A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Personalization

Did you know that 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications with them? Or that 65% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if a vendor doesn’t personalize communications to their company?* If customers will leave you if you do not personalize, do you think new customers are likely to buy from you without personalization?

Personalization creates better relationships with your customers. It makes them feel like they are engaged in a two-way conversation instead of being advertised to by a brand. By engaging the customer at each step of their journey with relevant messaging, Experian says that you can increase sales by 19% without incremental marketing cost!

Below are 4 easy strategies to start your personalization journey

First, you can base this on Customer Data:

  • Use a Customer Data Platform and track customer interactions at any brand touch point, both online & in-store. To give an example, we work with a 3 salons that have a membership program. By prioritizing their members and making recommendations to them based on their visit frequency, hair type, and last visit; they’re able to consistently sell more add-ons, up-sells and product to those customers. We do this by linking to their loyalty, point-of-sale, and website. 
  • Personalize emails to customers and provide recommendations. Think of shopping online when you see “Customers who purchased this also bought this”. Whether you are a restaurant, retail, or service business, you should be sending emails to your customers to recommend more products and services to them in turn generating more sales.
  • Show customers programmatic ads based on their prior experiences with a Brand. For example, if you are a restaurant and someone visits your website looking at Pepperoni Pizza, the next time you show an Ad to them it should be for Pepperoni Pizza, not your most popular salad.  

Next, you can do it by the source of traffic on your site:

Not all traffic to your website should be treated the same. Different sources of traffic come to your website with different levels of intent. Because of this, your messaging needs to be personalized. Here are a few examples:

  • Google Paid Search – These are typically high intent users that are coming to your website to purchase your product or service. They should be directed to a page that makes it as easy as possible to purchase the product/service they are looking for in the fewest amount of clicks.
  • Facebook – Users that come from social media sites typically have less intent than Google. Oftentimes, they’ll want to be courted with educational content and a story. These are people who were lost in social media and got distracted by your content on the social platform. Your website needs to match the tone and content that you’re generating on your Facebook page. Get it right and you’ll have customers for life. Wrong and all you have is a high bounce rate :\
  • Direct – These are people who type in your URL and come directly to your site. Are they already planning on purchasing, accessing a pre-existing account? Analytics will tell you the story of where users from each traffic source go but you need to then craft the appropriate journey.

 Another simple method is based on time of day:

Time of Day can be a strong indicator of what people are interested in from your business. For example, if people are looking at a restaurant before Noon, they are likely most interested in seeing what the lunch specials are for that restaurant. If it’s afternoon, they may be looking for happy hour specials or the dinner menu.  

Lastly, use the customers location to make it seem like the message is tailor made for them!

Location is a great way to personalize for the users. Having spent most (basically all) of my career in the franchise space, there is an extremely easy trick for Franchisors to increase the Franchise Development conversion rates. On your home page, landing page, or where ever you direct traffic for your franchise development efforts, simply personalize the message to say “Franchise Opportunities available in [CITY where IP Address is located]”. This is an extremely easy personalization technique and can significantly increase conversion rates on leads which are very challenging to get information from in the first place. A customer data platform for franchise brands can be especially powerful because you can tailor the message to be so personal that it says, “Hi [INSERT NAME], we’re hoping to talk to you about our Franchise Opportunity in [CITY].”

 

Channels for Personalization

Now, let’s talk about where, other than the website, you can personalize your marketing to consumers. Yes, it is possible to do this in other areas as well. By using a Customer Data Platform, you can feed these types of personalization into following:

  1. Programmatic/Display Ads
    1. Programmatic Ads can be shown to individual users which creates a high level of personalization opportunity. Target users based on the content they interacted with on your website. 
  2. E-mail
    1. I started this article with, “52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if you do not personalize communications”. Use the person’s name in the subject line, it helps! See example from Sport Clips below:
    2. Now, the only thing that could be improved here is to send me an chance to enter for a sport that I’m interested in, like soccer. It’s not that I don’t like to go fast, I’d just prefer a soccer experience.
  3. Loyalty
    1. So you finally got someone signed up for your Loyalty program? Now your job is to keep them happy right? Instead of sending out a push notification with a promotion to all customers, why not send a push notification that says, “Hi Christian, we noticed last time you had our steak! Just wanted to let you know we’re offering 10% off steak dinners tonight!” This message is significantly more powerful than sending a 10% of steak specials to all users without even using their name. Again, customers want to have a conversation with you!

 

These methods of personalization and the delivery platforms are just the tip of the iceberg. Start doing these and you will see an immediate impact on your customer retention rate and closing rates. There’s nothing worse than taking the time to interact with a brand and getting something that is completely unrelated or uninteresting to you. As soon as that happens, you’ve lost your customer. Don’t be that brand.

About the Author:

Christian Pillat is co-CEO of Transitiv, a customer data platform focused on serving franchise brands. He is primarily responsible for the commercialization of Transitiv. Previously, he founded a top 5 Franchise Marketing agency which he sold in December 2018. In his free time, Christian enjoys sailing, soccer, off-road unicycling and is on the Steering Committee for UNICEF NextGen in Atlanta.