Mass marketing is a thing of the past. Personalization as a marketing strategy has been available to marketers for many decades. So, why is there such a buzz about it now? Perhaps it’s because we now have the tools to reach millions of people instead of a hundred.
Personalized service is not new. Local stores have banked on this principle for decades to sell their wares. Nowadays, we have more supporting technology to apply this principle and make it work for not just a local neighborhood of people, but to a global community of strangers of different cultures and walks of life. Yes, they do share many of the same interests.
Personalization is a necessity
Based on customer feedback, a Salesforce report reveals that 51% of businesses still don’t live up to their expectations. That is, they are being denied experiential marketing that is suited to their wants and preferences. When a potential customer is spoiled with attention and a tailored experience, it promotes better engagement than a more generalized approach.
If your efforts are focused on personalization, whether you’re targeting B2B/B2C markets, you’re far more likely to achieve success. More importantly, a lack of personalization means you’ll be losing customers to your competitors. Now, that’s never a good thing.
How do people decide what to purchase?
Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman claimed that 95% of all purchase decisions made are subconscious. The intuition goes through a loop that connects the subconscious with logical processes through emotion. What we consider as a logical choice while deciding to buy an expensive granite kitchen countertop over a cheaper alternative is actually rooted in the subconscious. This loop is the origin of popular belief that the decision to buy is mostly based on wants, not needs.
The buying journey is not as straightforward as it seems. If your marketing strategy addresses a consumer’s rationality, then you may be at a disadvantage. A reorientation of the marketing strategy to appeal to consumers’ emotions instead of their rationality seems to be the more “logical” approach.
The impact of personalization
The rise of personalized marketing in both B2B and B2C industries in the past few years is unprecedented. Accurate customer data had never been more available, and companies are collecting as much user information as possible to produce targeted advertising campaigns.
Engaging in personalized marketing gives you a direct line to a specific audience. By utilizing available data on their interests and buying habits, your ability to influence/convince is enhanced thanks to a more relevant message. These days, the average consumer expects context and relevance.
Users are far more likely to make a purchase when the sales experience resonates with them. With personalization, you are channeling company resources into strategies that maximize your chances of boosting profits. The power of personalization cannot be stressed enough.
Why does personalization work? What are the benefits?
Who has the time to wade through advertisements that are irrelevant and out-of-context? Certainly, not your potential customers!
Personalized marketing can be implemented on a host of channels including direct mail, interactions on websites, online advertising, and more. Internet-based companies are the trailblazers of this approach, and most companies are following suit. Learning about the shopping interests and locations of customers costs time and resources but using data wisely can lead to a customer experience that is personal, specific, and suited to their preferences.
Businesses and consumers alike can benefit greatly from personalized marketing. A positive customer experience encourages consumers to share information, which is essential to the success of personalized marketing. Personalization also calls for comprehensive analyses of big data, which can lead to improved operations in other areas of business (customer service, product design, etc.) Add to that the increase in customer loyalty and advocacy and the benefits to businesses are clear as day.
On the consumption end, a dedicated strategy will be felt by customers as a statement of commitment, and they’ll be more likely to respond in turn with loyalty to the brand. Once converted as a follower of the brand, a customer is more likely to interact with the brand again across all available channels because an appropriate level of trust has been established. It’s a win-win for all!
Is your company in the customer’s radar?
The goal of personalized marketing is to deliver individualized content. Is your company utilizing and analyzing data? Are you making the most of digital technology to impact consumers at a personal level? If you’re not employing one-to-one marketing, how can you touch people’s lives on a level that makes your brand an integral part of their day?
A B2B Marketing report states that 97% of B2B buyers already have a brand or preferred vendor in mind, and most of the time their preference is a brand or organization with a similar personality and culture. In other reports, the biggest determinant for purchase is how a product or service relates to their personal beliefs and values. These observations further strengthen the justification for the shift to personalized marketing.
Unlocking the Power of Context
Make your target customer feel valued and special. It’s all about context. Digital media and innovative technology are at your disposal but use these tools responsibly. If you’re a B2C or a B2B company it is time to review your personalization best practices and determine if they are evolving with the times. A business should be able to reach out and offer a personal touch that customers can respond to with their loyalty.
Remember from the Salesforce report that 57% of customers have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. So, if you’re not providing a relevant experience, someone else certainly will.