Messaging Overload

Customers receive 3,000 plus marketing messages per day and the majority of these messages wash past the average consumer. Every day, consumers are actively tuning out TV ads, reporting spam e-mails, dumping unopened junk mail, blocking online ads, and otherwise ignoring you (marketers – that’s you and me) and our cacophony of mainstream marketing mayhem

Consumer marketing fatigue has struck at the worst time in history. Marketing executives (CMO’s) are already walking the 18 -24 month plank of job tenure. In addition, marketers are under extreme pressure to drive revenue gains, increase loyalty and prove measureable ROI back to the business – all on decreasing budgets. The fact that customers are tuning out in droves is a huge concern for CMOs, since without their customers they would be without a job and their companies without profit.

To get to the bottom of this issue, InfoPrint and The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council conducted a poll to find out what marketing tools are working for consumers and what methods are being directly tossed out the window without a second look.

In the final Relevancy Report, nearly all of the respondents, about 91 percent, found email marketing messages to be irritating and irrelevant, a tool CMOs have thought to be an affordable and less time consuming method to reach customers. Close to half of this amount, 41 percent, said that irrelevant emails often drive them to stop purchasing from a particular brand altogether purely out of annoyance.

At times, it does seems like war between marketers and customers, even the marketer’s jargon is militaristic: “targeting” eyeballs, “guerilla” marketing, “capturing” audience, and getting “hits.” But, imagine if your customer was running your marketing operations. What would they want from your front line? Who would they vote for or against?

  • Would they cast a vote for communications that were helpful, innovative, and relevant?
  • Would they vote for flashy banner ads and irrelevant junk mail?
  • Generic e-mail that is the “lowest cost” option for the marketing team?

Most marketers would agree with the first bullet and then deliver the generic message with the second bullet. In fact, in Routes to Revenue, 76% of marketers admit to leaving money on the table by not sending relevant communications. When asked why they blame the data: it’s inaccurate, silo’d and very difficult to manage.

The Peace Treaty: Relevant Marketing

Precision Marketing is quite simple – customer’s choice in content, delivery and timing: the right message (relevant), at the right time (manageable) and via the right channels (customer’s preference). Precision Marketing puts the customer at the center of all marketing and enables companies and marketers to become the trusted advocates and build customer engagement, loyalty and revenue. Quite simply, customer data drives relevancy, relevancy drives loyalty and loyalty drives revenue.

Marching Orders:

  • The Customer is Center. All the time. Really. Act accordingly.
  • Ask your customers what they want
  • Leverage your data to gain customer insight.
  • Create relevant offers based on propensity to purchase in all channels.
  • Measure to see if you delivered, tweak and repeat.


The time has come to stop using the “rope” as the method of delivery which suits neither needs of the consumer or the marketer. Instead of tugging at your customer, we should be embracing their preferences, purchasing habits and loyalty – and cut the rope. After all this is not a war that can be won since the customer has the final vote. (with their dollars)