Top positive review
response to Roger653@aol.com
on 12 August 1997
We've read your review at Amazon.com, and we tried to replydirectly to you, but your AOL address keeps bouncing back. We sympathize with your point of view. The most common question people in large groups ask us has to do with privacy, which is exactly why we suggest a "privacy bill of rights" for any firm contemplating a one-to-one marketing program.
Obviously, however, we have failed to explain to your satisfaction that technology is just the means to one-to-one marketing, and not the end in itself. Large and small companies alike have *always* customized their behavior to their best, most valuable customers, because it's worth it to them to do so. All we're suggesting is that as computers make it cheaper and more efficient, more firms will find it beneficial to customize their behavior to a greater proportion of their customers. And then we try to talk them through the mechanics of this process.
We really doubt that you would want to live in a world without one-to-one marketing. We're willing to bet that you value sincere, personal touches, and that you appreciate it when the people you deal with make an effort to save you time and make things more convenient for you the next time you deal with them. You probably appreciate it when a retail store takes into account the long-term value of their relationship with you, agreeing to repair or replace the product you bought last week, either because it was defective or you decided you didn't really like it, after all.
You've been at the other end of 1:1 marketing if you've ever had a dry cleaner remember you like starch in your shirts, or if your local book store owner has ever recommended a book that you actually bought and enjoyed, or if you've ever had a new car delivered by a car dealer to your house, rather than requiring you to pick it up, or if your bank has ever filled out your loan application for you, or if your credit card or phone company or fuel oil supplier has let you specify which day of the month you'd prefer to pay your bill.
But some people will never want this type of relationship, which proves that different people want to be treated differently. Some people may never want their information in other people's hands. But that's OK with us. The short definition of one-to-one marketing is _treating different customers differently_, and if you want to get someone's business it's important to know how *that customer* wants to be treated.
Fact is, we'd love to have you argue your case in one of the discussion groups on our Web site, [...] There's probably a lot more to your opinion than you wrote in your review. But you have to be civil. No personal attacks, and no flaming. Be clever and witty, be snide, be cutting, but be polite. Why not join the fray? You have nothing to lose and it could be fun.