Time for a Little One-on-One

Excerpts from a conversation with Linda Schuster, President of QtheAgency.

One-to-one marketing is a different twist on traditional marketing efforts. It’s about gaining share of customer rather than share of market. Let’s say you have 50% of the market. Of course, you’re always trying to gain more market share so you’ll have more leadership in the industry—and more people buying your product.

With one-to-one marketing you’re not just concentrating on your market share, but also the share of each of your customers. You’re gaining more business with your current customers, and making a lot more money from your 50% of the market.

To do this, you have to gain your customers’ loyalty and get them to commit their business to you for the rest of their life. You have to make them want to come to you, and come to you more often. And the better you understand their needs, the easier it will be to do that.


  1. IDENTIFY—Find out as much about your customers as you can.
  2. DIFFERENTIATE—Classify each customer by their value (what they represent in revenue) and their needs.
  3. INTERACT—Make consistent contact with your most valuable customers.
  4. CUSTOMIZE—Talk directly to your customers, based on their needs and your evaluations.

An easy way to get your business started with one-to-one marketing is to create a database of your customers. This database should include all the information you know about them, from phone and email, to their birthdays and spouses’ names—anything you can think of.

Once you’ve done that, prioritize each customer, and make the information available to your staff. The more your staff knows about your customers, the better they can interact with them. (Make you sure you also implement an explicit privacy policy to assure your customers’ information isn’t misused).

Make a plan of annual contacts and interactions and stick to it. Consistency is crucial—if you only interact once a year, getting a relationship going is practically impossible.

One-to-one marketing is a combination of retention and gathering new business—you keep your local customers coming back, while inciting referrals from them, too. And once you put everything into motion, the results are well worth the effort.

To find out more about how one-to-one marketing can help your business grow, give Linda Schuster a call at 502.568.6633.