For centuries, the art of the sale meant tailoring your pitch to individual customers. Encyclopedia salesmen, (remember them!) lugged around suitcases loaded with volumes of books, knocked at doors and crafted their pitch to suit the customer’s needs. The sale’s potential success or failure relied on adding that personal touch.
The web’s introduction ushered in the e-commerce age. But brands primarily adopted an ‘all customers are the same’ line of thinking, firing out generic mailshots to thousands of people at the same time.
Expectations for business communications have since changed. Digital natives have ousted older generations to become the biggest customer base.
Superior experiences drive purchasing choices. Fortunately, Big Data’s advancement has allowed brands to harvest reams of contextualized information that builds a full-bodied image of a customer’s personal journey, allowing them to craft the perfect tailored experience.
- 83% of marketers said personalisation remained their biggest challenge whilst eight out of 10 customers wanted brands to get to know them and understand when to approach them.
With that in mind, let’s jump in and break down what market personalisation is, how it can benefit your brand and what you can do to start integrating it into your marketing strategy.
Marketing personalisation explained
Personalisation is the process of targeting content to individuals based on one or more of the following: who they are; where they are; when, why and how they access content; and what device they use to access it.
Scott P. Abel, The Content Wrangler
Your communication with customers is relevant when they understand the context of your message: without it, the meaning is lost.
You need to ensure the content you deliver fits into the before and after of the user journey. Customers need to understand why they’re receiving a communication, whether it’s content, services or products.
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Let’s say a customer signs up to receive your whitepaper. What’s the next step in your strategy?
Do you send over an automated follow-up email in a week’s time? Do you schedule a phone call? They’re logical steps for a marketing strategy, but they don’t take into consideration the additional interactions the buyer may have had with your brand.
Generating contextual intelligence gives you a deeper understanding of the actions customers take before and after your communication. Perhaps they tweeted about the white paper afterwards, shared a post on LinkedIn or discussed your content on another platform.
Contextual marketing’s goal is to turn data and analysis into insights that give you well-rounded information on the user’s actions. You can then figure out the appropriate action to maximize the customer experience and extract as much value as possible from the interaction.
Break through the noise
Adopting personalised marketing offers brands far-reaching benefits. Tailored content enables you to break through the noise to achieve differentiation from competitors whilst earning the trust of your customer base. Here are just a few benefits:
Deeper understanding and long-term relationships
Marketing personalisation plays a vital role in customer relationship development – through channels that never existed before. Brands must go beyond purely economic rewards and establish a deeper understanding of their customers to deliver broader benefits.
Contextual marketing enhances the overall customer experience by providing data-driven content that is personalised to an individual’s situation and needs. Engaging content delivered via the platform that your target audience helps cultivate more meaningful relationships.
Nobody wants to “hear the hard sale”. Marketers must figure out their customers need, their pain points and use that data to tailor their strategy and offer the right solution.
Almost three-quarters of B2B marketers failed to match customer needs at their first point of contact.
Maximise customer experience by providing the right solution at the right time when it’s most needed, with the best possible level of service. In turn, you maximise customer value for your brand.
Increase engagement and boost conversions
By placing your solution in front of the buyer in the context of their need you are actively encouraging participation and increasing the chance of boosting conversions.
- Most of the 206 marketing professionals surveyed lauded personalisation ability to advance customer relationships.
- Two-thirds said it increased conversation rates
- Over half noticed a 10% lift in business results.
- One in 10 said it boosted business results by over 30%.
Get the ball rolling
Here are some steps you can take to integrate market personalisation into your marketing strategy and boost your conversion rates.
- Integrate personalisation engines into your marketing strategy: Personalisation engines apply context about individual users and their circumstances to select and deliver messaging such as content, offers and other interactions through digital channels in support of three use cases—marketing, digital commerce, and customer experience.
- Collect user insights from data and leverage them to inform your strategy
- Make sure there is a clear value exchange between you and the customer
- Generate customer personas and create persona-driven content: By industry, company size, business type, location, etc.
- Create a tailored customer journey: Select a persona you’re keen to build a business relationship with. Describe the pain points, needs and the likely situations you can address when creating a more personalised journey. Modify your approach to extend outside of single channel interactions. How can your website, content and ad strategy combine to deliver an enhanced customer experience?
- Reply to customers personally on social media
Stay relevant with personalised marketing
Brands that harness their customer data to deliver personalised experiences that are accessible across multiple channels and offer clear opportunities to progress through the customer journey will get the desired pay off.
With personalised marketing, every message is relevant, there’s no wastage and you have the statistics to quantify effectiveness. You can earn maximised value and give customers the great experience they desire. It’s a win-win.