Is Your One-to-One Marketing Passé?

PaperSpecs talked with Brian Fabiano, founder of FabCom, an Arizona-based strategic integrated marketing agency, about his recently published book Neuromarketology™: Harness Converging Technologies and Diverging Audiences to Create Dynamic One-to-One Marketing and Astonishing ROI.

​Naturally, our first question was, “What is Neuromarketology?” The author defines it as the science of knowing each of your target audience’s emotional connection points and the methodology of configuring your marketing messages to connect your brand attributes with each stakeholder with dynamic messaging in the most relevant manner for that specific target.

​“Neuromarketology aligns classical branding and positioning strategies with leading-edge technologies, the explosion of new media channels, and the ever-more-demanding consumer mindset to empower marketers to soar on the currents of the Google era, rather than being blown away by them,” explained Fabiano.

​Fabiano’s strategy is about creating a dynamic real-time dialog with the customer, aligning the marketing message to where the customer is in the buying cycle, and using all appropriate media channels to reach that person at the time and place of his or her choosing.

​He believes that Neuromarketology as a methodology is as different from our current notions about one-to-one marketing as the introduction of digital printing was to legacy printing.

​In his book, Fabiano asks us to re-examine our workflows, what data is and what can be done with data to create messaging content that reaches beyond those anemic two percent response rates and into that heretofore forgotten 98 percent of potential customers. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

“The One-to-One Future” is Now

​In their groundbreaking 1993 book, The One to One Future, Don Peppers and Martha Rogers were the first marketing theorists to stress the importance of extreme segmentation and personalization in successful marketing – essentially making a unique offering of a product or service to each prospect and customer.

​But that was nearly 20 years ago – before we had unified e-mail, Google, Wi-Fi or broadband Internet, social media, dynamically accessible databases, or an entire economy revolving around 24/7, perpetually connected two-way communication devices.

​Today, this is no longer merely theoretical insight. Nor is it a best practice that only the biggest can afford. Now, it is possible to fully realize the potential of one-to-one marketing because newly available technology allows you to develop the same knowledge about each of your customers and/or prospects – whether hundreds or millions of them.

​This new capability that allows dynamically generated dialog within your marketing provides the platform for a mutual and real-time marketing relationship upon which you can build brand success and sales.

​In a very real sense, you can now have the same sort of relevant, interactive relationship with huge numbers of customers with the kind of relevance and timing that only mom-and-pop stores or the best corporate salespeople could develop through face-to-face contact.

Creativity for a New Marketplace

​[Neuromarketology] requires fresh ideas and a fresh approach to messaging. One way to ensure the status quo wins out, and the new methodology leaves room for the status quo to survive, is to attach bold new messaging initiatives to old, stale marketing creative. It won’t work.

​In fact, more creativity in every area of your marketing communications will be required to achieve the substantial gains possible. Again, this is because we are deploying micromarketing strategies, which means getting personal, visceral and emotional with people on an on-going basis. So, keep an eye on creativity fatigue.

​The mapping of your company’s brand features, characteristics and attributes to your target audiences’ individual buying criteria requires deep research and thorough strategic thinking. The outcome of a dynamic one-to-one marketing strategy provides us with what to say, how to say it, and who to say it to as well as when to say it. We then must have the “chops” to actualize and deploy the new insights.

​The result of the brand mapping is granular, detailed and specific, so you can cut through the market clutter and convert your targets. It would be like rowing upstream, to try to re-purpose your one-to-many marketing content on your dynamic, personalized, cross-channel one-to-one marketing campaigns. You can’t connect to all these new market slices with content recycled from old campaigns that targeted only your traditional one-to-many audiences.

​The challenge, then, is to tap into a source of creativity that can keep up with the migration of your markets, including facilitating your ability to reach them consistently and efficiently. Implementing new strategies based on dynamic, one-to-one marketing methodology will meet your needs and consumers’ changing preferences as they emerge.

​Owen Butler, former chairman of Procter and Gamble, informed P&G shareholders that the corporation had considered, but ultimately rejected, a proposal to acquire an advertising agency on the grounds that “the creativity of an in-house operation was unlikely to match that of an independent agency.”

​How important is creative development in the marketing process? Irwin Gross, in his study, “The Creative Aspects of Advertising” (Sloan Management Review) examined the allocation of an advertising budget, comparing the costs of creating and developing advertising messages to the outlays for media exposure, and found “advertisers were typically under-spending on creative development relative to media by a wide margin.”

​True creative minds – people with the most creative talent – choose passion over pennies. They’re not in the marketing game for the money; they want to flex their creative muscles. An influx of new, fresh creative ideas comes from a wide, diverse exposure to others steeped in the advertising culture and business, as well as the experiences of working with varied types of clients, projects and target audiences.

​Human resources studies have shown us a creative will eventually get weary of communicating the same brand consistently, day in and day out. Experience shows us the tendency is eventually trying to personally reinvent the brand just a little bit on each advertising initiative. We have seen this phenomenon quickly dilute brands and marketing communications to ineffectiveness. The double-edged sword is that, if management tries to rein in this sort of brand roaming, the creatives will move on to other companies quickly, exacerbating the “reinvention” dilemma, losing time to training, new staff mistakes, etc. One of the defining positive attributes of working for an independent agency is that the creative and strategic teams get to work on scores of accounts, so they don’t get bored and they understand the importance of keeping the brand fundamentals intact.

​A great art director needs a great creative director. A great creative director needs a great strategist. They all need a great copywriter. Nothing would ever get done without a production manager to manage all the details. Each member of a cross-capabilities team of advertising professionals needs the other. The interdependence of the team is like that of instruments in an orchestra – each sound blends together with the others to produce flawless music.

​The top creative specialists – artists, writers, and now even creative programmers – require the right environment. Outside agencies traditionally offer a more nurturing environment for creative people, making independent agencies superior idea factories when compared to in-house departments.


Brian Fabiano


Bob House