Remember the days way back when… a long, long time ago. When you used to get letters in the post and they all started with: Dear Customer…


Who are we kidding… we still get those letters! Adding to that “when” we get post- due to the lack of service delivery from our non-existent postal system. But that is another day’s story, let’s not cloud this issue.


Coming across an article stating “consumers are hungry for more personalized marketing” you can imagine my reaction to this. With Ren-Form being printers and specializing in personalized cross media marketing, my attention was sparked.


Got me thinking… how did working mom’s do without Google in a time when there was no Woolworths-online, Netflix, Hyperli. No Spotify, Pick n Pay-online, Clicks-online or Mommy Bloggers.

During Medieval Times it was called the period of crippling technological degradation. During this time, consumers didn’t get personalized SMS’s, emails or recommendations based on purchase history or buying patterns. Do you recall having to tune into stations when we wanted to watch a specific television program? Wow those were “Feudal times indeed”.


Getting back to the working mom, did you know that 51% of the total population of South Africa consist of woman, and that 44 in every 100 employed are woman. Woman fill 44% of the skilled posts in the workforce and that there are less than 5 women in the top 40 JSE listed companies that are female CEO’s. Ladies, did you know that ladies contribute between 35% and 45% of SA’s GDP. Astonishing not so?


So why do retailers not make it a bit more convenient for working ladies, why do they not consider us when they do their marketing. “NO TIME” – the biggest gripe, any working Mom will tell you; what with homework, cooking, managing an 8-5 career and being the attentive “got my stuff together” wife.


I’d gladly give the right retailer any data — my kids’ ages, genders, measurements, likes and dislikes — in exchange for personalized marketing coupons or reminders in my inbox or social feeds. Astonishing 63% of Millennial consumers and 58% of Gen X consumers are willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. This finding, from the recently published “State of the Connected Customer”.


Personalization, is like someone gives you a mobile cover, with your favourite brand’s logo and “your” initials on it. Gorge hey! Sharp contrast the boring “Mass-Manufactured cover” every other person has. No consideration for your preferences whatsoever.


Question, why would today’s Mum/Millennial/Gen X like personalised communication?


Maybe, it’s about that “Being in Control” or “not getting what everyone else has”. Instead, you’re getting something tailored to you. Because of that, it makes you feel more in control. This makes anyone feel special and has a most psychological effect on the psyche. You respond more favourably with information that you are interested in and more relevant to what you were looking for. Thus, feeling special/loved/appreciated, that “One-of-a-kind” special feeling! Building psychological association and loyalty towards the brand, I believe is the net result.


Conclusion, I believe Amazon’s Alexa is about to take centre stage whereby it will read you the news, answering questions, take phone calls, controlling lights, opening curtains and updating shopping lists. This luxury will add about R3 million on to the typical R4 million house. That said, we all live in the typical R3 million house and have an extra R4 million to fork out – NOT. Let’s be realistic folks!!! FABULOUS innovation not so, and a fantastic futuristic dream for all South Africans? Yea in the year 2028 maybe… (I’m an optimist…what can I say)


That said, perhaps start with optimum usage of MY current data “on hand”, based on my purchasing spend, lifestyle and data from social…it can’t be that challenging, can it? We share data on a daily basis and retailers, wholesalers, telecoms and financial institutions have it available – so why aren’t THEY mining the data “better” than they are, to enhance their consumers experience. Trust me it’s not that difficult to run such a campaign…so why aren’t we doing it? Is it ignorance or bliss?


I leave you with that!