization criteria. By answering a few
simple questions, the user is instructing the Web site to “learn” his or
her preferences, so that a personalized page appears the next time.

Building Customer Relationships 211

Personalization isn’t only for Web sites. More and more, e-mail pro-
grams are incorporating sophisticated use of personalization, not just
within the e-mail copy, but within the e-mail strategy. Programmatic
e-mail is used so that an individual receives the right e-mail at the right
time. Today it is possible to design e-mail programs to follow a prospect
and cultivate his or her interest, or to prompt a customer to purchase
again when appropriate.
For a continuing dialog about Internet personalization, check out
the Web site www.personalization.com. It will provide you with more
than you will ever want to know about the subject.
Another valuable source of information covering personalization as
it relates to marketing and customer service is the print publication 1to1.
Published by DIRECT magazine in association with Peppers and Rogers
Group, the acknowledged one-to-one pioneers, the publication reports
on one-to-one customer marketing innovations. Check out the Peppers

Figure 7.3.Dell “Premier Pages” are customized Web sites that personalize
the business relationship with major customers.


and Rogers Group Web site as well (www.1to1.com), itself an excellent
example of a personalized site. Register and you’ll be able to get a free
copy of their white paper, “Building a One-to-One Web Site,” which
walks you through the process they followed to create their own site.
Also worthy of review is a report entitled “Best Web Support Sites”
published by The Association of Support Professionals (www.
. The 2000 report is available on the association’s Web
site. The 1999 report was significant because it suggested the broad
implementation of personalization across the ten winning sites: Iomega,
Cisco, Sybase, Microsoft, Intuit, Intel, Symantec, CambridgeSoft, Dell,
and Macromedia. According to report editor Jeffrey Tarter, “There’s a
clear trend toward personalization and audience segmentation, deeper
use of clickstream data, better online forums, and greater intelligence in
search tools and knowledgebase design.”
In the context of building customer relationships, there does appear
to be strong evidence that customizing and personalizing the Web expe-
rience leads to greater customer loyalty and higher customer retention
rates. However, personalization, customization, and one-to-one mar-
keting are not gimmicks to dazzle or band-aids to fix poor service; one-
to-one marketing is a strategy to which a b-to-b marketer must make a
serious commitment.

Five Ideas for Building a One-to-One
Customer Relationship Program

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