While there is no doubt anymore that personalization is the way forward as a definitive marketing strategy, pitfalls abound. Companies need to make a clean start because the audience is changing faster than their time -to -market plans!
The first rule of good marketing. Surprise them!
It is 2019 and customers already know that marketers are following their every move- ruthlessly. They are aware that every click of every button on every device they use, leads the marketing professionals one-step closer to them. Every moment of every day, someone is selling something to him or her. Companies put out their need for solutions and even before it hits the ground, offers are floating in.
In this era of hyper-customization and personalization, there seem to be no rules at all. Yet, there are certain patterns that marketers need to step out of- to reach their target market.
First Step: Stop Trying To Control the Process
Helicopter marketing does not work anymore. Hovering over the customer, second-guessing their every need, even pre-empting their requirements- can be a bit frustrating for the customer. The marketers’ job is more about informing, empowering and creating an experience. The sale follows when the right buttons are pushed, without seeming to. The whole idea and focus of personalization need to be- to allow customers to experience the product in a manner that is uniquely designed for their need, learn about its relevance and utility in the manner best suited for their requirements- and choose it freely.
Second Thoughts: Unify the Message across Platforms
Personalizing the content across all platforms and channels would be a help to your customer, and provide the exact experience that would allow an insightful nudge towards good decisions. In 2018, in a research report from Adobe found that :
- 67 percent of consumers prefer brands to automatically adjust content based on their current context
- 83 percent of consumers are willing to share their personal information in exchange for more relevant experience.
- 42 percent of shoppers will get annoyed when brands are not relevant
- 66 percent would stop from making a purchase if they don’t get relevant information
For companies that think personalization across platforms is expensive, their solution is to create or deploy a platform that can unify content from across the whole enterprise. It should also have the ability to index it into a single, unified resource and even rank it for relevance across content types. This unification will help to serve up the relevant content to the customer, wherever on the platform it resides.
Step 3: Do Not Confuse Segmentation With Personalization
The supposed segments that we divide customers to in our head- the Chief IT Officers, the CMO- are not relevant anymore. Companies are looking at creating 1:1 engagement at scale to create truly personalized experiences breaking the limitation of analyzing and applying the data at scale. With AI fast becoming our reality, there is a need to know what the competition is at and beat them at their own game.
While personalization is certainly the name of the game, becoming an annoying marketer is not! The company that will learn to leverage its data to create unique, personal experiences will get the highest stand in customers’ mind.