You Say It Best… When You Say Nothing At All

Less is More: The Thoughtful Marketing Movement

In December 1988, Keith Whitley jumped to the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart with the single “When You Say Nothing at All.”
Let’s ignore that the song, which contains 267 words, is somewhat ironically titled, and instead focus on the fact that its core message is absolutely worth considering. Less can very often be more, especially when it comes to communicating in an effective, appropriate way. Sometimes, saying nothing can have a real impact.

This is an important lesson for businesses — especially those embracing personalization — to learn.

Marketers often speak about content being “king,” but the phrase is only partly accurate. Creating quality content is essential, but it needs to be relevant, aimed at the right people, and published at an ideal time.

What’s often overlooked, though, is making sure your content doesn’t end up in front of the wrong people, especially if the message is being sent directly via email or text message marketing.

The Thoughtful Marketing Movement 

Personalization is about giving the customer content they’ll value, and sometimes that’ll mean leaving them out of a particular email or text marketing campaign.

Many businesses — particularly retailers — have started to adapt their marketing approach to incorporate this idea of thoughtful marketing. You’ve undoubtedly received emails or texts saying something along the lines of ‘If you’d prefer not to hear about Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, etc., let us know.’ (If not, maybe your favorite brands need to up their respective games).

These thoughtful messages help companies to create a detailed understanding of their customers, enabling them to craft personalized customer experiences. Not only that, but such messages are reassuring, letting customers know that the brands they love are prepared to tailor content that aligns with their needs, even if it means one fewer person to target with marketing.

There are many reasons why someone would prefer not to hear about a particular time of year or would, if possible, choose to completely ignore a certain event, and brands have to be mindful and sensitive of this.

Bloom & Wild, the much-loved online UK florist, has championed this thoughtful marketing approach to communicating with their customers. Their ‘Thoughtful Marketing Movement’ initiative, which the company has encouraged other retailers to adopt, is all about ensuring that customers get the opportunity to opt out of any marketing around sensitive occasions. From there, retailers can tailor future email and text messaging accordingly. 

Checking up on someone’s messaging preferences around a particular occasion only takes a simple text or email, but it could end up making a world of difference.

Importance of Personalizing the customer journey

There’s amazing value associated with using personalization to appeal to customers, which various studies have confirmed. An Epsilon study, for example, found that 80% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand that offers personalized experiences, while Statista found that 90% of customers consider brand messages that aren’t personally relevant to be “annoying”. 

Personalization is all about giving the customer 1:1 experiences and communications they’ll appreciate and value, a thoughtful approach that can be a powerful driver of sales. But if brands want to have deeper, more meaningful relationships with their customers, personalization must go beyond conversion-centric initiatives. 

Research suggests 66% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, so establishing more rounded, comprehensive customer profiles is a must if brands want to nurture lasting customer relationships that inspire loyalty and advocacy.

How to Build one-to-one customer relationships

So, how should brands go about building genuine one-to-one relationships with their customers? 

The starting point—as it so often tends to be with marketing—is data. By harnessing buying and browsing data related to each customer, brands can build up a picture of every individual customer, figure out what they like, what they don’t like, and everything in between. 

Once that’s done, it’s time to get more immersed. What content do they tend to enjoy? How and when do they consume it? What do they react to, and what do they ignore? The more tailored and personalized the communications, the stronger the engagement and relationship will become.

Numerous Wunderkind clients benefit from a focus on delivering effective, thoughtful, and personalized communication to their customers. As Marcus Oughton, Head of Ecommerce for UK, RoI and EMEA at Clarks explains:

“It’s [first-party data] has really enabled us to have a more segmented approach to how we implement email. Rather than relying on sending emails based on product or gender preference segmentation, we are able to personalize the message. It’s a big thing for consumers to give up their data and then allow us to use that to tailor their communication. Message relevancy is the most important thing, in my mind—and it needs to be the core of everything that we do. You drive loyalty and repeat purchasing by improving personalization and by improving the relevancy of communications.”

Final thoughts

Remember marketers: Sometimes sending an email or text message won’t benefit the customer, and if that’s the case, it certainly won’t benefit the brand. 

Resist the urge to push content that doesn’t align with a customer’s tastes or preferences. Not only is this the antithesis of personalization, but it may even damage relationships that took time and effort to develop.


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Danielle Auerbach

Danielle is the Regional Vice President of Customer Success International at Wunderkind.