We often fail to differentiate between marketing and selling and go to the extent of using the terms interchangeably, which often leads to wasted marketing efforts. Effective marketing is all about connecting consumers to brands and building relationships that culminate in consumers buying the products or services. Marketing is a means of selling, and when done in the right way increases sales. Now, the question is, what is the right way of marketing any product or service? The answer is simple – understanding what consumers need and serving them with the appropriate content and ad that engages them closely with the brand. And the best way to understand customer needs is to communicate with them at a personal level by creating personalized content.
Stay in constant touch with consumers
Personalization is nothing new in marketing because marketers have been practicing it for years, but the digital revolution has given huge impetus to it. The technological advancements have provided more options for engaging with consumers at the individual level with targeted content and have brought customer experience into focus, which rules supreme. Marketers must continually reinvent themselves and align their marketing strategies with changing consumer needs to keep pace with the fast-changing marketing landscape. It is the only way for long-term success by infusing your creativity and innovation into the marketing campaigns.
It is all about customer experience
Consumers will only pay attention to such advertisements and content that they can relate to their own needs and find it useful in some ways. They expect the content to serve their interests to the fullest, which makes it imperative for marketers to create specific content for that consumer or group of consumers. Marketers need to understand individual consumer behavior and communicate with them just in the way they expect, which is only possible by gathering all data about every piece of interaction that consumers have with the brand. It helps to provide a different experience to each customer according to their expectations and creates closer engagement that turns into a long-term relationship with the brand and business. In the end, personalization influences customer experience, which is a reason why no marketer can afford to overlook it. And if they do, they will be doing it at their own peril.
Data-centric marketing paves the way for personalization
With personalization holding the center stage in marketing, the next obvious question is how to create a personalized experience for each customer. The only way is to gather extensive information or data about customers that capture every trait of their online behavior with a focus on how they interact with the brand at different times. On analyzing the data, it will be easy to identify customers’ interests and understand their expectations better. As a result, it will be easier to create relevant content that generates unique experience for an individual customer who would find reasons to stay engaged with the brand for a longer time and develop a relationship that ultimately turns into brand loyalty.
Doing more than basic personalization
Having a database of customers is an essential requirement to start an exercise in personalization. It helps to contact customers by sending emails in their names, which makes customers feel special and marks the beginning of a relationship with the brand. But this is only a baby-step, and no marketer should feel like having achieved their personalization goal. Just making customers feel special will not yield the desired results, and marketers must do much more so that customers interact with the brand and take some positive action. Addressing customers by their first name or sending them birthday e-mails is just meeting the basic requirements of personalization, and it is necessary to create a personalized shopping experience, which is often a common user expectation.
Building customer portfolios
The exercise of personalization should lead to the creation of individual customer portfolios by tracking their online behavior closely. It consists of collecting every piece of data related to the marketing efforts that help to understand how customers and the target audience engage with your content and ads and how they reach your website. To understand the interests and preferences of customers more accurately, you must gather data about every piece of online interaction that customers have with the brand. From how much they like your content, what type of subscriptions they make to which communications and ads they liked, or disliked, you must be aware of everything.
This would help to gather better insights into customer behavior and even read their minds.
Tracking individual customers by capturing the minutest detail of their online behavior helps to create personal customer profiles that hold the key to effective marketing.
Tracking with software
Technology has provided marketers with tools for comprehensive customer data collection and management that empower them to track customers much closely, like their shadows. You must have heard about Adobe Target and Acquia, the digital asset management software that has now become an integral part of online marketing. Many people may ask what is Acquia or Adobe Target, and we will try to shed light on it.
Both the software platforms allow gathering and analyzing data related to the marketing efforts and user experience that provide deep insights about how customers interact with your brand during the various stages of their buying journey.
The platform keeps capturing every interaction of users with the brand and tracks individual users to understand the way they interact with the brand. On compiling the data gathered over a period, the system will be able to create individual user profiles comprising of all the interactions the person had with the brand. It will reveal what type of content the person liked, how many times they have watched the videos you posted on social media channels, which emails they opened, and which ads they liked. The information will help to develop a plan for meeting the expectation of the user by creating appropriate content or advertisement.
Marketers can take advantage of A/B testing opportunities provides by the software to identify precisely which kind of ad and content resonates with customers. This should help to focus on the right areas and increase marketing efficiency.