By: Emma Miller
If there’s one mistake that marketers keep repeating, it is treating their customer base as a demographic instead of as a group of individuals. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that personalizing your message increases your engagement rate while personalizing your brand as a whole tends to give your customer loyalty a boost.
Apart from adding the issue of relevance to your B2C interaction, you also stand to build a personal relationship with your customers that might, in time, turn them into return customers. With this in mind and without further ado, here are several ways in which personalization can improve your business impact.
1. Gathering personal data
The first step in establishing a personal relationship in real life is to learn how to actively listen to the other party. Doing so in the digital world usually involves a data gathering and prospecting method that you can rely on. For starters, most (all, if we’re being honest) of your audience already possesses a smartphone, and there you can find all the answers you are looking for. To do this, you first need their permission to look into things like their location, their search history and other data. The easiest way to obtain it is to create an app and then ask for access in this way. By offering something of value in return, most of your customers (all of them, most likely) will have nothing against this idea.
2. Targeting millennials
As the portion of the workforce filled by millennials grows, this particular group becomes more and more fiscally potent. In turn, this means that they also become a primary target for most businesses out there. This is a good thing for most businesses looking forward to personalizing for two major reasons. First of all, millennials have no problem with sharing their personal data if they get a better user experience in return. Second, millennials spend more time on social networks, on average, than their predecessors. In other words, targeting millennials is much easier. On the other hand, some surveys suggest that millennials are also the most individualistic of the demographics, which is why tailoring your message to suit them might not be as simple.
3. Brand ambassadors and WOM
The problem with the digital world is that there are so many options out there that it gets impossible for one to make a decision. In fact, according to one study, people who have too many choices in front of them are less likely to make a decision. During this particular test, people who were asked to choose between 24 different varieties of jam were 10 times less likely to make a decision than those who were asked to choose between 6.
So, how does this help you rise above your competitors? Well, the best way to do so is to reach out to a limited number of individuals and offer them something of value. This can often be done through contests or giveaways, and prepaid gift cards are quite effective as a prize, seeing as how they eliminate the possibility of giving the wrong thing. People you reach out in this way have a high probability of becoming brand ambassadors or at least giving word of mouth (WOM) recommendations in favor of your company.
4. To earn loyalty, you need to take a stance
Never before in the human history were there so many different sources of information for everyone to explore. In turn, our world is more divided than it ever was. Two different news channels can report on the same occurrence from completely different viewpoints and people tend to willingly choose whom to believe. Think about it from a political standpoint, there’s a reason why some people prefer Fox to CNN and the other way around.
A similar thing goes for your brand as well. In order to gain some of that audience loyalty, you need to assume a stance on some hot topics and even say something a bit controversial from time to time. Staying on the fence won’t cause any outrage against you, however, it will not earn you any sympathies either. It is better for half of your audience to actively hate you and for the other half to love you, than for all of them to be indifferent towards you.
5. Internal personalization
At the end of the day, in order for your company to perform admirably, you need to learn how to personalize your internal structure as well, not just your marketing. The best way to do so is to create small, tight-knit teams with efficient and empathetic leaders at the helm. When it comes to why they hate their job, most people list their horrible boss as the main culprit. When asked why they stay, most of them mention the fear of starting anew and leaving their colleagues behind. Why not turn both of these trends to your favor?
At the end of the day, in order to give your business impact a boost, you should, A) stop treating your employees as means of production, and B) stop treating your customers as statistics. Keep in mind that both of these groups of individuals are equally responsible for your company’s success, and, as such, deserve your full respect and attention.
By Emma Miller