Chapter 2. Classic Data Problems, Classic Marketing Tools

In Chapter 1, you learned about how organizations of various sizes and industries benefited by adopting a more personalized, customer-centric approach to marketing. Later chapters will address the technological and cultural forces needed to make such a shift.

This chapter serves as a primer on marketing approaches that have preceded CDPs, most of which have used technology to learn about and respond to individual customers. You will see that these systems have evolved from offering static, one-way customer communication to continuously personalized and customer-informed ones.

Mass and Direct Response Marketing

Marketers adopted a variety of media to communicate with customers in the 20th century, starting with mass marketing and moving to more personalized direct response:

Mass marketing

For the majority of the 20th century, the predominant marketing tool was mass media. The goal here was to publicize a brand to as many people as possible in a single event. Customers encountered these campaigns via television ads, billboards, and other media, where ads could be placed secondary to their main objectives.

Marketer Seth Godin coined this practice “interruption marketing” in his 1999 book Permission Marketing.1 The goal was to build brand loyalty and brand equity with these consumers. But, given the monolithic nature of mass media, it was difficult to determine individual customers’ behaviors and journeys.

While mass media ...

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