Identifying and attracting customers has always been a formidable challenge but in the digital era, new technology can generate detailed information on consumer behaviors and personal purchasing habits. The most important advance in modern marketing is how social media users make connections and interact with brands when making a purchasing decision. Consumers are increasingly dynamic when it comes to how and where they listen, making it imperative that brands remain sensitive to how consumers are using social media and avoid getting caught speaking the wrong language in an empty arena. Informal and personalized content that is original, conversational in tone, and authentic can elevate a brand to an informed, capable, and even expert status among a targeted audience.
More than 30 percent of surveyed consumers favor personalized communications, and a recent Monetate survey found that 79 percent of those marketers with a personalized message strategy exceeded revenue goals. But getting personalized messages correct is not easy, and failing to create quality personalized communications can result in significant downside. More than 40 percent of US consumers have reported that they have discontinued a relationship with a brand because of “poor personalization and lack of trust.” So, how can a marketer improve the performance of personalizing communications?
When crafting the message, keep in mind that very few consumers want to be sold, particularly when they encounter content that is heavy on platitudes, features and benefits that are irrelevant to the needs, wants, and desires of the listener. Often, content that is important to the speaker may not resonate with an audience of consumers unless the information creates value for the listener. Start with listening to the targeted consumer. “Conducting customer surveys, holding customer focus groups, closely monitoring online ratings and reviews, and intently listening to your customers will reveal more about who your customers are and what they value most in a service provider.” Social media platforms can gain important insights about users and how they process information about making a purchasing decision. While demographics can play a key role in determining a market segment, not all consumers in that niche face identical challenges or the same personas and values.
Review transactional data from offering discounts, abandoned shopping cart follow-ups, helpful chatbots, and mapping your customers’ journey through the digital landscape. Invest in developing an effective mobile app and modify the brand’s website to discover the customer’s past behavior and interests. This information can be used to create customer personas that generate appealing, authentic, and personalized content. Strategically place content on the right social media platform to reach the specified target and always monitor and measure the results. Be careful not to prejudge who you believe is your best customer. Often differences in geographic locations, and social and economic factors can skew results or provide unique variations in personal wants and behaviors. Above all, when crafting a personalized message strategy, avoid the creepy side of the twilight zone.
Consumers are becoming sensitive to feeling like they are being monitored and stalked by social media channels. The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) is in effect. The new personal communication regulation was instituted as a result of internet users’ concern over the use and control of personal data. The CPRA requires companies to allow users the right to access data, the right to take that data and use it elsewhere, as well as the right for consumers to request that a company erase personal data completely from company records. It is imperative to remember that customers want control over the data. This means that marketers must ensure transparency and access.
Marketers should continue to rely on well-proven relationship-building skills and listening to feedback about consumer experiences. The process can be fine-tuned by investing in predictive analytics and employing tools that allow for real-time data insights like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and CRM integration. Studies indicate that investing in personalizing the customer experience pays off for businesses that keep up with the trends. Businesses that prioritize personalized experience grow revenue 1.7 times faster than businesses that don’t. They also increase the customer lifetime value by more than twice on average compared to organizations that don’t.