Personalized marketing: tailoring it with care

Personalized marketing explained

Personalized marketing occurs when content is tailored based on personal customer data. This data may include the email address, name, location, subscriptions, browsing history etc. In our age of post-privacy abuse and GDPR, such data should be collected only with the customer’s consent.

Personal data helps companies reach out to their existing or potential customers with relevant information or product offers, wherever they are and across any medium, tailored to their needs and interests. Therefore, personalization can be a powerful tool to engage with your customers. Harvard Business Review states that personalization can reduce extra marketing costs by 50%, lift revenues by 5-15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing expenditure by up to 10-30%. This should facilitate attractive pricing, benefits customers, and ultimately boost sales.

Personalization goals

Improving customer experience (CX)

Customers are more relaxed sharing personal information with their favorite brands if they receive something valuable in return. They fill out forms, download whitepapers, participate in surveys, and indicate their preferred purchases or choices. In exchange for sharing their sensitive data, the consumers expect brands to protect any sensitive information and offer more personalized experiences.

Be relevant to your customers

Basic personalization i.e. addressing customers by their names or engaging them with a birthday email are only starters. The eventual goal with personalization entails creating a far more tailored experience than what it is right now. In a market filled with options and content to reach out to customers, relevancy is what gives your customers the feeling of being cared for in the crowd.

Utilize your data efficiently

Put the data at your disposal to best use. Analyzing your customer’s data to come up with personalized experiences should be one of your top priorities in your list of marketing strategies.

Personalize across all channels

A  study by Hubspot lists the advantages of personalizing calls to action, regardless of the channel in question. The analysis states that of the 330,000 CTA’s over a six-month period, personalized CTAs converted 202% better than otherwise. Engagement rates for marketers who incorporate personalized content in their email programs manage to be higher than those who do not. Organizations using email personalization generated more revenue through their campaigns than the average marketer. Thus, we see that email is one of the channels to utilize. By recognizing and responding to the preferred channel for each customer, brands can increase their returns on investments.

Consumers are communicating with brands across multiple channels, like brick and mortar, email, social media… sometimes all in a given day. Thus, it is more important than ever before for brands to create consistency and compatibility across their channels. The in-store experience should match the app experience, which, in turn, should match email campaigns.

Segmenting your audience

Implementing smart segmentation of your audience is definitely a challenge many companies have failed to address. Smart segmentation across channels is crucial, and it definitely boosts performance. Going beyond broad segments and simple clustering getting down to further details is a way of saying you know your customers well enough.

Valuable and good content

Content encourages personalization. You need the right people to develop and organize it. You don’t want your “robots” to lead people to dull, irrelevant, or poor content. This puts significant responsibility for developing a strong content “supply chain” fed by designers, photographers, copywriters, videographers etc.

Creating long-term relationships

When done right, personalization not only creates conversions but also helps you build a long-standing relationship with your customers. A personalized experience is a way of expressing to your customers that you care about their needs. It is about empathizing and understanding their requirements.

Many customers purchase a product that they did not initially intend to buy after receiving a personalized recommendation from a brand. Some customers prefer one brand over another than they had originally planned. This is because their experience was more personalized with that particular brand.

Businesses that devote time and resources to achieve successful personalized marketing tactics will benefit from a competitive advantage in both brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Revealing some of the best practices in personalized marketing

When launching a successful personalized marketing strategy, some crucial points must be kept in mind. Capturing data, building analytical capabilities, and developing adaptable websites are all beneficial to an organization. But they are most valuable when fully synchronized with each other. Creating relevant content from that data after proper analysis is what counts at the end.

There are many ways you can reach out to your customers. As we have discussed, personalized emails are indeed an effective way to let your customers know that you care. Apart from that, custom-made video messages also make a great impact on people’s mind making the experience memorable for your audience. People tend to spend a lot of time nowadays watching video content, hence video messages ain’t a bad idea after all.

Making product recommendations is another way of providing customers with what they want. For example, you may have noticed that once you watch a few movies on Netflix, you will get recommendations based on your viewing habits. Thus this often erases the hassle of having to scour through a huge catalog to find your kind of content. These are all different forms of personalization.

Nevertheless, everything good comes with challenges and so does personalization.

Challenges in personalized marketing

Privacy vs personalization

Personalization and privacy are fundamentally conflicting. But at the same time researchers have also shown that personalized marketing has been an important source of revenue for the different online stakeholders. Personalization today has moved beyond just demographic data and aims at collecting much more information from the digital footprints users leave behind on any online platform. With incidents on data breaches and questions being raised on data privacy, customers are getting more reluctant to share their data with different platforms. While this remains a continued debate, market trends still suggest personalization as one of the leading strategies to be addressed in every business. How you achieve it ethically is totally up to you.

Planning with care

Strategies for approaching personalization varies immensely among marketers. This could be down to the relative stages of data management of the companies involved and their appetite for risk.

Personalization as a concept is not new in the industry, and we can all learn from previous mistakes. As a result, Npower’s head of marketing, Edward Madden mentioned: “We approach all of this with caution. Stories about getting it wrong resonate with us. We are famous for implementing new software in 2014 that sent out a number of wrong bills to customers. We are taking baby steps so that when we progress to advanced personalization, we get it right. GDPR is going to be a real catalyst.”

It is attractive to plunge into a large-scale complex personalization project. But there are still many basics to be set right and a lot of conversion ground to be covered still.

Premal Patel, commercial director of Catalina UK insisted: “We’ve got to have a consistency of approach. Right now customers are happy to give data but they’re doing it for a reason. That reason being value. The problem is, they’re not always getting it.”

 

Author bio:

Jija Bhattacharya is a Content Marketer at an experience design agency, graphility in Brussels. She completed her Masters in Communication studies in Brussels and joined graphility. Loves writing and exploring new topics to pen down on design thinking, branding, and marketing. She is a voracious reader and perpetually chooses to remain unsettled with curiosity. Likes learning new languages and meeting new people when she travels. She calls writing her oxygen.

graphility website: https://graphility.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/graphility?lang=en

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