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Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett

Five Tips for Making Personalization Work

People are unlikely to schedule a root canal because they receive birthday wishes from their dentists. Nevertheless, many companies are able to boost sales by tailoring products and services and marketing messages to particular individuals or groups.

The End of One-Size Fits All Marketing

Research your target groups to understand their needs and aspirations. As reported in our last newsletter, Barneys New York researched what products brought younger new customers into their high-end stores and stocked more of those products.

Differentiate. Tailor your offerings to meet the needs of the most promising market segments. A mortgage company could design special products and services for first-time homeowners or retirees who are downsizing.

Select the right media. Assess which types and which combinations of media are most practical and most effective for each target group. Social media is more effective when selling consumer products, and in-person sales calls are more effective when selling complex new technology.

Appeal to emotions, as well as logic. The Boston American Marketing Association recommends using emotional appeals even when selling technology products.* For instance, "With ABC's software, you can rest assured that your identity and your data are safe."

Incorporate stories, examples, case histories, and at times personal experiences in your messages. By also incorporating well chosen "trigger words," in your narratives, you can describe benefits in a way that will "humanize" technical products, according to the Boston American Marketing Association. Stories also work with more conventional products. In a recent Farmers Insurance ad, a moose brings down a swing set that crashes into a customer's SUV. The ad's trigger words are, "And we covered it."

One size fits all products and marketing no longer work, not even for a basic product such as milk. On a recent vacation with our extended family, we had five different types of milk and coffee creamers in the refrigerator, each produced and marketed for different reasons for different market segments. To increase sales, choose the groups or individuals you want to target, learn about them and their needs, and develop offerings and messages that will resonate with them.

Winett Associates helps companies
understand their customers and markets.

Copyright © 4/17 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.


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