Traditional advertising worked well for brands in the past. The idea was to cast a net far and wide, across a broad audience, hoping to cover enough of your target audience to make the ad spend worthwhile.
But today brands have better opportunities to reach their most relevant customers. Advertisers have spent a lot of money over the years to show me dog food ads. I don’t have a dog.
Today, personalized marketing campaigns are smarter. They hit more than they miss. This explains the mega-trend of ad spending moving more towards digital outlets and omnichannel marketing. This explains why the ROI for personalized marketing is so high. This explains why I don’t see dog food ads anymore while I’m surfing the web.
Your audience prefers personalized marketing.
People don’t hate ads. They hate irrelevant ads. The relevance of personalized campaigns comes from data. Advertisers know a lot about us, and yes, we all have privacy concerns, but research has shown that relevance is actually a bigger concern. In many instances, consumers’ desire for personalized content far outweighs their fears about privacy.
Here’s the data:
Everybody’s doing it. Even small businesses can personalize their marketing.
Once upon a time, it took huge budgets to personalize a campaign. Only the big sites with lots of traffic were able to customize the visit to the visitor. Amazon led the way, spending millions to build a personalized recommendation engine and reaped massive rewards.
Today, we can all personalize our marketing campaigns. The game has changed and we can all play.
True personalization of customer experience will stop being reserved for a select few and will need to become an operational principle for any marketer who wants to remain relevant in an increasingly fragmented and regulated environment.
Not only is it possible, but it’s critical. Think about it: the opposite of personal is irrelevant. And irrelevance is fatal to digital marketing.
According to Monetate/Econsultancy, 94% of businesses stated that personalization is critical to current and future success.
Personal is mobile. Personal is local.
Customers shop in stores and from home. They research buying decisions online and by asking friends. Your audience is everywhere – in competitors’ stores, on the street, at home and in the office. Does that make it harder to connect with them? Not necessarily.
When you’re audience is everywhere, there’s a simple way to connect with them: market to them on the advertising platform in their pockets: their phones.
Not only can marketers now reach people everywhere, we can reach them specifically, based on who they are and where they are.
Personalized marketing. Mobile marketing. Local marketing. It’s the same technology and smart marketers are combining them all.
64% of companies are – or plan within the year – to deliver more personalized experiences on mobile devices.
Here are a few examples of the target audiences that personalized marketing can reach:
- Expecting mothers… who post on Facebook about a nursery and are then served ads on their newsfeed for non-toxic decor paint at a local home supply store like Lowe’s.
- Recent high school graduates… who receive special coupons for dorm furniture via opt-in push notifications while they browse at stores like Target.
- Actual dog owners… whose previous search data enables banner ads for chew toys and kibble at a nearby pet supplies store like Petco.
Marketers will start contextualizing their data, drawing even richer insights, and using those insights to create not just more relevant, but personalized campaigns and experiences.
Recommendations For Personalized Campaigns:
More marketers are moving toward smarter campaigns. Some are getting results, others aren’t. As platforms (with personal data) integrate with tools (with campaign technology), marketers are learning what works best. The following approaches are emerging as best practices:
Big Data Partners
Personalization requires personal information whether it’s demographic info, location data, or behavior trends. Large scale personal campaigns require big data. Facebook advertising allows for very specific targeting, making Facebook an important partner.
Rewards, Deals, and Psychology
Incentives work, but only if they’re relevant. Offers such as deals must be timely and targeted. Rewards must be easy to access and easy to engage. Coupons through push notifications, point-earning through in-store beacons, and easy to activate promo codes are all great ways to easily connect shoppers with more personalized experiences.
Connect the dots between your various social platforms, email marketing and your website. A cohesive message on interconnected platforms is the foundation for personalized marketing. It allows your audience to get your message on their terms.
Persistence and Patience
A well-targeted campaign can produce results very quickly, but the research and planning take time. The more experience and data you have, the easier it will be to find your target and connect your message. Take your time and plan strategically. Know the trends and tactics most relevant and effective for you. Test and learn, then test again.
Leverage Existing Marketing Content
Brands and retailers already have tons of existing promotional content at their disposal. Personalized content does not always have to be new content. Pushing out existing content on the preferred channels of your audience automatically make it more personally relevant.
It doesn’t get much more personal than location data. Knowing what your consumers are looking for is half the battle. You have to know where they are looking and let them know that you’ve got relevant offers for them.
Meet the New Normal. It’s Personal.
Personalized campaigns are becoming the norm. We’re not far up the adoption curve yet, but already, business leaders are predicting huge impacts:
The ability to find people, to talk specifically to them, to judge them, to rank what they’re doing, to decide what to do with your products… (it) changes every business globally.
Find that audience wherever they are and delivering a personalized message. It’s changing audience behavior and changing the businesses that do it. This means a transformation to marketing.
And hopefully, it means I’ll see even fewer dog food ads in the near future.
What personalized marketing has connected with you? Do you get served irrelevant ads that drive you nuts? Tell us in the comments below!
Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He’s also the author of Content Chemistry, An Illustrated Guide to Content Marketing You are welcome to connect with Andy on Google+ and Twitter.