Personalization, when done right, increases customers’ loyalty and engagement and enhances their lives by delivering messages that anticipate and are tuned to what customers really want. In a matter of seconds, customers decide whether or not they like your marketing message. Provide something irrelevant and they’re gone, but hit the mark and you’ve got a satisfied customer.
In today’s era of instant gratification, the issue of relevance is especially critical, because people are bombarded with messages daily. Most of these messages are off target, and by personalizing them according to their behavior, you promise to address this problem.
Most companies have plenty of tools needed to personalize the ways they engage with their customers, but the true challenge is transforming the marketing organization processes and practices to achieve the full reach of personalization. This is how you can improve your business by utilizing the concept of personalization.
Plan your reactions to customer signals in advance
Customers provide information about their intentions and needs (signals) through online browsing, purchases and social media activities. Subsequently, your company responds to it with a timely and a relevant message (trigger) that is sent to them.
In order to do this properly and effectively, you need advance planning, which includes developing a library of trigger messages (copies, offers, titles, images – or their combination) matched to certain signals. This requires thorough analytics, as well as a test-and-learn process – send the trigger, evaluate results, adjust the trigger, and then evaluate again.
Create a team of the right people
When it comes to the way it works, personalized marketing represents a radical shift compared to traditional marketing. In order to kick-start this change, you need to empower a group of people who know what they’re doing. Carefully select 10-15 people, including staff from analytics, digital media, creative, IT, and operation, as well as a staff manager.
Each team member needs to be completely dedicated to their job, which is measured through actual revenue and improved customer experience (not through page views or clickthroughs). This, so-called “war team”, spends time finding signals with the highest potential value, developing, launching and iterating on tailored messages that get results.
Focus on technology and processes that help your teams work faster
Old processes have to be replaced with modernized ones if you want to work at a faster pace at this scale. Marketing teams need to be empowered to act on their own, in order to test and iterate various ideas and focus on the ones that work. Everyone should be ready to accept their mistakes, learn from them, and move on.
The next thing to do is utilize the right automation technology, which can be a challenge. You need to assemble and operate a stack of marketing automation, because there are countless providers of tools and none of them offer a true, complete solution.
It’s up to you to do your research, filter out what to buy, and have your team integrate it. If not integrated properly, the automation software may just start spamming your consumers by sending out millions of messages. Instead, it should help your specialized team to be more efficient at finding signals and delivering triggers.
How consumers shop
Consumers are more likely to shop and recommend a brand to others when they think more positively about it. Forrester says that, according to their research, 77% of consumers have paid for, chosen, or recommended a brand that provides a personalized experience or service. Personalization can lead to more purchases, engagement, and positive experiences.
For example, Christmas gift cards are an example of a personalization opportunity, as one can choose a gift card design to fit any person or occasion (such as Christmas holidays). A great deal of customers said that personalization influences their shopping decisions and that they’ll engage offers if they’re personalized to their previous engagement with a brand.
How consumers perceive a brand
A person’s feelings about a brand are formed on good or bad experiences with it, which means that their relationships with brand are often driven by emotions. Today, if their experiences are irrelevant and non-personalized, consumers may feel frustrated.
According to a Rapt Media research, 62% of consumers said they would most likely purchase from a brand that gave them content that was more relevant, interesting, or valuable. Also, 57% of Millennials surveyed said that they block ad content that they find too pushy.
A company should look at personalization as a way to connect with Millennials (people aged 18-36) better, because they will make two thirds of the world’s population by the year 2025. This generation of people has grown up with technology and experiences life on the go on smartphones and tablets.
Today’s consumers want personal experiences and feel let down when they encounter something irrelevant to them. In order to surprise and delight their customers, marketers have started incorporating personalization into their strategies.