As we continue our marketing trends series, we look at a big trend that has actually been a key element of marketing campaigns for years: personalization.
Marketers who are able to personalize their campaigns to individuals (or at least to narrow segments of buyers) are better able to connect with their targets and form relationships with them. The ways in which marketers aim to personalize their messages, though, have changed drastically over the years as digital marketing has come to the forefront as the major marketing channel of choice for most companies.
In today’s world, companies are performing a significant amount of market research to develop what are called “buyer personas,” a profile of an ideal customer who meets a certain set of demographics, characteristics, motivations, preferences and interests. Buyer persona information makes it easier for companies to segment their audiences and create marketing campaigns that speak more directly to the needs and wants of consumers on a much more detailed, individual level.
Let’s consider some key statistics first that reinforce the need for personalized content and dynamic user experiences.
- “94% of in-house marketers agree that website personalization is critical to current and future success.” ~ The Realities of Online Personalization, by Econsultancy
- 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions, etc.) appears that has nothing to do with their interests. ~ Source: Why Companies Need to Market – and Not Just Sell – to Existing Customers, by Gartner
- 78% of consumers insist on personalized marketing. ~ Relate Magazine
Here are a few examples of some of the specific methods being used to better personalize marketing messages by today’s digital marketers:
- Customized landing pages: Today’s marketers are focused on customized landing pages for each inbound marketing campaign and traffic source that make sense in the context of each visitor’s unique motivations. So, for example, a page that appears when a user clicks on a display ad geared toward generating awareness should not be targeted to returning customers, but to people who might not have ever purchased from that company before.
- Look alike segmentation: We have discussed many times the art of segmentation and the avatar. Personalization of content using that segmentation data takes your marketing to another level by segmenting on purchase behavior, time zone and demographic/psychographic data. Looking beyond the basics to discover what your most valuable customers have in common, you’ll get an idea of how you can personalize content and special offers.
- Nurturing email messages: Numerous tools make it easier than ever before for digital marketers to track the movements of prospects on their website. Based on these movements, marketers can send out lead-nurturing emails, such as a “We miss you!” message for a customer that has not visited or purchased anything for a while, or advertisements and deals for specific products and product categories based on a customer’s browsing habits.
- Recommendations based on past purchases: Another big trend you will see across all markets in 2017 is companies with e-commerce platforms using customer’s’ past purchase information to make recommendations or provide special deals for other products they might be interested in. If, for example, a person were to purchase a new charcoal grill, you might send an email offering a discount on grilling utensils and grill covers.
- Personal surveys: Quick surveys are an outstanding way to get information from customers, and companies now often offer incentives (such as discount codes or free samples) for people who complete them. The survey questions you send can be based on the user’s browsing or purchase habits.
- Location information: With so many people using mobile devices to browse the web and shop for products, marketers have access to a tremendous amount of location-based information that they never would have had before the smartphone era. Companies can send personalized messages for store-specific deals happening at the store closest to them. They can even send out messages to customers while in their stores and browsing specific products.
- Birthday deals: If you collect customers’ date of birth as part of your standard information collecting protocol, you can use that information to send out special birthday messages and deals to loyal customers. These simple offerings are a great way to build rapport with customers and keep them coming back through your doors.
These are just a few examples of ways businesses this year are continuing to evolve in the ways they personalize their marketing. Spend some time thinking about how you can get more personal with your company’s marketing messages to build stronger relationships with your customers.
Copyright Viral Solutions 2017
Thomas von Ahn
Chief Elephant Slayer for Viral Solutions LLC
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