Personalization. It’s one of the most talked-about trends in the marketing world.
Marketers — us included — continue to preach the importance of understanding your customers and delivering targeted, personalized campaigns based on what you know about them.
But what does developing an actual personalized marketing strategy actually entail?
Personalization in Marketing
Personalization can be as simple as including a person’s name in the subject line of an email. But as marketing technology has advanced, so has personalization. Marketers can now offer highly targeted campaigns based on a person’s buying preferences, demographic information, web activity and more.
Make no mistake about it — today’s customers want a personalized experience. The statistics speak for themselves:
- 77 percent of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe that personalization builds better customer relationships.
- 55 percent of B2B sales and marketing professionals say personalization can bring higher conversion rates and growth.
- 42 percent struggle to fully personalize their marketing strategies.
Personalization allows you to make stronger bonds with customers, create more targeted and useful content, and ultimately boost sales.
Benefits of Marketing Personalization
By creating and distributing the right kind of content to the right person, you can dramatically increase conversion rates. And customers go crazy for it: 91 percent of consumers prefer shopping with brands that supply relevant offers or recommendations.
Consumers know what they want, and they aren’t afraid to say no to a service or product that doesn’t meet their needs.
In addition to creating a better user experience, personalized marketing provides a host of benefits to your overall company brand. Let’s take a look at some of the perks of adopting a more personalized approach in your marketing strategy:
1. Humanizes Your Brand
Personalized messages introduce a human element to your brand that consumers are more likely to respond to. Whether in an email or a pop-up message, every point of contact should be more or less tailored to that specific user.
When every touchpoint with a customer is customized to a specific problem, customers feel as though their needs are being directly catered to by a human being, rather than some kind of creepy robot.
2. Boosts Sales and Conversions
Personalization is a useful tool to steer customers in the direction they didn’t even know they needed to go in. When you learn about who your customers are, you can start to target and address their specific problems by offering solutions or product recommendations.
When you speak to smaller, more targeted groups, they find your content more relevant. This translates into increased sales, improved customer satisfaction, and better online visibility.
3. Improves Customer Experiences
Above all, personalization provides the customer with an overall positive and engaging user experience. When you address a customer by their name, you make them feel good — and they’re more likely to buy.
Think about it: have you ever gone to a company’s website or called their customer service line with the hopes of speaking with a real person? If you get a long series of automated messages instead, you’re likely to wind up frustrated.
Marketing personalization can help you avoid these problems altogether.
By taking the time to understand exactly what your customers want and giving it to them, you’re saving them time and saving yourself money. You make their overall experience with your brand more effective and more efficient — making it more likely that they’ll want to work with you again.
4. Increases Brand Awareness
When you create a brand that actually cares about its customers, you’re simultaneously improving your overall image, awareness, and staying power.
Why? Because we’re more likely to remember a message or an email that was addressed directly to us and our own problems, rather than something generic that was sent out to a long list of recipients.
How To Implement Personalized Marketing
Customer and contact data are at the core of personalization. Without data, how will you know who your best buyers are, what message resonates with them, or how to convince them to make a purchase?
The most basic way to leverage contact data for personalized marketing is through prospect list segmentation.
List segmentation is exactly what it sounds like — the process of breaking up a marketing list into several smaller, more targeted prospect lists, using key customer data points. Through list segmentation, marketers are able to deliver the most relevant content to prospects and customers.
Customers don’t just love this level of personalization — marketers do too! In fact, they have noted a 760 percent increase in sales after segmenting their campaigns.
I know what you’re thinking, segmentation isn’t new — and you’re right. What we’re recommending is to reevaluate the way you’re currently segmenting your email marketing lists and experiment with more granular data points such as:
- Behavioral and engagement
- Tech stack
- Purchase history
- Buyer’s journey
2. Adopt a Single Customer View
A single customer view is an aggregated, consistent, and holistic representation of the data known by an organization about its customers.
If you only remember one piece of information from this article, let it be this: The key to successful personalized marketing is your brand’s ability to form a single customer view.
For experienced marketers, the concept of a single customer view is nothing new. In fact, it has consistently ranked as a top priority for many brands over the years. Despite its importance, many brands still struggle to create a 360-degree view of their target.
What’s standing in the way? Poor data management. Like most organizations, your brand probably generates and collects a large amount of data through an array of channels — from marketing automation and CRM to your corporate contact database.
Unsurprisingly, this can often result in fragmented, inconsistent customer data, stored in a number of disconnected data silos. Ultimately, a single customer view provides you with:
- Channel consistency
- Brand loyalty
- Increased revenue
3. Allow for Self-Personalization
Allowing customers and prospects to customize their own experience is a no-brainer way to guarantee your prospects are met with design, content, and functionality suited to their needs. Here are a couple of effective examples:
Preference centers: Pages within a mobile app or website that allow users to manage their communications with a brand — from message frequency, to channel, to even the topic of the content. When executed effectively, preference centers can guarantee that every correspondence your audience receives is relevant, and in most cases, can even prompt more engagement.
Surveys: The quickest way to understand what your prospects and customers want is to ask them. Ask a segment of your users or website visitors to take a survey regarding their experience with your brand, their buying preferences, or product suggestions. Then, use their responses to tailor the customer experience.
Customer service chatbots: Chatbots are an easy way to collect customer feedback without expending too much time or manpower. Check out the next section to learn more about our thoughts on marketing technology and artificial intelligence.
4. Use Technology
One major factor inhibits widespread adoption of personalized marketing: It’s time-consuming, resource-intensive, and expensive.
Luckily, technological advancements have allowed us to leverage tools to do the dirty work. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’re likely familiar with predictive learning and artificial intelligence.
These forms of technology have the ability to streamline and scale the personalization process. Rather than targeting segments of your audience, AI now enables you to cater to an audience of one.
Look for technologies and tools that will take the manual analysis and labor out of marketing personalization. Then, invest in programs and software that easily integrate into your existing marketing technology stack.
Attract (and Keep) More Customers with Personalized Marketing
There are plenty of software products and strategies you can use to personalize your content and outreach efforts. One creative way to start testing the waters is to create a business blog your audience would enjoy. At the end of the day, personalized marketing comes down to genuine connections with current and prospective customers.
Before you can start developing customized marketing strategies, you have to first determine what makes your brand unique, and identify how it’s useful to consumers. Only then will you be able to craft authentic messaging that will speak to potential buyers.
Because in a world where the consumer has all the power, it’s time to stop marketing to them, and start talking with them.