December 28, 2020 | 7-minute read (1339 words)
According to research by the Boston Consulting Group, brands that create personalized experiences by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data into their programs are seeing revenues increase by six to 10 percent. According to another report by Epsilon, 80 percent of customers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience.
These stats tell us that customers not only expect personalization, they value it.
Here’s what personalized marketing is: Personalized marketing, also called one-to-one marketing, is the system of using data to deliver brand messages targeted at individual prospective customers — as opposed to traditional marketing, where a wide net is cast in order to reach a large swath of customers with one campaign. The main objective of personalized marketing is to truly engage current as well as prospective clients by communicating with each person as an individual.
Today, we’re seeing an increasing number of companies providing well-defined mobile and web experiences for each of their consumers. This is happening particularly in the media service and ecommerce spaces, where content and offerings are being presented differently depending on who’s at the receiving end.
Why Personalized Marketing Matters
There are myriad benefits of personalized marketing for both businesses and customers. When strategies are implemented successfully, personalized marketing can offer the following advantages:
- Enhance the customer experience: People are more willing to provide personal details to brands if they get something in return. They are comfortable participating in surveys to get discounts or download whitepapers, prompting them to fill out forms or divulge their favorite purchases or preferences. With so much customer data being offered, consumers expect companies to offer more personalized experiences for them as the firms also protect their personal and sensitive information.
- Build stronger brand loyalty: When people provide private information, they expect to be treated as special individuals having unique preferences. Organizations that spend time and resources implementing personalized marketing strategies earn their customers’ loyalty, thereby increasing their lifetime customer value.
- Drive revenue: Using the right technology, businesses can identify and respond to each customer’s preferred channel and increase their ROI. They can then automatically follow up across platforms as part of a multi-channel strategy.
- Build consistency across channels: Today’s customer is constantly interacting with various businesses across a number of channels, including social media, email, mobile and more. Therefore, it is essential for companies to create consistency across various channels. The app experience should match the in-store experience, which should match the social media experience, and so on.
How to Create Tailored Campaigns
Personalized marketing involves collecting data related to current and potential customers and creating marketing experiences that target specific types of consumers. This strategy can be integrated into the different kinds of marketing plans, including social media, email, blogs, etc., to generate better results.
When it comes to personalizing marketing, data is key. The success of any marketing campaign depends on how well the data is collected and analyzed. Only with enough data can you begin to properly personalize your marketing campaigns.
Consider these five strategies to create a strong personalized marketing plan for your business.
1. Target specific audiences: The main advantage of personalized marketing is that it allows businesses to reach specific audiences. By collecting user data from surveys, studies or list segments, businesses can develop highly-effective email campaigns that target customers based on their buying habits and other interests. So, for instance, if a particular recent news story is popular among your audience, you can reference it in your blog posts, email campaigns or email opt-in forms so you can provide a more personalized experience through content, allowing you to grow conversions.
2. Create better content: Personalized marketing allows brands to stand out from the crowd by creating better and distinct content that leaves a special impression on the minds of their clients. Therefore, by creating unique content and promotions, you can reach individual customers while targeting a wider audience.
One example of an extremely successful personalized campaign is Coca-Cola's “Share A Coke” campaign. In 2014, Coca-Cola launched its “Share a Coke” campaign in the U.S — after a successful run in Australia — where in it printed the most popular first names on the labels of millions of bottles. Consumers were then encouraged to find bottles with their names or names important to them and then tweet about their experiences using the hashtag #ShareaCoke. The campaign helped the company increase sales for the first time in 10 years.
3. Build stronger connections with customers: Personalized marketing helps businesses build better and more personal relationships with their customers. It shows their audience how much they care about every individual consumer by using such techniques as sending an email on their birthdays or sending a thank you email on the anniversary of the date they joined the firm’s list.
You can begin by improving your website and landing pages using personalization so these sites feel like home for your customers, and not just a place to generate more leads and conversions.
4. Give a face to your brand: If you want to offer a truly personalized marketing experience, you must give an identity to your business, which includes revealing its human side. You can let your users know that your firm is run by humans, not robots, by considering these tips:
- Show who’s behind your business emails by including the names and faces of your employees
- Include a reply-to email address in your automated emails so your customers can leave feedback and/or ask questions
5. Make better recommendations: Learning about the buying habits of your audience can an extremely useful tool in your marketing arsenal. Amazon and other retail sites use this strategy regularly to offer more personalized product recommendations to customers.
What About Customers’ Privacy Concerns?
Personalized marketing strategies depend on users’ personal data, which can range from their purchase histories and web browsing habits to their birthdates, genders and location tracking data. According to marketing experts, without this type of reliable data, any kind of meaningful personalization becomes much more challenging.
However, customer anxiety surrounding data protection and privacy has evidently increased in the last few years. A study by TRUSTe and the National Cyber Security Alliance showed that “more Americans are worried about their data privacy than they are about losing their main source of income.”
A survey by The Pew Research Center found that “many Americans do not trust modern institutions to protect their personal data.”
Another study by Consumer Reports revealed that “seventy percent of Americans lack confidence that their personal data is private and safe from distribution without their knowledge.”
So, how can business owners make use of user data in order to offer more relevant consumer experiences without risking customer privacy? Here are five tips:
- Know your audience: Whether your users feel you are going overboard will most likely depend on their ages and comfort level with digital technology. Generally speaking, millennials are much more comfortable with sharing personal information in order to get more personalized experiences, as opposed to older consumers.
- Give users a choice: Allowing your customers an option to opt in and opt out of personal communications with your company is a great way of building trust with them.
- Take context into account: Before launching personalized marketing campaigns, take into account how specific your content is, how private or public each channel of personalized communication is and whether it can come off as inappropriate or invasive.
- Test and learn: Ultimately, the only way to really find out if your personalization campaign is useful to your users is to test it. One way to test your campaigns is to run an A/B test on a selection of messages. Monitor your social media pages for any feedback and keep track of your campaign’s KPIs to ensure you’re achieving the desired results.