With so many brand messages flooding customer inboxes and smartphones, it's no wonder marketers are having a hard time connecting with audiences. Even with more technology solutions available than ever before, 74% of marketing leaders say they struggle to scale their personalization efforts, according to a Gartner survey. What's more, that same data suggests brands may risk losing 38% of customers due to poor personalization. Customers want to be treated as individuals, not as users, accounts, or prospects. This guide to personalized marketing dives deep into personalization and its potential to increase engagement.
What is personalization?
Personalization is a one-to-one marketing strategy that seeks to better understand and connect with customers. It uses real-time data and insights to deliver highly relevant messages and offers. Personalization as a strategy represents a shift from what had been a traditional one-size-fits-all approach that prioritizes reach and breadth of an audience to methods that target customers based on their needs and interests. It places a heavy emphasis on tailoring messages to specific individuals or segments of buyers.
Examples of personalized marketing
Today's customers expect personalization in each interaction they have with brands. Whether it's name recognition, location-based recommendations, or messages based on preferences, marketers need practical ways to enact personalization across their campaigns to meet this demand.
- Data-driven strategies. Marketers rely on customer data to make their marketing engines run, and this is even more important when it comes to personalization. Collecting first-party consumer data with tools like customer data platforms (CDPs) can help marketers learn what their audience demands and develop solutions to fulfill those needs.
- Marketing automation. Brands have more consumer data to analyze than ever before, which can be a double-edged sword. A great number of potential insights may be lost due to marketing team capacity issues or poor technological infrastructure. This is why many B2C teams are embracing marketing automation solutions to improve data collection, task streamlining, and audience analysis - all of which help improve personalization.
- Artificial intelligence solutions. AI tools are all the rage in marketing circles today, and for good reason - their machine learning capabilities can help brands provide highly personalized experiences to their customers. They can learn from consumer behavior and improve marketing tactics with in-depth analysis. However, these technologies are far from perfect, so B2C marketers should ensure there are proper safeguards in place before deploying them.
- Account-based marketing. Many B2B marketers are turning to account-based marketing (ABM) strategies and tools to help deliver targeted advertising and personalized content to high-value accounts. Although this marketing method has been around for more than a decade, advances in technology are allowing marketers to glean relevant data from high-level purchase decision-makers, such as buying intent and quantitative business information. By implementing an ABM strategy with one of many available platforms, marketers can foster greater personalized connections with businesses.
- Personalized content recommendations. Understanding where your visitors are in the content funnel is critical, but guiding them through it is even more important. Brands can offer B2B buyers personalized content recommendations at each funnel stage, using information such as past purchases, downloads, or search history to make informed decisions. Showing buyers you're aware of their needs as a business can help build that much-needed trust.
- Location-based marketing. Many businesses operate from a single geographic area and primarily serve customers around them. B2B marketers can better reach buyers by providing messaging that speaks to their locality, whether it's upcoming events pertaining to them or special deals for their area.
- Personalized landing pages. There is no set of rules that will ensure personalized landing page success. But brands that include information that is personal to the visitor - their name, geographical location, useful content pertinent to their situation - can foster greater engagement.
- Product recommendations. Giving customers product suggestions in the form of emails or ads can show them you care about their needs. And this practice can positively impact sales too; product recommendations can account for up to 31% of e-commerce site revenues, according to data from e-commerce personalization company Barilliance.
- Connecting video experiences. Videos have the potential to increase customer engagement, especially if they're personalized. That's why brands may want to consider creating customized videos for individual customers. When used properly, these can help companies show customers they care about their needs.
- Social media advertising. Marketers have many customization capabilities available on social media platforms. From retargeting campaigns to personalized messaging via chatbots, brands can use these tools to customize their messaging for customers on a personal level.
- Customized email messages. Email is one of the most effective mediums to use when personalizing marketing campaigns. With email platforms, brands can send customized messages, offers, images, and even cart abandonment notifications (for e-commerce sites).