Personalization: A marketer’s best friend

Marketing Personalization: No longer a should-do but a must-doMarketing strategies require SMB leaders to juggle a variety of tasks. There are just so many things that go into an exceptional marketing plan – from keeping track of promotions to providing relevant content. However, if there is one single thing that marketers should pay close attention to it is undoubtedly personalization. In fact, a recent Adobe study found that one-third of marketers consider personalization as the most important capability for future marketing efforts, reported Ad Age.

So, what is personalization? What’s all the hype about? And most importantly, how do you leverage it in your marketing strategy?

Defining Marketing personalization

In essence, personalization in marketing boils down to targeted advertising. Modern technology allows business leaders to gather data that creates an intimate view of every customer. Through digital interactions, organizations of all sizes can track consumer behaviors and turn that information into customized messaging.

Think of it this way: would you rather go into a date blind or have a little background information? Personalization helps businesses wow potential and returning customers by remembering the little things. Is this their first time visiting our site or the second? Do they usually order mozzarella sticks? What kind of services do they keep coming back for? This information can be used to create unique messaging. The personalization we are discussing here isn’t as simple as a first name or a demographic – it whittles down to the deep stuff.

But … why?

Hitting these personal notes plays a lot into a few general ideas. For starters, the internet is full of content. Personalization helps businesses stand out in the crowd. Customers are much more likely to stop and stare at an ad that suggests something they have a proven interest in than material that simply takes a shot in the dark. In fact, according to HubSpot, 74 percent of online shoppers reported getting annoyed with businesses that provide website content that is not tailored to their interests.

Additionally, modern customers like to feel like they have a relationship with their brands. It is no longer solely about the product but about the engagement provided by a given business. Nothing connects marketing efforts to consumers better than personalization – this tactic lets customers know you remember them, you appreciate their service and you understand their habits.

“Consumers have reached the tipping point when it comes to being shown content that isn’t relevant to them,” CEO of Janrain Larry Drebes explained to HubSpot. “Consumers have been pretty consistent and clear in their feedback, the way to avoid alienating them is to give them what they want — personalized, relevant content using their data in a responsible and transparent way.”

So, generally consumers prefer (and pay more attention to) personalized content. Besides the implied ROI from those assumptions, what can SMBs look forward to when it comes to more targeted messaging? Conversions, leads and increased revenue are all direct results of a personalization push – let’s take a look at a few promising stats from Adobe:

  • 80 percent of marketers using personalization tactics report a spike in revenue
  • Businesses using automated personalization systems for marketing generate 50 percent more leads on average
  • These same leads cost 33 percent less than the typical average
  • Companies with exceptional personalization efforts experience 4.5 percent more conversions (1.7 times the average)
  • Personalization efforts up profitability by as much as 26 percent with a 12 percent improvement in market capitalization

The how

Clearly personalization has some pretty impressive effects. Consumers crave it and the results are well worth the effort. But how can you start using personalization as a part of your marketing strategy? Let’s take a look at a few quick tips:

  1. Tackle the basics: Before you start diving into the more advanced methods of personalization – nail the basics. Marketers should test the targeted waters with more personalized email marketing campaigns or even direct mail items. Leverage information regarding buyer purchasing times or unpurchased shopping cart items. Taking this first step beyond personalized subject lines is a great way to perfect your strategy.
  2. Lean on the data: When it comes to personalization, data is your best friend. You need to make sure your business is making the effort to track and capture consumer information at every leg of the journey. The more you know about the path to purchase the more effective your marketing will become. Data is the driving factor behind exceptional personalization, so make sure you are using it to the best of your ability.
  3. Take advantage of marketing tech: It’s no new secret that personalization is the move for marketing across the industries. And, unsurprisingly, as a result there are companies and specific software dedicated to the careful collection of customer behaviors. For SMB owners with some budget to spare, this can be a great option. Outsourcing personalization will make sure the targeting efforts are handled by professionals. There is so much data attributed to any given customer, and when possible, use some outside resources to sort through this information.

Marketing is a constantly evolving skill and personalization is an important best practice. Consumers crave this kind of catered attention when being marketed to and competitors big and small are either already using these strategies or will be soon. Use personalization to your advantage and reap the benefits.

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