Personal selling has always had the ability and advantage of tailoring a message for a specific customer. A downside of personal selling is the cost and time required to touch all members of a large market. On the other hand, mass selling gave us the opportunity to reach a broad audience in a cost-effective manner but we had to do so with a “one-size-fits-all” message. Marketing technology is increasingly becoming more sophisticated is helping to close the gap between personal selling and mass selling. Now we can easily personalize mass communications to address customers by name, present specific promotions based on what we know about that customer, automate follow-up, and more.
According to this article by Econsultancy (and the cartoon above provided by the Marketoonist), 37% of brands say their automation is not successful. Ask your students why that’s the case? Which companies do they feel do a particularly good or bad job? Can they come up with a list of best/worst practices?