Friday, May 24, 2019

Lesson #313: The Top 5 Benefits of Marketing Personalization

Posted By: George Deeb - 5/24/2019


& Comment

Marketing has evolved from one-size fits all mass marketing to your entire target list, to laser-focused personalized messaging customized to that exact individual.  Personalized digital marketing is now the rule rather than the exception. From email campaigns to pay-per-click, personalized targeting is the accepted standard across most of the digital marketing world.  And, it’s not just ubiquitous—it’s increasingly close to the strategic core of how good marketers do business. To help me dig deeper on this topic, I solicited the wisdom of my colleague, Ronald Dod, the CMO and Co-Founder at Visiture, a leading ecommerce marketing agency with expertise on this topic.

Here are the top five reasons why increasing the level of personalization in your digital marketing is one of the most impactful marketing investments you can make. 

1.  Improved Knowledge of Customer Base

One key aspect of marketing personalization is gathering the data you need to effectively segment and target your customers. In an omnichannel world, you need omnichannel data collection. A savvy 21st century marketing team will always be on the lookout for opportunities to get more customer data, whether it’s through opt-ins like surveys or tracking and analytics tools. Thus, as your marketing personalization works toward its other goals, it can simultaneously work to provide you with better information on your customers and what they respond to.

A customer data platform, or CDP, is one of the most popular ways to collect and organize customer data into an easily usable format. These software packages integrate all of the customer data you collect through email, sites or apps and create customer profiles. You can then examine these profiles, find insights, create segments and create data sets for other tools like email marketing and PPC platforms.

A side benefit is that these customer profiles are useful for much more than just marketing. Examining your customers, their demographics and their interests will yield insights that you can use to drive decisions in distribution, product development and other areas. It’s a perfect example of how taking the plunge into personalization can have positive ripple effects across your business. 

2.  More Sales and Conversions

The numbers are clear: when it comes to driving sales and conversions, personalization works, and it works well. In one study, 88% of businesses said that personalized marketing gave them a measurable sales lift, and 53% reported the boost as 10% or more. Another study found that businesses using various personalized marketing techniques reported revenue gains between 8% and 21%. 

Personalized ads can even serve as a second line of defense to catch conversions that might slip away, thanks to the practice of retargeting. Retargeting, which involves serving targeted ads to people who have already visited a company's website, has been associated with a 70% higher conversion rate in visitors who see a retargeted ad. With figures like that, it’s not hard to see why personalization has planted itself firmly in the marketing mainstream, and why marketers are scrambling to realign their sales strategies with these new realities.

3.  Better Customer Engagement

Loyal customers who engage with a brand through multiple channels are incredibly valuable to the brand’s health and longevity. But with more choices and competition than ever—and brand loyalty possibly on the wane among millennials—it’s become critically important to foster that engagement through personalized service and content.

Loyalty programs, to name one example, have always been a popular way to increase customer engagement, but they’re undergoing a strategic shift. Now, it’s more common to find businesses concentrating on personalization and relationships in their loyalty programs. It’s a re-imagining from the somewhat impersonal traditional loyalty program, where a customer spends money and receives points, to one in which the retailer acts more like a trusted guide and partner. 

This is a good time to make another point: there’s definitely such a thing as going too far with personalized marketing. Although many customers enjoy being courted by businesses, it can be deceptively easy to cross the line into a situation in which a customer feels uncomfortable or creeped-out, so businesses need to tread carefully. Be especially wary of pushing into a customer’s family life or personal relationships and, of course, take steps to ensure that customers’ data is safeguarded. 

4.  More Efficient Marketing Spending

When applied correctly, personalization makes your marketing dollars go farther and do more. By creating the perfect match of content and customer, personalized marketing can materially improve ROI by making it possible to precisely target and fine-tune messaging. 

This is an especially important part of PPC advertising, where segmentation and personalization are both easy and necessary. Most PPC platforms include robust audience targeting tools, allowing you to serve ads to people whose data indicates they’re interested in your product using keyword bids and audience customization. If you’re thoughtful about your bid strategies and put in the work to learn the tools, the ROI can be impressive (as much as 5-8x greater than without personalization).

Email marketing is another channel where personalization can drive great ROI. The personal nature of the email inbox makes it the perfect place to deliver targeted pitches and personalized copy. Marketers in one study found an eye-popping 760 percent increase in email-based revenue after introducing segmented campaigns. 

5.  Shorter Sales Cycles

Personalized marketing can be helpful for shortening the time it takes a customer to move down the sales funnel. Using smart segmentation and audience metrics, marketers can identify and target customers who are further along their path to purchase, helping to create conversions more quickly and prioritize the most promising leads. 

This can be especially important for B2B companies and other businesses that struggle with their longer sales cycles. A long sales cycle usually indicates that a customer has numerous decisions to make that may have to go through multiple levels, so it’s critically important that a business establish itself as a helpful and interested partner who’s invested in creating a relationship. Personal attention to the customer’s needs is key to moving a customer confidently through the path to purchase—and that’s something that personalized digital marketing excels at providing. 

Concluding Thoughts

Personalized digital marketing may have once been a leg-up strategy to break out of the pack, but it’s now integral to the whole playbook. If your business has yet to fully dive into this field, now is the time. It has mature and well-developed tools, in addition to an exciting cutting-edge frontier. By learning about and speaking directly to your customers, you’ll set your business up for continued success. 

Thanks again to Ronald and Visiture for helping me write this post.  Your insights on this topic will be of terrific benefit to the Red Rocket blog readers.

For future posts, please follow me on Twitter at: @georgedeeb.  And, you can also follow Ronald Dod at @Visiture_Search and Visiture at @Visiture.

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