How personal should your marketing be?

Personalisation is the new buzz word in marketing strategy. It means decoding and matching the various stages of a visitor’s journey to a selection of targeted pieces of content that will catch the interest of that visitor thereby increasing the personal appeal of that brand or product.

Thing is, it’s not new.

Making a brand as personal as possible to existing as well as potential customers is what content strategy is all about and one of the basic principles in offering clients the best of content marketing is “know thine audience.” What has changed in mapping a customer’s journey are the tools available and the way and the degree to which some companies are willing to utilise the information they have about their clients.

Recommendations for YOU!

What has become increasingly obvious is the arrival of the hyper-personalisation phenomenon on sites like Amazon and other major retailers such as Walmart. ‘Recommendations for you’ pop-up ads are designed to take the customer straight to the type of product they are presumably interested in, an assumption based on a customer’s journey on the site during previous visits.

According to a DemandWave study, 49 percent of B2B marketers find this type of hyper-personalisation tactics very effective and indeed, in retail, intense sales-driven adverts are quite successful. The clue lies in the word retail! Most commercial enterprises are not in retail and on the whole are not seeking to monopolize every corner of a potential customer’s journey. Most brands are looking to attract a more permanent following by telling a story or in other words, by revealing an identity through the sharing of a distinctive ethos; and by sharing experiences, values and perceptions. 

Big Brother-ly love

The type of business involved plays an important part in the scale to which personalisation is rolled out. Leaving a positive impression with a web visitor is imperative if you want them to come back and remembering what was of interest to them sends a powerful welcome message when they return. However, not everybody sees it that way. Some people find recognition and personal knowledge convenient while others may find it sinister. Whether the remembering of a visitor’s interest is seen as a personal welcoming committee or as Big Brother stalking them is essentially a question of degree. In the end the trick is to balance what you want to say with who you’re saying it to.

How best to approach personalization?

Once again, the old adage applies: “Know thine audience”! Contact details are not relevant if that client is not interested at all in what you are presenting. Email campaigns will go straight to the spam bin if the targeted clients do not find relevance in the subject line. You can read more on subject lines in What if They Ignore My Emails? 

Select your personas carefully to those interested in the information you are about to present. From there you can widen the scope to contacts who might have researched the topic or the product, or those looking at related topics. The trick is to let your knowledge of the client interests dictate the degree of approach whilst always remaining relevant, useful and above all not to be intrusive.

Call-to-action buttons, surveys on social media, competitions, and client segmentation are non-invasive ways to get to know your clients leaving them to decide whether or not to engage further and therefore feeling safe to come back for further visits.

What to tackle

There is definitely a case to be made for personalised content and it works best when you already have a clear idea of who you are targeting it at. Using your established contact lists, bespoke content would include invitations, events, white papers, analytic reports and targeted useful information like blogs and ebooks you know are in your target’s sphere of interests. The goal in the end is to reach a selected audience and successfully impart the knowledge that the content you share is particular to them rather than part of a haphazard new-customer trawling campaign.

The use an all-inclusive service such as HubSpot is an ideal solution to finding the right amount of personalisation. HubSpot’s data analysis, metrics, and all-round hands on guidance effectively shows how a visitor’s journey can be improved and tailored without a Big Brother approach. Take a look at The Best Automated Marketing Tools. Personalization, when well-handled, is a very good way to make existing and potential customers feel welcome and if you would like to know more, then pop by and visit Saba Consultants!

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