Steve Curtin Steve Curtin Author and consultant, Steve Curtin, LLC
Are you drawing customers in, or driving them away?

Are you drawing customers in, or driving them away?

There is a fine line when it comes to tracking customer behaviour. Read what not to do with your customers data or run the risk of overstepping the mark into customer invasion.

Marketers have increasingly been using acquired intelligence about their customers to tailor pitches to match customers’ unique buying patterns and preferences and to attract their future spending. And while marketers hope for consumers to respond favorably to their tactics, that’s not always the case.

My local supermarket asks for my “loyalty” card (it’s really a “customer acquisition” card, but that’s a topic for another post…) before applying discounts on select purchases. It then uses that information to tailor monthly coupons that are mailed to my home. Whenever I review the set of coupons, nearly all of them apply directly to personal preferences that I have willingly shared. And because the coupons reflect those preferences, I have a powerful incentive to return.

But when a retailer abuses personal information that it has speciously obtained, this may produce a very different response.

Lately, a variety of retailers have requested my email address - ostensibly to forward an electronic copy of my receipt rather than print a hard copy at the register - only to begin spamming me with unwanted marketing messages after auto-consenting my email address into their marketing databases.

Marketers that use acquired intelligence about their customers in consensual ways that are mutually beneficial draw customers in, whereas marketers that abuse such information drive them away.