To Get Past the Noise, Try Talking Human

To Get Past the Noise, Try Talking Human

The following statement should not surprise anyone: Most advertising is not remembered. Most advertising is just noise because “[the] overwhelming majority of the ads that are run are not the least bit relevant to any one of us.”

That quote is from this blog post by Steven P. Dennis, a consultant, speaker and writer on retail innovation, omni-channel strategy and marketing personalization.

He goes on to say: “The fact is just about everything we encounter is noise. Advertising based upon interruption rather than permission. Marketing programs that are mostly one-size-fits-all, rather than rooted in treating different customers differently. Product assortments that suffer from a sea of sameness. An avalanche of data and a tsunami of stuff.”

So how do you get past the noise and become a signal? Well, in the same post, Mr. Dennis offers a challenge: “The challenge is to deeply understand our customers at a granular level, to create and deliver something intensely relevant and remarkable and then to amplify the hell out of that sucker.”

Fortunately, thanks to technology, there is a solution, and it involves personalization.

“It’s only recently that technology has advanced well enough to enable brands to make sense of all the behavioral data they are collecting and to use that data to connect meaningfully and personally with their customers.”

That quote is from this article. In it, the author suggests that it’s not enough just to personalize anymore. Marketers have to use technology not only to communicate with their customers at scale, but also to connect in a more human and authentic way.

With all your data in one place, it’s easier for marketing automation technology to provide you with solutions to both the issue of marketing and scale and marketing in a human way. And the results of doing so are incredible. Check out this example from BCBGMaxAzria1:

Women’s fashion company BCBGMaxAzria has been in business for more than 25 years, but it did not have a customer life cycle marketing strategy. It did, however, understand that its customer base was divided into three different types of fashionistas, and each group required unique actions to become interested and engaged. It used marketing automation to capture customer behavior on the site to send triggered emails to the right customers at the right times.

“We had one welcome email and then maybe they bought, or maybe they didn’t, and we would just batch-and-blast marketing emails to them,” Tommy Lamb, manager of ecommerce marketing at BCBGMaxAxria Group, told MarketingSherpa. The company learned that generic conversations were not working, so it used automation to help achieve more personalized connections with customers.

BCBGMaxAzria identified four key “triggers” and developed associated triggered email messages deployed according to a customer’s actions or inactions.

Additionally, notification messaging based on shopping behaviors were sent, which not only referenced a clothing item viewed or a new arrival, but associated wardrobe items that might be of interest.

The company reports that triggered email pushes average a 525% increase in click-through rates when compared to nontriggered sends. In addition, open rates have seen a lift of more than 220% when compared to the brand’s nontriggered sends. The company is now working on customized landing pages so that when consumers click through an email, they will be taken to a page with the BCBG branding that also is dynamically populated with a personalized product assortment.

By understanding their target and communicating to them in a personalized, human way, BCBCMaxAzria saw huge increases in key marketing metrics.


1 Roman, Ernan. “Put Life Into Your Customers’ Life Cycles.” CMO, 7 Jan. 2016. Web. 11 Jan. 2016.

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