Are you using people’s names in the subject lines of your email marketing campaigns? Good, because everyone else is too. Digital technology is dramatically changing the way that we consume and communicate. Consumers increasingly expect to feel that brands are truly listening to them, understanding them, and paying attention to their specific wants and needs. Today’s competitive and unpredictable market demands contextual personalization in digital marketing as a basic requirement—one that goes beyond adding a name in a subject line.
But this doesn’t mean that smaller businesses can’t realize the benefits. While many marketing personalization tactics may feel out of reach for small businesses, personalized content can be accessible for all businesses if they go back to basics and take the time to understand the problems they solve for their customers.
Doubling down on the specific problem you solve with your products and services is an approach that can work, regardless of your size and marketing budget, and brands that show an understanding of their target customers will be rewarded with increased loyalty and greater revenue.
Personalization allows brands to contextualize their messages, experiences, and offers based on a unique, single customer view profile. Personalization provides a memorable way to interact with a customer through content, messaging, and software, and allows brands to create experiences that make customers feel that their interests are taken into account.
A lot later along the journey than you may think! Customers want personalization, and they’re willing to share their information to get it. A whopping 73% of consumers say a business has never communicated with them online in a way that felt too personalized or invasive.
Accenture found that 83% of consumers are willing to share their data to create a more personalized experience. According to SmarterHQ, 90% of consumers are willing to share personal behavioral data with companies for a cheaper and easier experience. On the other hand, 66% of consumers say encountering content that isn’t personalized would stop them from making a purchase, and 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized.
If personalization is done well, it can become a powerful tool that builds the bottom line, which is why 89% of digital businesses are investing in it.
With this in mind, here are some personalization best practices for digital marketers.
We see many businesses making the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. While a strategy with a broad appeal may work in certain contexts, you should define a clear target audience and detailed buyer personas. When you have an intimate understanding of exactly who you are targeting, you’re better positioned to align your marketing, online presence, customer service, customer experience, and product/service to your audience’s unique needs and pain points.
To personalize your customer experiences, you need to identify your customers and how they behave. This information includes demographic and firmographic details, your customers’ perceptions of your products and services, and their purchasing behavior. You can gather this information through your customer database, reviews, customer surveys, and conversations with your customers via your various communication platforms.
The more you know about your customers and their needs, the easier it is to identify opportunities to sell them new products and target them with relevant, appropriate, and attractive offers. You can profile your customers and group them into different segments, each of which can be approached separately according to the specific problems you solve for them. You can also use this information to ensure that each customer gets the right marketing messages at the right time.
When it comes to customer service, you can tailor your products and service to meet your customers’ specific requirements. If a customer prefers delivery before noon, for example, organize your delivery schedule to make sure that happens.
Note: Always comply with data protection regulations for any personal information that you collect, keep, and use.
Your Most Valuable Customers (MVCs) can teach you a lot about your target audience, since you’ll likely want to attract more people or companies like them. A customer can be an MVC for a number of reasons: loyalty, repeat business, high-value business, profitable, seamless to manage, or just a good fit. By identifying these customers, learning more about them, and building relationships with them, you can work to bring in new customers with a similar profile.
Now that you know who your customers are and understand their specific pain points, you can tailor your messaging accordingly. At the top of the funnel, you can create an eBook or high-value content piece that answers your prospects’ pressing questions; once you have more of their details, you can use their name in communications and tailor your messaging to the buyer persona they most closely align with. When they become a customer, you can add personalized touches that speak to their needs and let them know that you see them as a human, not a number on a spreadsheet.
As consumers demand more experience optimization from brands (and the data becomes easier to access than ever before), personalization is becoming an increasingly important part of doing business. It’s OK to start small with your personalization efforts. As you notice the impact and start to develop new personalization strategies, you will find new and exciting ways to give your valued customers even better experiences.
It’s time to get personal, and Brighter Messaging can help you do it! Get to know us with a free discovery call.