The following is a guest contributed post from Kym Reynolds, a senior marketing advisor for SmartFocus.
Present day consumers now connect with brands via multiple channel. Marketers therefore need to work smarter to drive customer loyalty – harnessing actionable insights from multiple data channels to create engaging and relevant conversations with customer. And the more personalized the experience, the happier the customer. A happy customer isn’t just a someone who wishes to purchase more, they are a customer that is retained, upsold to and – perhaps most importantly – a customer who becomes an advocate for your brand.
- Remember that every customer is on their own unique Motivations to try, buy or stay loyal change depending on the individual making the choice. But marketers can own that moment by using technology to harvest and interpret data and create contextualized campaigns that are triggered by customer behavior, not by their best guess.A decade ago, the most a website visitor could expect were messages that were aimed at making them feel welcome, and using phrases such as ‘glad to have you back’ – messages to try and develop a relationship. Most recently, with the influence of implied and explicit shopper data available, personalization affords opportunities that have completely altered and transformed marketing beyond recognition.
- Take a holistic view. Marketers have to gain a holistic view of their customers to enable them to deliver even more personalized marketing interactions that increase brand engagement and sales. They need to interpret big data to automatically personalize and contextualize marketing communication that will help their brand engage and build relationships with customers. They also need to contextualize any message by using a variety of factors including location, weather, customer age and gender, favorite brands and products, web browsing history, past buying behavior and abandoned carts.
- Remember it’s real-time or it’s out of date. It’s important to remember we live in a real-time world where consumers have information at their fingertips, and hold the purchasing power to select one brand over another. So, when they do choose to engage with your brand, you need to ensure that the communication back to them is as close to real-time as possible. The key thing to ensuring the relevancy of any campaign is that it is delivered in a timely manner, and it should aim to be repeatable and measurable to achieve transferability across all channels. There is no doubt that personalization when implemented correctly can help customers navigate around a noisy world in an apt and cost-effective way.
- Build trust with your customers and don’t track people who don’t want to be tracked. The first step to creating a personalization project is to gain the trust of your customers. This way they will offer up more personal information about themselves that will allow true personalization to occur. The more data a retailer is able to gather about its customers, the more refined and targeted marketing messages become. Building this relationship with customers includes not tracking those people who don’t want to be tracked. You need to have explicit permission to collect certain information about customers. A retailer can ask for as much information they want to but this has to be weighed up with turning off some customers who will not be happy about the level of information being collected.
- Create segments of one. Marketers have been used to creating segments of their customers based on common traits they share. Now with greater amounts of data being collected about customers, we are seeing segments of one being developed. These are segments of individual customers with unique preferences and demographic information that can be used to offer individually personalized marketing messages. When someone sees offers and messages targeted specifically to them, they are more likely to respond.
- Offer real-time personalized promotions and offers – Customers are much more likely to respond to an offer or promotion if it is personalized and sent to them while they are actually shopping for a product or purchasing a service. People are receptive to promotions and offers and if these are personalized it will help to push customers to purchase more and help to increase the marketing ROI for retailers.
It’s clear that advanced email and truly personalized marketing are key to successful marketing campaigns and driving incremental revenue, and that contextually relevant real-time interactions are no longer optional extras for marketers.
About the Author
Kym Reynolds is a senior marketing advisor for SmartFocus. SmartFocus is a digital marketing innovator working with the world’s leading brands. The Message Cloud platform listens to and learns from your customers. Our insights drive your business strategy, which allows you to improve your customer understanding and connection.
Kym brings an invaluable breadth of marketing and leadership experience to SmartFocus. With an unashamedly enthusiastic approach to real-time marketing, she knows all about the huge impact disruptive technology has in bringing brands closer to their consumers. As one of SmartFocus’s marketing experts, Kym is responsible for bringing SmartFocus’ brand to life and helping our customers make the most of our real-time marketing interaction technology.