Is One-to-One Marketing Possible?

One-to-one marketing has been a distant promise for years. After all this time, we have to wonder... is it even possible? The idea of one-to-one marketing is that if marketers could reach each prospect with an individualized marketing message, then we could get that prospect sold something much easier and much quicker. The trouble with this used to be the technology. It just wasn't possible with print. It was a little easier with new Web technology. In 2006, it's plenty easy to do with online technology. The trouble then became the content and the content strategy. Do we even have anything to say to all these individuals? The only way to even pretend to do so is to learn about them. And how do we learn about them? Questionnaires? Past behavior? What if they are new customers? And even if we knew all about these people, what do we do with this information? In the face of this mountain of information and possibility, most marketers retreat to the mass-customized message.