‘Marketing personalisation’ and ‘personalised marketing,’ is the art of using data to deliver a customised brand message to an individual prospect or prospects.
Personalisation has changed marketing. Personalisation improves the customer experience, and it makes businesses more profitable. Yet, many companies don’t seem to have cottoned on to its true value yet.
Personalisation differs from traditional marketing, which mostly relies on casting a wide net to earn a small number of customers. However, research shows that 63% of consumers are annoyed with how brands continue to blast generic advertising messages repeatedly.
What customers want now is personalisation. Here are two common strategies that every brand can use to ensure that they create a strong personalised marketing plan:
Know Their Needs
When a customer punches a long-tail query into your search bar, they expect content that answers it. If they’re shopping in a brick-and-mortar location of yours, they probably want details on a product. At every touchpoint throughout the funnel, ask yourself “what does the customer want here? What are they looking for?” Or, even better, ask them.
Your personalisation strategy should span every device and channel, and your CRM should reflect anything you’ve learned about your prospect along the way. Aim to know exactly what your prospects have done, the kind of messaging they’ve responded to, the type of content they like, their communication preferences, and more.
Anticipate Their Future Needs
If you have the advantage of knowing their personal details and browsing behaviour, you have the power to predict what’s coming next. What add-ons might they need? What upgraded versions might they consider?
If you know that they read a lot of your content on social media marketing, send them more content about social media marketing. Send them blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, and tip sheets. If they’ve already bought your product, make them aware of newer versions, bug fixes, and use cases that help them to take advantage of its full potential.
The Benefits of Personalised Marketing
Users get relevant content. Consumers don’t hate advertising; they hate bad advertising. They hate irrelevant brand messaging. Since personalised content is based on past behaviour, it’s more likely that the consumer will respond favourably to its message.
Consumers don’t just benefit from reminders of products they’ve already seen, but of new ones they may not have realised exist. These could be add-ons, upgraded versions, or related content. Once you’ve anticipated your prospects’ needs, the next step is showing them what they need before they need it, with emails, ads, and blog posts, etc.
On a broad scale, this could be blog posts optimised for popular keyword search terms throughout each stage of the marketing funnel. On a more granular level, it may look like a chat module that allows your business to respond to customer issues immediately. The sooner you make yourself available, the better, research has found.
The Tools Needed
The biggest challenge of personalisation is scaling it. Obviously, you can’t manually create an email for every customer. You can’t manually create an ad for every prospect. But, you have to maintain that appearance, and that requires the right tools. For starters, here’s what you’ll need:
An Analytics Platform
Analytics platforms aid in the collection of data, which every marketer relies on to create personalised campaigns. As opposed to the self-reported data such as names and email addresses — the “who you are” data — the data collected by most analytics platforms is behavioural. It’s the “what you do” data, which can be even more valuable than the former.
A Data Management Platform
Data management platforms hold audience and campaign data from sources involved in programmatic ad buying. For marketers, it’s a one-stop location where they can manage user data to create targeted user segments for digital advertising campaigns.
That user data could be: age, household income, browsing habits, purchasing behaviour, demographics, location, device, and more. Then, the DMP can analyse the performance of those segments, and assist in the optimisation of future campaigns.
Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)
Your CRM is the hub of customer information. Anything you learn about a prospect from lead capture forms, sales calls, or third party data providers should be logged here.
When connected with the rest of your marketing stack, it’ll allow your other tools (like a post-click landing page platform) to feed it prospect information, and, in turn, it can feed that information to an email marketing platform, which will help you to personalise your emails even further.
A Post Click Landing Page Platform
Without a post-click solution, it all falls apart. This is the best way to capture prospect data today, so without it, you can kiss personalisation goodbye. It’s also the best tool you have to move customers to the next stage of the funnel.
An Email Marketing Platform
Today, email marketing platforms are a staple of every marketing technology stack. Email reigns supreme as the most profitable for businesses. That’s not surprising, considering that email addresses are a piece of information easily offered up by prospects.
Through this channel is how most people prefer to be contacted. And according to recent research, getting emails opened comes down to personalising it.
Consumers say that they’re more likely to respond well to an email if it looks like it’s made for them. Dynamic content can accomplish this, as can segmenting, or sending emails based on behavioural triggers, say, after an ebook is downloaded or your pricing page is viewed. And it doesn’t even have to be that complicated.
By using simple data such as names and birthdays, you can send a gimmick-free birthday email to prospects on your mailing list. It sounds simple and maybe even useless without a CTA, but customers appreciate brands who treat them like the people they are over the money they have.
Tag Management Platforms
When a visitor completes a specified action, that tag fires. The problem with these tags is that they’re tedious to manage, easily forgotten about when they’re no longer needed, and they can greatly slow down a web page (which has a major impact on bounce rates and conversion rates).
Using tag management software such as Google Tag Manager allows you to add, delete, and update all of your tags from one place. It also means that your page load times won’t get bogged down by tag after tag, as the code for GTM only needs to be added to the back-end of your web pages once.
Demand Side Platform
Demand-side platforms work with supply-side platforms and exchanges to deliver your ads to prospects that are most likely to click them. This process is called programmatic advertising, and it’s done primarily in real-time. You specify who you want to reach with your ads, and how much you’re willing to spend.
Then, a bidding war takes place between you and the other advertisers trying to reach the same audience. A prospect lands on a page, and before the page loads fully, algorithms determine which ad to display to them.
These algorithms take browsing history, time of day, and IP address into account. Whoever has bid the highest for the impression when all is collected wins the placement. Their ad is published when the visitor’s page loads fully.
When creating any form of internet advertising, personalisation is paramount. Internet users respond to relevance and trust. Anything outside of that won’t earn conversions.
To establish relevance and trust through personalisation, every campaign’s ad and post-click landing page must match. That means: headline, imagery, logos, and brand colours. Together, these reinforce your brand identity and assure visitors that they’re in the right place while delivering what was promised in the advertisement.
Today, businesses can work marketing magic with email. Messages via this channel are non-invasive, they’re easily consumable, and they’re also highly customizable. Using dynamic content, email subscribers can receive that are offers uniquely tailored to their demographics, psychographics, firmographics and behaviour.
Social media has become highly personalised.
Likely, you’re familiar with Facebook’s “trending” bar, which is tailored to the behaviour of prospects. Its Meta Pixel is also one of the most powerful retargeting tools in marketing. Implanting it on the back-end of a web page allows marketers to target people on Facebook who didn’t convert.
Other examples of increasing personalisation are Snapchat’s geofilters and games, Twitter accounts dedicated to individualised customer support, and more recently, Instagram’s newest emoji slider feature, which allows account holders to poll their followers.