How to Develop and Execute a One-to-One Marketing Strategy

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Marketing Strategy

21st Century marketing is way more than a salesperson reaching out to prospects. To stay ahead of the game, companies need to strategically hone an approach that embraces both software solutions and real, human-client interaction, to convert potential customers into long-term paying customers.

71% of customers today expect a personalized approach from businesses they choose, so, you need to adopt a considered one-to-one marketing strategy – not just think ‘mass marketing’. This article will walk you through key considerations when implementing personalization in marketing, show benefits of one-to-one marketing, and provide successful one-to-one marketing examples.

One-to-one marketing vs. mass marketing

Let’s take a step into the past -just for a moment: with the emergence of radio, newspapers, and television, businesses gained access to a vast audience. Mass marketing became the major means of reaching out to customers. By definition, mass marketing is an approach that focuses on advertising products or services to a large audience. Examples of mass marketing include billboards, television ads, radio ads, or printed media ads in newspapers and magazines.

In the early 90s the concept of one-to-one marketing gained in traction, although arguably it’s been around since the dawn of buying and selling – think of the one-on-one interactions in general stores when shop assistants remembered regular customers’ preferences and you’ve got an idea of what one-on-one marketing really is about…

Today, one-to-one marketing is a more considered client relationship management strategy where a business reaches out to an individual with a personalized marketing campaign, rather than addressing a large group of people with an offer. With the help of digital technology, businesses are able to glean insights about the clients through data analysis, enabling them to carry out marketing campaigns tailored to each consumer’s needs. A higher level of personalization helps businesses establish and maintain long-lasting relationships with clients and an environment of greater trust.

Where do you stand with personalized promotion, and which marketing model do you use? Let’s explore the most popular marketing frameworks.

Most popular marketing models used by businesses

Before transitioning to individual marketing and planning one-to-one marketing activities, first take time to analyze your current approach.


You might be familiar with a model called SOSTAC, – an acronym meaning Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action, and Control. Each point can be seen as a question you can ask yourself:

Situation – Where do I stand now with my product? Objectives – What goals do I want to achieve? Strategy – How can I reach those objectives? Tactics – What should I do to accomplish my goals? Action – What are my action items? Control – How can I evaluate the results?

By providing clear answers to the questions of the SOSTAC model, you can foresee unfolding opportunities and avoid possible pitfalls.


The 7Ms model

The 7Ms model is built on: Marketing mindset, Money, Mission, Market, Message, Method, and Marketing action plan (MAP).

Marketing mindset

You want to keep marketing efforts perpetually moving forward. A proactive marketing mindset will help you stay focused and positive as well as being constantly on the ball.


Make it a habit to estimate the revenue goal you want to hit in a set period of time. Having attainable sales goals can help you measure your success and will motivate you to raise the bar.


You have to be very specific with your mission when it comes to marketing. Your overarching mission statement communicates the value you bring to your customers. Discovering the essence of your offer can help you better establish your target market share.


Determining your niche market enables you to craft a specific marketing strategy. Identify the demographics and their needs and pain points, and ensure that your business can address those as effectively as possible.


Craft a message after you’ve set your income objective, created a mission statement, and chosen your niche. Regardless of your business, the message you want to get across should communicate values such as reputation, experience, education, systems, and guarantee.


To reach your prospects, you need to involve the right marketing channels. They can be online or offline channels or a combination of both.


Use a Marketing Action Plan (MAP) to execute your strategy. Pencil in your action items and execute them, adjusting your strategy to any changes and fluctuations as you progress. With a clear plan, you know exactly what needs to be done on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.



RACE stands for Reach, Act, Convert, and Engage. Each stage is meant to handhold your prospects and eventually make them advocates for your business or brand.

Reach is responsible for your brand exposure by means of online and offline channels. To measure your level of exposure, consider the following KPIs:

  • Unique visitors
  • Value per visit
  • Followers

The next stage is Act. Here, you want to generate leads to build a trustworthy relationship. You can attract prospects with a webinar, a valuable piece of content crafted by content marketing services specialists, or a giveaway contest — it all depends on your business.

The qualitative signs of your lead generation campaign are:

  • Quality leads
  • Time on site
  • Reactions to whatever you place in front of prospects

The goal of the Convert stage is to turn the leads you’ve gathered into paying customers. At this stage, you experiment with the content and strategies that apply to your target audience. Be sure to collect data utilizing A/B testing, clicks, downloads, or subscriptions. The way to measure the effectiveness of conversion is to calculate:

  • Sales
  • Profit
  • Order made per certain period of time

With the Engage stage, you nurture your customers and make them ambassadors of your brand. To develop meaningful relationships with your clientele, you can engage with them through social networks, newsletters, email, and so on. To track how effective your customer engagement strategy is, you may want to measure:

  • Customer satisfaction rate
  • Repeat purchases
  • Referrals


Another marketing strategy model stands on four pillars known as the 4Ps: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.


You need to understand the product, its value, and its uniqueness to be able to communicate its qualities. Your understanding of how to distribute your offer depends on your ability to define the type of product and its lifecycle.


You need to estimate the objective price that customers are willing to pay for your product. You also need to take into account competitors’ prices, discounts, and supply costs when determining the price for your services or products.


You should choose the right place to make your product known. Consider online and offline distribution channels to achieve a wider outreach. Additionally, think of an advertising campaign utilizing (carefully-selected!) media channels.


Promotion is the part of the 4Ps marketing model where you communicate the value of your product to customers. You are can choose online or offline promotion, or a combination of both, most likely, if it is a physical product.


One-to-one marketing can be tailored carefully to an individual in order to meet their specific needs and help them feel a more valued and important customer.

Components of one-to-one marketing

Your actionable steps and the tools you utilize will depend on your prevailing channels for customer touchpoints and ultimate objectives. To make one-to-one marketing work, you should build your strategy around its components.


Customers are tired of irrelevant ads. Consequently, you should deliver highly-tailored personalization in marketing at the right time, in the right place. Sending tailored emails, retargeting clients who visited your site with ads, or offering them content such as related articles or products meeting their prior searches — are all means of connecting with your clientele in real-time with products that make sense to them. Technology can help drive such personalization. For instance, you may need to employ an advanced digital architecture, use accurate analytics, or manage your digital campaigns spread across different channels. A data-driven strategy will enable you to save time, as well as resources, and more accurately pinpoint and target the right customers with your solutions.


Putting a customer at the forefront and giving them a chance to customize the offering themselves plays a key role in personalization in marketing. You let the customer decide how you approach them rather than marketing to them aggressively. For instance, Netflix asks users to select a few shows they enjoy watching when they subscribe, suggesting other shows afterwards based on the users’ preferences.


You’re going to notice repeating patterns across your client base, which makes it worthwhile to segment customers. You can communicate differently to each segment. For example, you can segment your clients by age, gender, marital status, and purchasing habits. Let’s say you’ve singled out three different customer groups according to their purchasing behavior. Having these three groups in place allows you to create a tailored mailing campaign for each group.

Understanding customers and their individual needs is a feasible task if you take it one step at a time with your one-to-one marketing strategy.

Carrying out a one-to-one marketing strategy

Personalization in marketing has a clear implementation pattern. Since individual marketing is client-centric, your actions will revolve around customer data.

Client identification process

One-to-one marketing starts with defining who your target audience is. The process is triggered by extensive data collection that helps visualize the customers and find out as much as possible about their experience with your brand.

Database creation

Once you identify your customers and single out their needs, learn as much as you can about them. The insights you glean can help you find similarities between different groups of customers. You can create clear customer profiles and market differently to each cohort. To single out the groups of customers, use their browsing data, purchasing habits, customer support data, and satisfaction survey results.

Perpetual communication

Another essential part of one-to-one marketing is interacting with your customers on a regular basis. Having split your customer base into groups you will be able to tailor your communication style — be it by changing website content, sending engaging emails, or providing personalized recommendations.

Making the buyer’s journey seamless

You should put your effort into creating a smooth buyer’s journey. Thanks to software tools, you can easily direct a customer to complete a desirable action. Let’s say that a customer abandoned their cart because they got distracted. You may have a system designed to send a reminder to the customer’s inbox to complete the purchase.

Adjusting the strategy

The data you receive over time may vary, as well as market trends. Get in the habit of reviewing your one-to-one marketing strategy and making changes where necessary.

Technology is there to facilitate your business processes and help you with individual marketing.

Orchestrating personalization in marketing through technology

One-to-one marketing campaigns can be made effective if you supercharge them with technology. Personalization in marketing can grow and business workflows can become efficient if you employ digitalization.

Marketing automation tools

Marketing automation allows you to utilize software and put customers at the center of the flywheel across the customer lifecycle. You can improve your one-to-one marketing strategy with automated advertising campaigns, email marketing, lead generation, and much more. You can empower different teams across your organization, giving them access to centralized data storage. Keeping track of all customers simultaneously is nearly impossible unless you turn to automation software. The data inputs you receive through automation can be the next touchpoint to continue nurturing leads with helpful content.


Today, people are heavily reliant on their smart electronic devices, giving you access to relevant real-time data. The interconnectivity of smart devices your customers may be using can serve as an additional way to market to them. For instance, the IoT network in a user’s smart home can understand when a lightbulb stops functioning and send a notification to the user’s smartphone, directing them to buy a new lightbulb.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) opens new horizons. Using AI doesn’t mean you‘re taking human touch out of the equation – rather, it complements activities such as seeing, learning, talking, or analyzing. According to the State of AI in 2021 survey by McKinsey, the majority of companies are willing to adopt AI for marketing purposes. You can embrace the power of AI in a few ways:

  • Business processes automation. You can automate administrative and financial activities.
  • Data analysis. You can create models based on algorithms to detect recurring patterns in data you receive from your customers’ activities to drive your individual marketing strategy further.
  • Customer engagement. Chatbots and virtual assistants are available 24/7, making your services or products available too. You can program a chatbot to provide fast and relevant answers to your customers’ questions.
  • Predictive analytics. To help you understand how your customers will engage with ad campaigns or content, you can utilize predictive analytics. With predictive analytics, you feed historical data to the model to derive insights about future customer behavior with your marketing tactics.

Customized platforms

The effectiveness of your online presence can be boosted with the right platform. You may develop a website customized to your one-to-one marketing needs or use an already-existing foundation such as a content management system (CMS) with the possibility to add functionality and third-party services.

Adobe is a good illustration of an all-in-one approach when it comes to the CMS system with an eye for personalization in marketing. Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is an enterprise-level CMS that enables unique user journeys toward making a purchase. When combined with other Adobe products such as Adobe Target, Adobe Sensei, Adobe Marketo, and Adobe Cloud, AEM enhances the platform even more by offering analytics, testing tools, and personalized content delivery.


Online advertising campaigns can be transformed through retargeting. With retargeting, users see advertisements relevant to their interests that are also based on their prior online behavior. Imagine a client visiting your website and never making a purchase. You have the opportunity to retarget them with your offer on other websites, platforms, social networks, or blogs.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

To handle interactions with customers, you can create a centralized database thanks to CRM. The system can give you access to all the interactions your company has with the customers, helping your team members stay on the same page when it comes to communicating with and understanding the needs of your clients. You can better segment your customers and provide improved after-sales support.

Lead management

Software solutions can help you score and grade leads according to online behavior, demographics, location, and more. Additionally, you can tune your system to send relevant messages to nurture your leads.

Customized emailing campaigns

You can leverage software tools that let you engage with customers through emails. Especially effective are coordinated emails triggered by the customer’s behavior. Based on your customer’s actions, you can send a corresponding personalized email:

  • To remind a client to finish a purchase in progress
  • To wish a customer a happy birthday
  • To point to a memorable time in the business’s relationship with the targeted customer

If you find yourself lost as to what software you can utilize, make use of marketing technology services. The benefits won’t keep you waiting.

Why go for one-to-one marketing?

Personalized promotion comes with a number of advantages that you, as a business owner, will soon see evidence of.

Better customer retention

The right and timely implementation of one-to-one marketing helps you retain existing customers. While it may be complicated to introduce your services to the new clientele, the customers you’ve won through individual marketing are there to stay.

Customer loyalty

When a customer experiences a personal touch of one-to-one marketing, they feel special and cared for. By fulfilling your customers’ needs across all stages in the buyer’s journey, you can develop customer satisfaction and a strong connection. Once the connection is established, the customer’s loyalty towards your brand increases, which means they are more likely to purchase from you.

Increased sales

An established relationship with your customer can be a basis for upselling additional products or services. Having won your client’s trust gives you a chance to market more to them.

More referrals

Word of mouth is a cheap way to market your business after generating happy customers who advocate on your behalf. One-to-one marketing is the very foundation of customer satisfaction, which ultimately leads to referrals.

With timely personalization in marketing, companies are able to appeal to customers. And technology helps to distribute tailored marketing.

One-to-one marketing examples

Here is a rundown of companies who power their individual marketing by staying ahead of the game with advancements in technology.


Amazon is a good example of one-to-one marketing. When you visit the company’s site, you get product suggestions based on your prior browsing history, purchases, and reviews. The company also performs data analysis through algorithms which create unique profiles based on user buying experiences and behaviors on the platform.

Amazon also lets marketers reach out to consumers through smart speakers. Amazon lets businesses play video or audio ads with a possibility to perform voice shopping through the speakers.


Starbucks executes their one-to-one marketing strategy through loyalty cards and a mobile app. The app collects information about past purchases, demographics, location, and time of day to deliver personalized recommendations to customers approaching the nearest Starbucks coffee shop. To motivate customers’ purchasing behavior, Starbucks rewards them with points and grants a free cup of coffee on their birthdays.


Philips leverages Adobe Experience Manager along with Adobe Analytics and Adobe Target to create a digital marketing platform that delivers personal experiences for each customer. This content management system authenticates users and captures user data, as well as allowing marketing teams to test, measure, and deploy content across global sites. Regardless of the device, customer engagement is enabled through relevant content delivery enhanced by images, videos, and auto-generated descriptions. The platform allows marketers to update more than 30,000 product descriptions daily.


To engage with consumers and keep their interest in the product, Grammarly collects data from each user and sends personalized weekly writing updates. These updates describe the progress an individual user has made, in comparison to other users. Such an approach helps Grammaly’s users feel special and demonstrates a great example of client engagement.

All in all, you should make your personalization in marketing an enjoyable experience for clients to encourage them to purchase from you.

Top considerations when choosing one-to-one marketing

Implementing a new approach or enforcing changes across your organization can be challenging, but when done right, it helps you reap encouraging customer outcomes. Keep these three top considerations in mind when tapping into individual marketing.

Take control digitally

You cannot move forward arbitrarily with your one-to-one marketing campaign. You must have a set plan, make it as data-driven as possible, and implement it. Leveraging consumer data is key to driving business forward. The sooner you integrate marketing technology services into your business workflows, the better decisions you can make. Be sure to create a unified digital system that can bring about integrity, rather than a scattered technical touch here and there.

Act on time

Insights you get from gathered data can point you to the right time for marketing to your prospects. You can stimulate interaction or motivate customers to buy when they are more likely to engage with your offer.

Encourage analysis

Develop an analytical culture within your organization after collecting metrics from your marketing campaigns. Timely analysis and collaboration between your staff is key to finalizing the direction your one-to-one marketing efforts should take.

Take the leap towards one-to-one marketing

The shift to personalization in marketing is inevitable. To make one-to-one marketing work, you put customers first, delivering prime experiences with your service or product. Technology can complement, enhance, and streamline your interaction with clients while collecting valuable data for more informed business decisions.