Customers are more likely to complete their buying journey with you if their experience is tailored to their interests. However, you run the risk of appearing pushy and stalkerish if you go overboard. How can you keep your marketing messages useful and relevant, but subtle and trustworthy? The answer is strategic personalization.
Use data cohesively
Effective personalization depends on utilizing data well. Integrate everything you learn about your target consumers into a persona. A buyer persona, a.k.a. a customer persona, is an essential tool for creating effective targeted ads and quality content.
You create a persona by combining all the insights you get from raw data into a well-rounded representation of a person. It’s your “prototype buyer” so to speak.
The raw data includes metrics you can monitor and quantify, such as:
- The pages people visit,
- How long they stay on a page,
- Topics they explore,
- Days and times when they browse,
- Frequency of purchase,
- Purchase categories,
- Spending range, etc.
Insights encompass information that isn’t necessarily quantifiable, but which is rooted in the raw data. It’s the human interpretation of digital footprints, including:
- Behavior patterns, etc.
Personalize the experience
Tailor the appearance and behavior of your platforms to the behavior of your users. Start with a distinguishable address, such as a me domain for your website. Make your landing pages and calls to action memorable, and then adjust them on each subsequent visit based on customer interactions.
In other words, prepare different content for different buyer personas. Customize the welcome messages, sales pages, offers, etc. based on what they consume. Do the same for emails and other forms of reaching out. Don’t forget to offer accessibility features like different languages and currency converters.
The ROI on these efforts directly depends on the quality of your data. Gather any historical information about your customers and try to gain insights in real time. This helps you stay on top of trends as well as recognize patterns in your customer base’s behavior.
Map the content
Once you have a few clear personas defined for your strategy, start mapping your content onto them. Try to match each persona’s specific needs, interests, and preferences as closely as possible. That way you maximize the chances for your content to be seen, appreciated, and shared.
Remember that the purpose of any map is to get to a destination – in this case, to conversion. You want to personalize each persona’s customer journey with your brand in such a way that every time they interact with your pages, they decide to come back to you next time.
To achieve this, monitor their “lifecycle”. How did they discover your brand? What initial interest brought them to you? What did they view further and what enticing related directions can you offer them?
For example, let’s say you sell art supplies and a user discovers your shop while looking for paintbrushes. Then they visit your website and view your canvasses. They might also like an easel which would make their painting process more comfortable. Offer them paint remover to take better care of the brushes that brought them to you in the first place.
Personalize the content
All of the above prep work brings you to the most direct appeal tool: personalized content. Emails are an obvious example, but you can personalize other content as well. This is where your methods will vary depending on your brand and strategy.
If your brand is strictly an ecommerce venture, you may want to keep email as your primary focus. If you post a lot on social media, you’ll want to tailor your strategy on each platform. Take advantage of the personal information that customers share online without even realizing.
People’s social media presence reveals a lot about them, including:
- Relationship or marital status
- Family structure
- Substance use
- Racial and ethnic profile
- Religious affiliation
- Political leanings
- Gender identity, etc.
This will give you direct insight into what kind of message, post, promotion, etc. will appeal ther most strongly to each of your customer personas.
Account for all that it includes
Personalization is a wide umbrella term. It encompasses all the various factors that play into your customers feeling like their experience is specially tailored just for them. Some of those are the device they use to browse your pages, the channel via which you communicate with them, and the time of day they are most likely to view your content.
In addition, personalization applies to the content itself, as well as the service you offer. Consider personalized videos, messages, product or service recommendations, web pages, chatbots, notifications, receipts and invoices, etc.
The delivery of each of these experience aspects needs to be relevant to the individual and executed in a timely manner. It’s a lot to keep track of, but it’s worth the investment. Remember, the more factors you incorporate into your strategy, the more avenues of customization you have.
In conclusion, personalizing a marketing strategy takes a lot of effort, but the return is entirely worth it. Gather a lot of raw data and filter it down into specific buyer personas. Analyze your customers’ journey in real-time so your offer will naturally follow the evolution of their interests. Your concepts will become much more relatable and your delivery far more precise, which all leads to better conversion rates.