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Personalization: Your Not-So-Secret Key to Unlocking Digital Marketing Success

July 10, 2024

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No matter which niche you are serving, your audience expects personalized interactions across all touchpoints. Whether you address your ideal customer through social media, website, or email, they want to feel valued and recognized. In fact, McKinsey & Company found that 71% of consumers expressed this sentiment, and 76% admitted to feeling frustrated when companies fail to deliver.

Integrating personalization into your marketing strategy will unlock countless doors for you and increase customer engagement and conversions. The first step is understanding what this entails and how it can drive your business forward. Which isn’t such a secret anymore, because personalization is everywhere you look. Any well-done branding you see is (hopefully) riddled with customization tactics. Plus, recent technological advancements have expanded the possibilities of a personalized approach.

So let’s decipher what’s behind this change that is currently influencing the digital marketing landscape.

The Essence of Personalized Marketing: Strategies and Impacts

Personalized marketing uses data to customize brand messages for specific customers based on their interests, demographics, and past purchasing behavior. Some experts say this trend has been long overdue because customers have always liked it when the brand message feels like it was designed just for them. This approach has been known for ages as one-to-one or individual marketing but was only made possible in recent years due to AI acceleration and social media.

Behemoths like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube who use personalized marketing rely on powerful and data-fueled algorithms to suggest products, shows, and videos to users based on their searches, purchases, and viewing history. Suggestions based on the habits of other users with similar preferences are also hidden in this mechanism.

But you must remember that personalization goes beyond what’s visible at first glance. Not everything boils down to digital channels because improved customer engagement is just one of its added benefits. Customers who sense they are getting a targeted and tailored user experience are more likely to return to their favorite hotels, cafés, or salons. Consequently, they tend to show loyalty to brands that make them feel special.

Next, we’ll explore why every business should consider personalization in 2024 and beyond.

Why Personalize?

If customer expectations aren’t reason enough, here is the top motivation behind personalization: Bespoke content creates the gap between your customers feeling like you are speaking directly to them versus feeling like just a number. 

In 2007, we could see up to 5,000 online ads per day. If that wasn’t a shocking stat by Yankelovich, today it is probably double that. Just leave the perspective of a business owner or a marketer for a moment, and think about how many times you have been influenced as a buyer. What did you buy because you connected to a brand emotionally? Or had a webinar boost your hopes up to learn how to triple your revenue? Just like that, it is about cutting through the noise — not by being louder, but by being more relevant.

Whether you’re looking to tailor one segment of your strategy or fully commit to changing your entire marketing trajectory, you will benefit from a personalized approach in two more pertinent ways:

Firstly, besides simply reaching out to your audience in a more effective way, you will also have a better chance of building stronger connections with your customers. Deeper, long-lasting interactions always lead to better results. From using custom emails with your leads’ names to tailored content based on their previous searches, you increase the chances of conversion. The bottom line is that 72% of consumers say they only engage with personalized messaging (SmarterHQ).

Second, customized shopping experiences should increase your revenue by generating more repeat purchases. Brands that offer personalized experiences see higher transaction rates, customer retention, and revenue per transaction.

Building Trust Through Personalization

Understanding your buyers’ preferences is key. Knowing when and how your customers want to be contacted, as well as how much contact they prefer, can help you target them better. Customers appreciate when brands respect their preferred contact approach, so getting to know your audience is essential for personalization.

People prefer to buy from brands that provide a positive customer experience. For example, Chewy, a pet company, goes the extra mile by reaching out  to offer condolences if they find out a customer has stopped ordering due to their pet’s passing. This kind of personal touch creates a lasting impression and helps customers connect with the brand in the long run.

By addressing the needs of your target audience, you build trust and make it easier for customers to provide feedback and information.

Strategies for Customer Engagement and Loyalty

Be aware that customers sometimes take time before making a purchase. It often takes several interactions before leads are ready to buy. Personalization, however, allows you to start cultivating a relationship and get consumers excited about doing business with you.

Using personalized tactics to make customers feel seen, heard, and understood is an excellent way to enhance their overall experience.

Consumers crave this type of content, which motivates them to seek more information about your brand. The more positive experiences your leads have, the closer they become to becoming loyal customers.

Research shows that quickly growing companies make 40% more revenue from personalization than their slower-growing counterparts (McKinsey & Company).

As established, it is all about consistent targeting, familiar branding, and an attentive tone of voice across all channels. A combination of these bespoke tactics helps build trust and credibility with customers. The omnichannel customer experience is no longer just a theory – it’s become the expectation of today’s defensive buyer.

Now let’s explore the latest trends in personalization marketing to help you realize which you can use to your advantage.

Key Trends in Personalized Marketing Strategies

Companies need to stay updated on marketing trends. Right now, personalization is a big topic in digital marketing.

Here are some of the trends you might not be aware of:

  • Personalized emails are important: People get a lot of emails, so customizing the subject line can make each customer feel like the message is just for them. But it’s important to be honest about the email’s content to avoid disappointment.
  • Customers don’t like generic advertising: Using the same old ads can annoy them.
  • Recommending relevant products based on data collection: This is a very popular tactic that helps match the right product with the right customer.
  • Customers now expect personalized experiences: Businesses that don’t cater to these expectations are falling behind.
  • Personalized marketing can drive repeat engagement and loyalty: This creates more data for better targeting of customers’ buying preferences.
  • Personalized email subject lines can lead to higher open rates: Emails with personalized subject lines are opened more often than those without.
  • AI-powered personalized marketing is becoming more popular: It’s used to test and tailor content for social media, blog articles, and other materials based on customer preferences.

That’s the overview of personalized marketing trends and its benefits. Let’s dive into some examples.

Obstacles in Marketing Personalization

Although extremely beneficial, marketing personalization is arduous for businesses. Here are some common challenges digital marketing leaders face:

  • Difficulty collecting customer data: Tracking customer behavior through website, app, and email analytics can be uncertain.
  • Overly aggressive retargeting: Continuously targeting customers with products they have already decided against can be off-putting.
  • Inadequate resource allocation: Even with automated personalization, human oversight is necessary for maintenance and strategic decisions.
  • Trouble linking data to individual customer profiles: Marketers struggle to consolidate customer data into unified profiles.
  • Figuring out smart segmentation: Utilizing tools for effective segmentation of users based on purchasing behavior can be a challenge.
  • Technology limitations: Data privacy and regulations pose restrictions on the use of sensitive information.
  • Experiencing consumer data silos: It’s important for marketing and sales teams to align on tracking customer data to avoid duplicating efforts.

Key takeaways

Harvesting data from the buyer’s journey to customize messages according to ideal customers’ interests, demographics, and purchasing behavior is a formidable marketing tactic. It encourages customer involvement, builds loyalty, and incites repeat business. But it is not only good for outrunning the competition, it is becoming a necessity as we live under the dominion of social media and interactive ads. 

Since boosting conversion rates and revenue is the primary goal of all enterprises, no matter their industry or niche, marketers need to think outside the box to overcome challenges like predictive data analysis and technology limitations. But the profit yield can be multifold, that is why companies that invest in tailored strategies generate more revenue and build a loyal customer base.

Moving forward, you can jump on this trend by relying on proper AI-powered content creation tools, implementing consistent branding across all channels, and remaining credible with customers. Right now, there is no better way to nurture relationships with loyal followers or achieve sustainable growth. So take a leap of faith and good luck!