In today’s digital world and the era of instant gratification, cutting through the noise, differentiating from the competition, and reaching new customers has become increasingly difficult. In most cases, trying to stand out with a product or pricing alone just won’t cut it.
Customers decide in a matter of seconds whether or not they “like” your branding and messaging. Offer up something relevant or entertaining and you have a happy customer. Miss the mark and they are gone.
Technological hurdles and the matter of relevance are amplified because consumers are being bombarded with content and messaging, most of which is off point. While all of this certainly makes matters worse, it isn’t the root of the problem. Brands have forgotten who their customers are–or maybe they never actually knew them. Brands have forgotten customers aren’t just mindless consumers… They are people. They are people with names, personalities, likes/dislikes, etc. Each customer is unique.
Becoming a customer’s preferred brand or business isn’t easy. In many industries, companies have a hard time differentiating products and services alone. Many rely on pricing and customer service to stand out to consumers.
Think cellular providers, for example. The devices and contracts are virtually the same with each network, and each provider offers a new, fast, reliable network. To drive new subscriptions and contract renewals, cellular providers test different price points and promotions, trying to capitalize on dates when new devices are released. This price competition only results in a declining average revenue per customer.
Simultaneously, brands face new challenges and opportunities when taking a direct-to-consumer approach.
How does one expand reach for new customer acquisition? How can a business deliver a consistent, exceptional customer experience across all the brand’s touchpoints with consumers?
There must be a better way for a business to stand out.
Personalization—the tailoring of messages or offers to individuals based on their actual behavior—promises to address this issue. Put another way, personalization is all about knowing your audience and meeting them with the right message at the right time on the right channel.
Take Coke’s “Share a Coke” campaign, for example. Coke turned their typical plastic soda bottles into personalized beverages to share with friends simply by adding names to one side of the label. Now customers get the thrill of seeing their name on a bottle of Coke. More than that, consumers are even more likely to buy a Coke for a friend or loved one as a gift if the bottle bears their name. Not to mention, this campaign grew Coke’s sales for the first time in 10 years. The message was right. The timing was right. And it was delivered to the right audience.
Dale Carnegie once said, “a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” While personalization in its entirety is more than just knowing a customer’s name, making your customer feel known and like a friend is certainly part of it.
This all sounds amazing. But what does the research say? Well, according to a study performed by McKinsey & Co., personalization can reduce acquisition costs by 50%, lift revenues by 5-15%, and increase marketing spend efficiency by 10-30%.
In fact, even in email marketing alone, research shows that personalized email campaigns receive 29% higher email open rates and 41% higher click-through rates than ordinary/non-personalized emails. It was also found that personalized email marketing generates a median ROI of 122%!
For further emphasis:
- 52% of customers say they will go somewhere else (to another brand) if their customer experience isn’t personalized in some way or another.
- 50% of customers are willing to pay more for products or services if the content or experience is more personalized; and
- 64% say they would be more likely to recommend a brand that does a good job delivering personalized experiences or content.
Over half of U.S. consumers say they are interested in seeing personalized content when shopping, and they are comfortable sharing their information as long as they feel like they’re getting value in return.
Needless to say, implementing personalization in your marketing strategy is an absolute must. Not only will it improve your brand’s image, but it will also result in happier and more loyal customers, more effective marketing campaigns, lower acquisition costs, and increased revenue.
Here are three easy ways to implement personalization in your marketing strategy.
1. Collect & Use Customer Data…
63% of consumers say they are willing to give companies personal data if that means getting a more personalized experience. If you’re not already collecting data from your customers or from your website visitors, now is the time to start. Give your customers and visitors a reason to want to spend more time with your business digitally. Think about this as a digital form of the real-world networking reception.
Start by embedding a simple offer and sign up form on your website using an email marketing or CRM tool. If nothing else, this will allow inquisitive customers or prospects to give you their email information. Consider ways to add value to your customer’s life by offering something useful in exchange for personal data–an ebook, free tools, etc. We call this a lead generator. Simply put, make your customers and visitors want to give you their personal information by adding value through personalization.
2. Personalize Your Emails…
This is the low hanging fruit. Email marketing has become mundane for many customers. Plus, in an exceedingly digital world, your customers are likely receiving X emails per day. You need to break through the noise. This is not to say you should send more emails than the other guys. Studies have proven that to be a failing strategy as 32% of customers will unsubscribe if they feel bombarded or think the content is irrelevant or repetitive. Just personalizing emails to customers has been shown to increase the open rates by up to 26%.
For starters, pick an email marketing or CRM tool to manage and use the customer data you’ve collected. For example, ActiveCampaign allows businesses to collect data via custom embeddable forms, track deal flow and deal values, manage customers, build automated campaigns, create segmented lists for further personalization and targeting, and much more.
3. Be Mobile Ready…
Being mobile-ready is more important now than ever before. 60% of all online adults are using at least two different devices daily. Plus, 82% of smartphone users say they use their device to search for products or local businesses. For service-based businesses, smartphone “near me” Google searches have grown 2X in the past year.
If that’s not convincing enough, consider this: 40% of all online adults start an activity on one device and finish on another. Not to mention, after Google changed its algorithm, mobile-friendly websites now rank higher in Google searches than non-mobile-friendly sites. Having a website that is not mobile-ready is just not an option anymore.
Start optimizing your website for desktop and mobile browsing. Try this free mobile-friendly website test to identify slower pages or website issues that need to be fixed. At the most basic level, customers and website visitors want content that is easy to view. If images are too large/small or text isn’t fitting in the normal bounds of their screen, they will leave. So, appropriately sized content is critical.
While this may sound simple, it’s not as easy as flipping a switch. For starters, consider these recommendations:
- Use a responsive website theme or a bootstrap framework
- Avoid using Flash or switch to a more appropriate technology
- Optimize images so they have the smallest possible file size while remaining crisp and clear on desktops and smartphones
- Use approved and widely used Google fonts instead of custom or fancy fonts
Email Hello@SpartanBrandingCo.com to learn more about how Spartan Branding can help you grow your business through personalization.