One-To-One Marketing at a coffee shopMy favorite coffee shop is 15 minutes before I get to work. I first stopped in one day as I was running late with a hurried order. The barista listened to me and brewed a cup just to my liking. Based on my positive customer experience, I returned to the same café the following week. The barista remembered my name and my order when I walked up to the counter and asked if I wanted the same cup as last time. I am one of many customers this shop attracts each day, but because of the individualized interaction I received, I have become a loyal customer to the brand.

One-to-one marketing is a strategy where companies use details and data collected from each customer to create personalized experiences.

Online marketers can emulate my barista by paying attention to their customer’s preferences to build meaningful and long-lasting relationships.

To do this, begin by constructing profiles and databases on each customer. There is a pool of basic information readily available about each customer including his or her name, home and e-mail address, birthday and other demographics. Additionally, gather history about customer behavior, such as time and place of orders, service calls and complaints, and medium through which products were discovered and purchased.

Then, follow trends and analyze patterns. What will set you apart is detecting customer habits and tastes of even the most niche audiences. Broadly, recognize if a certain group is interested in a specific product and market to them, or conversely if your target market is not picking up on something. More narrowly, track at each touch point what individual buyers are interested in.

Armed with this data, you can program suggested items of similar products other customers bought or allow users to create their own experience and adjust your services based on their needs, similar to a salad bar with many toppings to choose from. Remember previous interactions and recommend related or perhaps identical, in some cases, items.

Finally, allow for change as customer preferences shift. Understand that what may have been marketable to a customer at one time may no longer be applicable to suggest now. Maybe a customer drinks coffee in the winter and tea in the summer, or maybe a customer has decided to permanently cut sugar from his or her diet. Take note of these adjustments.

When one-to-one marketing is used effectively, companies have to tailor experiences for each customer to cultivate meaningful relationships.

Can you recall a time when a company created a one-to-one experience for you?