Personalized Experiences: Why Does Your Brand Need it?
Having difficulty turning prospects into loyal customers? Then it’s about time you considered a marketing personalization strategy for your brand.
In today’s highly competitive market, personalization has become one of the key elements of branding, and no business, be it small or large, can flourish without it. Not only can it set your brand apart from the competition, it can also be highly effective in increasing your customers’ engagement over time.
According to a report from McKinsey & Company, personalization drives better customer outcomes and performance. So, what is personalization in business, and why do customers love it?
Fret not; we will discuss all the tips and best practices around brand personalization in this post.
What Is Personalization In Business?
Personalization is one of the integral elements of marketing strategy that focuses on creating and delivering personalized content to highly-targeted audiences. It helps boost customer satisfaction, build brand loyalty, and make audiences remember your brand.
Simple actions like using a customer’s first name in an email subject line can be an example of personalized marketing. However, given the advancements in predictive marketing, artificial intelligence, automated technologies, and the availability of big data, the scope for personalization strategies has expanded by leaps and bounds.
Why Is Personalization So Important Today?
If you are a solopreneur, chances are high that you personally engage with your audience. You reply to their comments and emails, maybe even pack their orders and ship them to their respective locations. But is it enough to make them feel special?
While a business may put a lot of work into creating quality products or services, it may fall short when it comes to delivering a distinctly personalized customer experience. Whether it is audience tailored messaging or website experience, customers are always on the lookout for engagement in meaningful ways that reflect their personal tastes.
Recent research suggests that more than 80% of consumers tend to buy products or services from a brand that provides personalized experiences. A customer is also more likely to share a personalized purchase on their social media than a generic purchase. This is undoubtedly a great way to have your customers market your products/services for you.
Therefore, a brand personalization marketing strategy is an absolute must for businesses to thrive in this day and age.
How To Personalize Your Business
By now, we hope you have realized how effective a brand personalization marketing strategy is. If you want to implement the same for your business and convert prospects into buyers, look no further, as we are here to help you.
First, you need to review your present customer experience by asking yourself the following three questions:
- Do I engage with my audience on a day-to-day basis, or do I just process the orders?
- What are some of the most common interactions that I have made, and how can I make them more personalized?
- Before making a purchase, how many interactions does the typical consumer have with my brand?
Consumers appreciate being noticed, especially through gratitude, affirmations, and acknowledgment from the brand’s end.
After you’ve answered the questions above, let’s explore how you can utilize a brand personalization strategy in your business.
1) Review Your Marketing Strategy
As far as personalization is concerned, it is not only about making your customers feel special; it also comprises your marketing strategy and how you convert prospects into buyers from your target audience.
Suppose you have a friend’s surprise birthday party to attend today and you have to buy them a gift for the occasion. Since the party is last-minute, you don’t have a lot of time to find the perfect present.
So, you have two options: you could either gift them something that you are sure they will like (know your audience) and attach a handwritten note along with it. Or you could just purchase them a generic present wrapped in the store’s packaging and be done with the hassle.
Now, which one do you think they’ll appreciate more?
It’s safe to assume that most people would prefer the gift with a handwritten note. The same logic applies when it comes to marketing. Consumers appreciate personalized gestures much more than generic advertising.
2) Implement Segmentation
When using personalization in your marketing strategy, you first have to know your audience, their current experience with your brand, and their expectations. And that’s where segmentation can help you.
But what is it? Segmentation is how you categorize your audience into subgroups on the basis of specific shared characteristics.
For instance, a particular segment of your mailing list could contain prospects who just came to know about your business for the very first time. Another segment could include recurring customers who purchased at least twice from you in the last year. There could also be a segment that contains cart abandoners who explored your site in the past 48 hours.
The kind of offer and message you send to the people in each of these segments should be different. You can connect with individuals through meaningful and purpose-driven engagement rather than just urging them to make a purchase.
3) Put Together Your Factors
Now that you have realized how segmentation can be effective in personalized marketing, it’s time to find out the factors that’ll help you identify groups within your prospects.
A few key pieces of information that you would want to collect are:
- Items added to cart/their purchase history
- The type of browsing device they use (phones, laptops, tablets)
- Time they spent on your website, or session duration
- The time when they visited your website
- Source (whether they found your business through a referral link, an ad, or a search engine)
All this information can ensure that you are able to offer super-personal messaging and effective discounts that customers will love and then move to action.
4) Target High-Conversion Groups
A report by Segment suggests that 40% of shoppers bought a product they had no intention of buying when they received a personalized recommendation from the brand. In order to make the most of personalization, you need to target such high-conversion groups. These groups can be identified from their purchase history and engagement level.
The product recommendation should be highly personalized and must be:
- Relevant to the customer
- Benefits-driven and value-based
- Close to the previous price point
It’s worth noting that using these recommendations should not make the customers feel harassed; rather, the recommendations should reflect that you care about them.
5) Pay Attention to the In-Store Experience
In-store visits by customers can always be used to build brand loyalty and relationships. Understanding why your consumers visit your store could be helpful in providing better-personalized experiences.
Let’s face it; there’s always a connection available in-store that’s missing online. From the warmth of your store associates to the delight of viewing products before they buy, this might be anything. There are several methods to provide customers with an in-store experience that makes them feel like they are a part of your brand.
6) Educate Store Associates
You might be surprised to know that about 54% of shoppers feel that the store associates are not equipped with the tools required to provide good customer service.
According to a survey, over 50% of store associates, admitted to having lied to customers because they didn’t know enough about the products they were trying to sell.
In order to provide a better customer experience, you would want to provide the necessary training for your store associates. This will make the buyers feel confident in the service being provided to them at your store. You would also want to ensure that you recruit people who have a firm knowledge of the products and your brand’s values.
7) Host Events
Another effective way to provide a personalized customer experience is by hosting occasional events that deliver meaningful, immersive, and memorable brand experiences. This will help you connect better with your customers.
You could invite some of your regular customers on a “VIP” list for special events and sales that, besides reflecting your brand, will provide a fresh take on the conventional in-store visits. For instance, IKEA organized a sleepover at its Essex factory for those who won a challenge on Facebook.
Personalized Experiences Strategies Applied By Famous Brands
Here, we have discussed some of the most effective personalization strategies used by some popular brands.
When it comes to personalizing the customer experience, Netflix is one of the top brands out there.
After logging into Netflix, you will see that your home screen appears very different from that of your friends. The streaming platform has prioritized personalizing the experience for every user based on their viewing history.
The first instance of this is the banner ad which appears immediately after logging in. Generally a trailer, preview, or teaser for a newly added movie or show, the banner changes for every user.
If you love watching thriller dramas such as Breaking Bad or Ozark, it is likely that Netflix will show you a trailer for a show from the same or related genre. Netflix’s algorithm is built to suggest movies and shows based on a user’s viewing history, including watch time and “Thumbs Up” data, through AI and machine learning.
2) Function Of Beauty
Another example of a brand that prioritizes customer experience is Function of Beauty, a skin and hair care brand.
The best part about it is that it asks you to take a quiz and then sends you haircare products made specifically for your concerns. What’s more, they even write your name on the bottles to provide you with a highly personalized experience.
3) Coca Cola
In 2014, Coca-Cola launched its popular “Share A Coke” campaign in the US. It was mainly an attempt to reach millennials, where each bottle featured a popular first name from that generation. When a person found their names or their loved ones’ names on a bottle, they were incentivized to make the purchase to brighten up their day or to just spread a smile.
Needless to say, it was a massively successful move and increased the sales volume exponentially.
Besides helping brands acquire new business, personalization strengthens customer retention and increases brand reputation. Thus, in this day and age, brands will have to resort to personalization and form their marketing strategies accordingly if they want to thrive.
With that, we have reached the end of this article. And we hope that it has helped you learn why you need to incorporate personalization into your brand’s marketing strategy.