Episode #81: Mass 1:1, the Promising Future of Marketing

We start out with a few important corrections from recent episodes. Then a quick happy birthday greeting to Nicolaus Copernicus, the father of the scientific revolution and inspiration of the Copernican shift — the idea of mapping perception to reality. And finally, we dig into mass 1:1 marketing. It’s a blending of traditional direct marketing, but with the reach of broadcast. We’re still adapting to this particular Copernican shift, and have a long way to go. But it’s the future of customer engagement.

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All right, welcome to the CXM Experience. I am as always, Grad Conn, your host. And I am the CXO, chief experience officer at Sprinklr. Greatest job in the universe. Had a fantastic day today, an amazing day of talking to these incredible global companies who are all looking to transform their customer experiences and think about new ways of engaging with people. It’s really an amazing time we live in right now. And it’s exciting to be at the forefront of a lot of this change.

So, today’s show, it’s Friday. Today’s shows a bit of a potpourri. We’re going to do some corrections from two previous shows. I’ve gotten some “feedback” on some of the things I said. So, I’m going to delve into that for a few minutes. Also going to note that today is Nicolaus Copernicus’ birthday. And if you follow me on the CopernicanShift, my blog, you’ll know that Copernicus is an important figure in my life. And I’ll talk a little bit about the Copernican shift and a little bit about Copernicus just for a minute.

Today also marks the first full day for Perseverance on Mars. Very exciting. And you could argue that Copernicus and the work that he did directly led to the landing of this incredible rover on Mars. So, amazing day that way. And then we’re going to spend a few minutes on mass one-to-one. We haven’t talked about mass one-to-one for a little while. So, I want to delve back into that spend a bit of time on the mass one-to-one revolution, what’s happening there, and what to look for there. And that should all take us about 10 minutes, and we’ll get on with our weekend.

So, corrections. I incorrectly used the wrong word for grandmother in Polish. So, I said babushka. Apparently, that’s completely wrong. Embarrassingly wrong, in fact. And it’s really babcia, which is why I shortened it as a child to Bobbi. So, Bobbi was what I called my grandmother, but babcia is the actual expression. So, for everyone spotting that out there, thank you. I won’t make that mistake again, and appreciate the correction.

Also, if you recall the potato salad episode, which, bizarrely is turning into one of our most downloaded episodes. So, we’re going to be going back to potato salad. We’re going to do a loving photo essay of how to make it and we’re going to delve into the recipe. Getting a lot of requests for that. Potato salad seems to be a big motivator right now. Clearly, people are spending too much time inside. So, I think potato salad maybe represents picnics and freedom or something like that. So anyways, it’s rapidly turning into our most downloaded episode. And I did get some feedback. I made a disparaging comment about the Miracle Whip in my mom’s recipe, questioning whether Miracle Whip is really mayonnaise. Because, you know, with the word miracle in it, how could it not be real, right? But apparently, I need to learn to love Miracle Whip. It’s got a lighter taste, which enhances the flavor of the salad, and doesn’t make it to cloying, which I had not really thought of that. Plus all the chemicals. So you know, you don’t have to worry about putting any preservatives in. The chemicals plus the taste, it’s a great combo. And I’m going to potentially try Miracle Whip one day when I run out of mayonnaise.

Last thing, and this is a little bit of a correction on the recipe. So, as you recall — if you recall — you may want to go back and listen to this episode because it’s very highly engaged. But we used hydroponic lettuce. If you recall, there’s a big snowstorm, and my dad couldn’t get out there and so he had used the hydroponic lettuce. Tears running down his cheeks because it was his last leaves of hydroponic lettuce. The recipe normally calls for Iceberg lettuce. Well, apparently, the iceberg lettuce is not an accident. The hydroponic leaf lettuce was too limp. And in fact, the crisper iceberg lettuce is actually superduper important. So, the type of lettuce you use is critical. So, here’s a public service warning. Don’t use hydroponic lettuce in your potato salad. Use Iceberg lettuce in your potato salad. And there will be more on that when we delve into the recipe in the next week or two.

Alright, so a few more corrections. Almost done here. So apparently, I’ve been using the word “cow” to talk about beef, and cattle, and all sorts of other things, right? A hamburger… all these other different words we have for it. And apparently, meat-counter beef is made from steers and heifers. Steers are castrated, and heifers are female cattle that have never given birth. So that’s how meat comes to us. And there’s cattle and cows.

So, I’m going to boil this down. I’m going to keep saying cow. So, the people who don’t like that I’m saying cow, you’re going to have to roll with it a little bit, for a couple of reasons. One is, I do find it quite interesting that as an animal becomes more likeable and has more personality, we tend to come up with other names for it than what the name of what it really is, right? And so we call it beef. Mutton… mutton’s my favorite. You know, what happened to lambikins? You’re eating it. I thought I was eating mutton. No, you’re eating lambikins,

There are all these words we come up with. Although it’s funny, not everything has an alternate word, right? Like if I’m ever reincarnated and I’ll say, what am I? And someone says, you’re a chicken. I’m like, Oh, no, chicken. There’s no alternate word for chicken. You’re a chicken, and you’re eating chicken, and people like chicken. So, it’s interesting how as the animals become less likeable, that we’re more comfortable using their names. And as they become cuter, we come up with alternate names for them. I do love that. But I do actually like using the word cow, because it’s what they are. And it’s very cute name. And I think we should be eating fewer cows. So, I’m going to keep calling the cow. And if that bothers people, then that’s good.

Another quick little add. High -heat oil, grapeseed oil, apparently another great alternative. I would not have even thought of that. I’ve never actually used grapeseed oil. But grapeseed oil has a very high burning point. So keep that in mind. And I think that is what we’ve got for today. I’ll probably have some more corrections on these corrections. But for now, that gets the ball rolling.

So, let’s talk a bit about Copernicus. Nicolaus Copernicus was actually born this day, but a little bit longer ago. He was born this day in 1473, in an area of Poland called Royal Prussia, near the city of Krakow, which is in lower lower Poland, or southern Poland. And if you know much about Copernicus, you know he was a polyglot and a polymath. He had a doctorate in canon law. He was a mathematician and astronomer, a physician, a classic scholar, a translator, a governor, a diplomat, and an economist. And in 1517, he derived a quantity theory of money, which is a key concept in economics. And in 1519, he formulated the economic principle that’s called Gresham’s law, which, if you took economics 101, you learned about Gresham’s law.

But most importantly, he made the observation that the earth goes around the sun, the sun doesn’t go around the earth. And this is a major event in the history of science. It triggered the Copernican revolution. And it was a pioneering contribution to the scientific revolution that led to landing of a rover on Mars. And I love Copernicus because he didn’t really invent anything per se in his Copernican theory. What he did is he matched observation to reality. And, quite frankly, it looks like the sun goes around the Earth. Stand in a field, it looks like that’s what’s happening. But he was able to see what the reality was. And by matching reality and perception and fixing that, he was able to unlock a lot of innovation.

And I think in a lot of companies today, we’re stuck in these Ptolemaic models, where we think things are working one way. And, in particular, we think that our products are the center of the universe, not the customer. And when you make the customer the center of the universe, so you make that Copernican shift, to put the customer at the center, things really start to change. Because you look at things from an experience standpoint. How is the customer experiencing my product, my company, my innovations? So, good on you, Copernicus.

Let’s talk a little bit about where he came from. He was actually the youngest of four children. And he was very much a religious family. His sister Barbara became a Benedictine nun. And by the way, Bénédictine, excellent liqueur, and a key ingredient in Vieux Carrés. And there’s more on Vieux Carrés coming later. A very important part of my relationship history with my fiancé.

His father was born in a village in Silesia, between Nysa and Prudnik. And in the 14th century, the family began moving to various other Silesian cities near the Polish capital of Krakow and to Turin.

What I love about Copernicus is he was a real badass, because when he published his theory of the universe, and how the planets moved, he knew it was heresy. And he had the book published, essentially, as he was dying. Legend has it that the first edition was put in his hands as he passed. And he put the knowledge into the world. But he wouldn’t live with the consequences. And it did take several decades for it to become accepted. But he got it done.

So, let’s talk about getting it done. I want to talk a little bit about mass one-to-one. I want to go back about a year and a half. It’s a very long time ago. This is pre COVID. This is Cannes, 2019. We’re in this beautiful, sunny, south of France. And Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble, took the stage and gave a great speech. One of the great speeches in marketing. And as part of that speech, he has this great quote, which is, “We’re reinventing marketing, as we know it. We’re reinventing media, from mass blast to mass one-on-one precision.”

And this is really the introduction of this concept of mass one-to-one. And the idea of mass one-to-one is a pretty interesting one, because it really is an evolution of the communication that we’ve been doing over the last, say, 200 years. So, go back to the late 1800s, or mid- to late-1800s. You’ve got the very first newspapers. 1843 the penny presses started appearing. Post-Civil War, newspapers exploded across the US. And you’d begin to see advertising, but there’s also a lot of door to door.

There were a lot of general stores. Advertising and marketing was very much a one-to-one relationship. It was one-to-one, because you’re having a conversation with someone who was running a store, or a conversation with somebody who’s at your door, or a conversation with someone in the town square, or in a cart or something like that. Or there was a direct marketing component where people were publishing and talking directly to consumers with coupons and other things like that. There’s a direct response model. So, it’s very much a one-to-one model. It had some element of mass because of newspapers. But a lot of marketing and advertising at the time, was not mass. It was very personal.

Then, true mass media was invented in the 20th century. We saw the rise of radio in the 1920s and beyond. And then the rise of television in the 1950s and beyond. And we had true mass media. What was interesting about radio and TV, though, was that they were fantastic for reaching large numbers of people very, very efficiently. But they lost all of the personal interaction. And so we had mass without the one-to-one. We had mass to anonymous.

A lot of really amazing brands were created in that era. And because it was new, and because there wasn’t really a lot of alternatives, it was great. And so people took it. It was challenging, in a way because brands would essentially tell people what they should think about them. And that’s tricky. Because when you tell someone you’re good looking, or you tell someone you’re smart, or you tell someone you’re a nice person, or tell someone you’re funny, people don’t tend to believe that so much, right? I’ll be the judge of that. So, brands had to figure out how to try to do some stimulus response. But in many cases, in most cases, a lot of brands just repeated what they wanted you to know about them over and over again.

Then came the 21st century. We see Friendster come out in 2002. LinkedIn not long after that. Facebook kind of came out in 2004. And then saw the rise of all the social platforms. Very, very interesting, because what we suddenly saw was one-to-one communication again. And people now could talk to brands and brands could talk to people. But we still had mass. There are more than 4 billion people on social platforms today. So, this combination of mass which we created in the 20th century, and one-to-one, which is I think, a more human instinct, and the thing we would rather do, which is really more 19th century, has created a 21st century paradigm around mass one-to-one, which is tremendously exciting.

The challenge in mass one-to-one is, how do you do that? We kind of knew how to execute mass. You make an ad, put it on a network or channel, and broadcast it. We were pretty good with one-to-one. You can get somebody to go and have a conversation with someone. But how do you do mass one-to-one?

And what I’m seeing is, classically, a lot of people are still using the concepts of broadcast in this mass one-to-one universe. Which isn’t surprising. Human beings typically will use the thing that came before to create the thing that comes after. We called cars horseless carriages when they came out. We didn’t know how to describe them. The first computers were electronic typewriters. We constantly are thinking of the thing we have right now, with some twists. There was a brief period of time, late 90s, early 2000s, where it was like, “blank” on steroids. It got ridiculous. And then people started saying “blank” on heroin, and then people stopped saying that.

But what we are seeing now is a lot of people are still very comfortable in the broadcast universe. People like that control over the message. But they know they need to have a one-to-one relationship. So how to do that? And a lot of brands are stuck. And they’re really struggling.

And what I see the really good brands doing is they have a three-part process. One is discovery. They discover the things that are being said about them, and they use a listening maturity model. We’ll talk about that later. Then they classify. Because they’re going to pull in millions, sometimes billions, certainly hundreds of thousands of messages and conversations. They need to classify those, so they know how to respond to them and know what to do with them. And then finally, they need to engage.

But the engagement model isn’t just a very small number of people in marketing. The engagement model has to be broad scale, across a large number of people in the organization. L’Oreal is doing some really interesting work here. Lubomira Rochet is leading the charge on having everyone at L’Oreal respond to every comment about L’Oreal. Pretty amazing digital transformation.

So, mass one-to-one. We’re going to spend a lot more time talking about that in the next couple weeks. What are the components of that system? How does that work? What is the mass one-to-one marketing platform look like? And how do you discover, how do you classify, and how do you engage? And how do you make that happen? Because done well and done in a compelling end-to-end way, you create an amazing customer experience. Because now everybody who’s your customer can engage with you whenever they want, about whatever they want to engage with you on. And that is true brand creation. And that is true customer experience.

For the CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn, and I’ll see you next time.