Rogers says she and Peppers first began talking about the concept of one-to-one marketing in 1993. Since then, they've taken deep dives into ideas like "return on customer," which means that a company should sell the right products to customers instead of finding customers for the products they want to sell, and taking the long view, or emphasizing lifetime value. That last idea deals with beating "the crisis of short-termism" among companies, to paraphrase the title of their latest book.
"So how many companies really practice one-to-one in a model way?" is her rhetorical question. "I'd have to say, none. Including my own, I'm afraid. Because it's very hard. It's an aspirational kind of thing to be able to do."
But the process of attempting to achieve perfection greatly improves a company, Rogers adds. And the next steps in improvement will come in the return on customer metric, balancing short- and long-term goals while keeping customer trust in mind, and seeing the entire company through the customer's eyes.
All that takes integrated marketing skills. And integrated marketing absorbs all channels, all company divisions, all lines of business, "everything," Rogers says. "If a company is customer-centric, then the heart of every decision is this or that customer. That's it."
Big Idea: Violate Privacy, Lose Customers
Consumers have become wary of companies that violate their trust by sharing data about them or misusing the information, even if it's only through incompetence, these experts say. While that's the biggest "don't," there's plenty more happening in privacy.
Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of Traverse City, Mich.-based independent privacy research and consulting group Ponemon Institute, points to his iPhone as an example of just one of the new technologies that open up a new world of data collection and marketer-consumer interaction opportunities.