So, what is this entire buzz about ‘Personalized Marketing’?
Before the era of supermarkets hit our country, the ration of the house would come in from the neighbourhood mom-n-pop store right around the corner. Our grandparents would hand us a ten rupee note and send us off to buy a pack of biscuits, or milk, or sometimes detergent from the same shop day after day. After a few days, the shopkeeper would know you by name, and many times drop in a free candy especially for you.
Didn’t that feel nice? When was the last time, the lady at the cashier in Big Bazaar told your child “So, you scored an A on that test? Here! Take a free candy!”
We human beings love attention. We crave recognition and get so attracted to familiarity and care. That’s exactly why that local store was able to have a large customer base. The storekeeper expressed an interest in our personal lives and treated us like a friend and that’s why we scurried off to his shop every time we wanted to buy something.
Businesses these days, don’t directly converse with people to get to know about them, but thrive on customer data to understand them. They use little details like a person’s geographic location, time-zone, age group, payment method and use these to tailor-make marketing campaigns for these consumers. This is what is called Personalized Marketing.
Okay, I get what it means, but why is it so effective on people?
A study from the University of Texas, suggested that the reason for our preference for personalized content is mainly because of a desire for control and a self-rescue from information overload.
Knowing that a suggestion or a product or an email is especially for us; that we are not just getting what the others are, makes us feel more in control. The content being displayed looks relevant to us, and makes us believe that we are seeing just what we need and saving ourselves from too much information.
Personalization helps customers move through the noisy and crowded world of marketing in a relevant, guided and ultimately profitable way.
Alright, so what are the benefits that I’m looking at?
According to a study by Econsultancy, 68% of marketers say personalization based on behavioral data has a high impact on ROI, and 74% say it has a high impact on engagement.
Personalization appreciably increases conversions. An example of this is how BMW bagged a notable $500,000 in revenue by personalizing MMS messages to customers in the US which improved conversions by 30%. It can also help make conversions much easier, like the “One-click purchase” by Amazon. It offers a smooth payment checkout by just remembering a few details about the customer. Consumers love the hassle-free checkout and the couple of minutes they just saved get you a little more customer engagement.
Another noteworthy example is how the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Washington, used customer location data to segment their visitors according to zip code. They sent out discount campaigns to other people from the areas that had the most frequent visitors, and saw a 13% increase in membership within just three months!
L’OCCITANE en Provence, the international retailer of beauty products, based in France, took a step towards personalized email marketing and saw a 2500% revenue boost after which the company extended its personalization influence to its affiliate websites, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, paid search, PayPal, brick-and-mortar stores and more.
So, how and where do I start?
There is so much that can be done to start a personalization campaign. The easiest channel to start with is email. Start experimenting with adding the customer’s name in the email subject line. Some customers find it a little invasive while many others feel it gives a personal touch and don’t mind it. Though in many cases, it has brought positive results.
Make a more human-like connection between your business and customer. This can be done with something as simple as including the sender’s name, contact details and maybe a picture at the end of a campaign email. It makes it look like a real person is trying to reach out to the customer and not just some software sending out mass emails.
Segment your audience based on factors such as location, gender, age group, payment details, previous purchases etc. Once the differentiating is done, different landing pages can be created for each target group, different marketing strategies can be adopted, more personalized browsing experience can be provided, different promotions based on the preferences of each group can be offered and the list can go on.
Based on the lead’s position in the lead funnel, different type of content can be presented to each group. Marketing automation tools can be used for lead nurturing once a lead has been generated. Data gathered about the leads can then be used for a more personalized sales follow-up experience.
Existing customers or loyal customers is a group that deserves extra focus. These are an asset to any organisation and data about them can reveal an array of personalization possibilities. Treating loyal customers differently than new ones can give a significant revenue boost. Measures such as birthday discounts, loyalty/reward programmes, invitation to events, free trials to developing products, can be used to achieve higher engagement.
Social media analysis can prove to be a helpful sidekick to personalized marketing campaigns. Data showing what consumers like, comment on, follow or hashtag in their posts, can tell you what kind of people would respond more positively to what kind of content.
There are a ton of marketing and customer intelligence methods out there and making use of these for your business can help you go a long way down the road to success.
Unfortunately, most marketers don’t even know the existence of these new buzzwords and are still stuck with the conventional ways which are losing their charms at an alarming rate. Adapting and evolving with the market is important and doing that need not be a stressful task. All you have to do is make your first move and keep your eyes on the prize.