Today’s customers are faced with hundreds of different buying options. While this undoubtedly makes for an ideal buying situation, it makes the job of a marketer significantly more difficult. Think about it: When a consumer is constantly presented with hundreds of different brand messages, how can you cut through the noise to capture their attention? Enter, personalization.
For seasoned marketers, the practice of personalization – or the process of tailoring marketing efforts to a specific individual or group of people – is not a new concept. In fact, for many brands, personalized messaging is the number one factor that impacts marketing success. Don’t believe us? Consider these statistics (source):
In a study of 650 multi-channel marketing campaigns, personalized campaigns consistently and overwhelmingly beat out static campaigns in generating a high response rate from recipients.
78% of consumers said they were more likely to buy from a retailer that presented them with offers targeted to their interests, wants and needs.
86% of respondents said they would be willing to pay 25% more for better customer experience.
72% of respondents reported that generic marketing messages turned them off from a company.
These statistics make it clear, customers want personalization. In today’s post, we share a few ways to take personalized marketing to the next-level this year. If you want more personalized marketing, keep reading!
1. Is your audience segmentation granular enough?
At the core of personalization is customer and contact data. Think about it: Without data, how will you know who your best buyers are, what message resonate with them, or how to convince them to make a purchase? The short answer is, you can’t. The most basic way to leverage contact data for personalization is through list segmentation.
List segmentation is exactly what it sounds like – the process of breaking up a marketing list into several smaller, more targeted lists, utilizing 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! Consider these statistics:
On average, segmented and targeted campaigns generate 58% of a company’s revenue (source).
Marketers have noted a 760% increase in revenue after segmenting their campaigns (source).
There is no right or wrong way to go about list segmentation, and, strategies will often differ from organization to organization. However, one thing remains certain across the board: The more granular you get, the bigger an impact you’ll have. To drive optimal results from your email marketing program in 2018, we suggest you evolve your segmentation strategy using a bigger variety of relevant data-points, including:
Demographic data: Age, gender, location, ethnicity, etc.
Firmographic data: Company, industry, job title, job function, etc.
Behavioral/engagement data: How have they interacted with your brand? Page views, content downloads, site flow, clicks, event attendance, etc.
Tech Install Data: Sometimes referred to as technographics, this data tells you what technologies and tools your ideal buyer uses. Segmenting by tech install data allows you to speak to specific product integrations, pain points, and more.
Psychographic data: Or the process of segmenting your audience based on different personality traits, like values, attitudes, interests, lifestyles, etc.
Purchase history: Have they purchased from your organization before? Have they made a similar purchase before? What is their average purchase size like?
Buyer’s journey: What stage in the buyer’s cycle are they in? Awareness stage, pre-purchase stage, decision-making stage, post–purchase stage.
I know what you’re thinking, segmentation isn’t new—and you’re right. What we’re recommending for 2018 is that you reevaluate the way you’re currently segmenting your email marketing lists and experiment with more granular data points.
2. Do you have a single customer view (SCV)?
By definition, single customer view means an aggregated, consistent, and holistic representation of the data known by an organization about its customers (source). If you only remember one piece of information from this article, let it be this: The key to successful personalization in 2018 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. In fact, 81% of brands say they have a working holistic view of their customers. However, customers disagree: Only 37% believed their favorite retailer understands them (source).
The likely culprit? 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, un-uniformed customer data, stored in a number of disconnected data silos.
A single customer view allows you to access all of your customer data—easily—in one place. Here’s why this is key for personalization:
Channel consistency: Single customer view allows you to personalize your marketing efforts consistently rather than doing it channel by channel.
Brand loyalty: When a customer provides you with data they expect you to tailor all future interactions based on that information. Businesses who do this effectively win customers for life.
Increased revenue: When you have a single customer view you can target prospects with the content they’re interested in using the channels they prefer—effectively closing more deals and driving more revenue.
To achieve a singular customer view, you must work with tools that integrate and prioritize the flow of data from one tool to the next.
3. Do you allow customers to personalize their own experience?
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 effective examples:
Preference centers: Preference centers are 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: This last idea corresponds perfectly with the final section of this article. A customer service chatbot is 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.
Although we only included three examples, there are countless ways to allow customers and prospects to dictate their own experience with your brand. The key here is to listen.
4. Do you leverage the latest technology as part of your personalization efforts?
While undoubtedly effective, there is one major factor that inhibits wide-spread adoption of personalization: It’s time-consuming, resource-intensive and expensive. In fact:
According to one recent study, 59% of marketers stated a lack of bandwidth/resources as the reason for not personalizing their marketing (source).
49% of companies reported resources for personalization are limited or not available due to lack of time or budget (source).
Luckily, technological advancements have allowed us to leverage tools to do the dirty work for us. 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. In fact, 57% of marketers using AI say it’s absolutely or very essential in helping their company create 1-to-1 marketing across every customer touch-point (source).
Although there’s a camp of people who are terrified of being replaced by AI, we’re of the opinion that this technology will enable us to scale our efforts and market our products better. 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.
Key Takeaways about More Personalized Marketing
Much like your customers’ needs and preferences, personalization is an ever-evolving concept. What works to convert a prospect one day, may fail the next. In order to scale personalization success, it’s important to keep up with the latest trends. Ask yourself the four questions in the post to keep yourself and your team on the right track this year.