It’s no secret that businesses have access to more information about their customers than ever before, and consumers are expecting businesses to use this info to provide superior service. Increasingly, superior service means more personalized service, including more personalized marketing.
Luckily, many business executives are aware of this development. According to a IBM CEO Study, 72 percent of CEOs see understanding individual customer needs as a top priority. Also, SAP executive Richard Howells says that understanding customer needs should also be priority No. 1 for marketers.
“A complete view of marketing begins with obtaining customer understandings and insights from both internal sources (customer history, buying patterns etc.) and external sources (e.g. sentiment analysis), and leveraging this ‘big data; to confidently segment by target audience accurately, and in real time,” Howells wrote.
Modern marketing must make it personal
Once you’re collecting this information from internal and external sources, how do you put it to work to create effectively personalized marketing? For a small or medium-sized business with a limited budget, some of the most cost-effective personalized marketing can be done through email, social media and the company website.
1) Email: Howells mentioned segmenting by target audience, and email lists are a great place to start this practice. By Personalized Marketing to identify a few different subgroups of your target audience, you can split up the list of recipients who receive your marketing emails and create separate messages that speak directly to the concerns or interests of these groups. These subgroups might be defined by demographic characteristics, such as age, gender or income level, or they might be defined by how the recipient interacts with the company. For example, you could have a list exclusively of people who have “liked” the company on Facebook.
2) Social media: Speaking of Facebook, the social network is a great place to undertake personalized marketing, because it’s a forum where individuals communicate directly with your organization. Because of this, it’s important to routinely monitor the activity on your company’s Facebook page or other social media accounts, and to have a skilled communicator who can respond on a person-by-person basis to those who leave comments, pose questions or otherwise engage with the brand in these online spaces.
3) Website: If you send an intriguing email or forge a connection with a potential customer on Facebook, chances are that person will click through to your webpage. Just as it’s useful to segment your audience for email marketing, it’s effective to create website landing pages that are pitched toward specific subgroups of your target audience. These landing pages can capture reader interest by using language that appeals to them and including content that is relevant specifically to their needs. And don’t overlook the power of search. As Digital Marketing says, “A robust personalization strategy should include offering extremely targeted, relevant website search results.” According to the blog, it’s important to prominently display the website search box on the homepage, as visitors who search a website are three times more likely to convert than visitors who only navigate and browse the site.