In a world that is overcrowded with content, where customers get bombarded with companies trying to hard sell products and services to them with every click, it’s easy to get frustrated and ignore all advertising and content altogether. And in fact, many customers do. But the rise of personalisation in marketing is slowly, but surely, changing this.
Rest assured that when I talk about personalisation, I don’t mean the basic kind, where every marketing email has the customer’s name written on the top of it – because let’s be real, that email isn’t really personalised. I’m talking about a much deeper sense of personalisation, where the entire digital experience is curated for a specific customer.
Why is this important? Because of an inherent human desire to be recognised for individuality, and not as part of a mass of people. Brands that are able to make people feel that way – through personalisation in marketing, brand experiences and customer service – are the ones that will truly be able to connect with them. Why is this important, you ask? Because this irreplaceable connection gives brands the most valuable thing: customer loyalty. And for customers, it creates a sense of belonging, which very often results in the creation of brand ‘tribes’ – Nike is the perfect example of a brand with purpose that has been able to connect with customers, rally them around the brand, maintain loyalty and reap the benefits of their customer tribes, who are hardcore evangelists for the brand. And of course, for the business, loyalty is directly responsible for higher customer retention rates and sustained revenue increases in the long term. So it’s a win-win, really.
There are some very simple ways to start bringing personalisation into your marketing outreach. One of the easiest ways is to send emails that come from a human, not a company – and you can do this even if you use an email template. This is super useful in customer service (especially when dealing with disgruntled clients!) as it makes people feel like they are actually being listened to. In the same vein, it’s also important to respond to your customers on social media – whether their posts to you are positive or negative. To do this, you will need to invest in a plan, tech and the people to ensure that you are constantly monitoring your accounts, listening to what people are saying and tracking the overall sentiment towards your brand on social media.
Tailor your social media content to ensure that you are saying the right things to the right people. If you monitor your social media engagement carefully, you will very often see that different customer segments engage on different platforms – and hence can help you create variations of the content to engage with each of them, rather than posting the same message across all platforms.
When you have a bit of marketing budget, it’s a good idea to invest in marketing automation tools that will help you drive personalisation such as targeted advertising campaigns or email outreach – tasks that can be very tedious (and almost impossible) if done manually. This can even be extended into targeting landing pages to enhance the personalised experience.
And of course, once you’ve mastered personalisation, there are various ways that you can bring it into your products and services as well, to enhance engagement. The ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is a great example of the heights of personalisation – cans and bottle labels had popular names printed on them, and this went viral across the world.
The possibilities are truly limitless – but remember, the starting point is always a deep understanding of your customers – who they are, what they want and how they want to engage with you.
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