In an earlier blog post, “Getting to know your audience using Google Analytics,” we shared how a well-developed, user-centric marketing strategy leans on data. When you have the right tracking in place, you get to know a lot about who is visiting your website, what content they are interested in, why they visited, how long they’ve stayed on your website, and what actions they took on your website.
The ability to collect, analyze, and effectively use data through various channels makes personalized marketing a useful strategy for marketers.
Personalized Marketing 101
The concept of personalized marketing is not new. It gained popularity with the technological advancement in data collection, analysis, scalability, and machine learning. These sophisticated technologies help marketers collect first-party data like gender, age, and location and cross-reference with third-party data like digital ad clicks and social media engagement. By using this aggregated data, marketers curate customer experiences with targeted messaging, deliver promotional opportunities at ideal times, dynamically suggest products, and more.
Benefits of Personalized Marketing
Personalized marketing is different from traditional marketing methods like billboards, direct mailings, and telemarketing. Traditional marketing methods deliver broad messages at costly rates to reach a lot of people. They do garner a large volume of impressions, but rarely reach the right audience in a relevant way. Personalization is changing marketing to improve the customer experience and making businesses more profitable:
- Target Your Audience Effectively with Relevant Content
With user data, businesses can deliver targeted messaging to a specific audience at ideal times. Personalized marketing helps brands stand out by creating relevant content that fits their target audience’s interests and buying habits. Businesses can practice personalized marketing through email communications, digital advertising, and content strategy for their blog, website, and social media.
- Build Better Customer Relationships
When businesses individualize marketing and messaging, they build a more robust and personal relationship between their brand and customers. Personalized marketing goes beyond digital advertising. Businesses can wish loyal customers a happy birthday with an email, offer additional resources after a customer support call, improve website and landing pages with relevant information, or engage a group of customers in an exclusive event.
- Humanize Interactions
It is easy to forget that we are interacting with actual human beings online. Real humans need to feel trust before they are willing to commit and take action. One key element of encouraging trust is being transparent about who is behind a brand’s communications. The fact that businesses are personalizing their interactions shows they care. It helps customers feel respected and not treated as faceless users. One of the most basic personalized marketing examples is addressing people by their names in an email using merge tags. A small, personable act like this can boost customer engagement.
- Give Your Bottomline a Boost
According to Mckinsey & Company, personalization reduces acquisition costs as much as 50%, lifts revenues by 5-15%, and increases the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30%. And, Forrester says that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended or paid more for a brand that offers a personalized service or experience. Putting in the time and effort to execute personalization in your marketing efforts will likely yield a return on that investment.
Collect Data to Personalize Your Marketing
Personalized marketing relies heavily on data collection. This marketing method is inevitably affected by the recent tightening of privacy protections, such as Apple’s “tracker switch” on iOS 14, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, and browsers like Chrome and Safari and Firefox blocking third-party cookies.
Third-party cookies are cookies from domains other than the one people are visiting directly. They are mainly used for cross-site tracking, retargeting, and ad-serving to identify and deliver personalized experiences and measure digital ad campaign performances. With major browsers phasing out third-party cookies, marketers have pivoted to continue improving their customer engagement models with personalized experiences. One of the ways is to gain control of your first-party data.
First-party cookies are stored by the domain people visited, allowing website owners to collect data on the actions website visitors took on the website, remember their settings, and perform other functions that help offer a good visitor experience. Other forms of first-party data include information given willingly by the website visitors, such as registering for an account, signing up for a course, or filling out a contact form. By facilitating genuine interactions with customers and shifting data collection focus to first-party data, businesses can reduce reliance on third-party data.
Are you interested in learning more about cookies? Watch our Office Hours episode on cookies to discover how you can use them to benefit your business.
Want to create engaging content to connect with your customers? Read more about content marketing in our blog post, “Evergreen, Authentic Content to Improve Audience Engagement.”
Want to chat about personalization in marketing? We’re always up for a conversation about a topic we love. Connect with us on social (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.