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The marketing guru and best-selling author Seth Godin once said that “Marketing is a contest for people’s attention.” In today’s digital world, our attention spans can be as short as five seconds, leaving a tiny window for marketers to engage and establish value and relevance. The answer is personalization, according to Michael Gentleman of Fresh Relevance, a personalization platform for digital marketers.

Speaking at Meet Magento New York, Gentleman said: “We have to leverage what we know about our customers and develop their profiles based on what we can put together over time. Agility is challenging in marketing. Don’t get stuck trying to do ‘spot on’ marketing. Marketers tend to be two steps behind consumers – so stay focused on getting ahead of the next channel, and don’t just adapt [after the fact].”

Gentleman revealed these six simple tactics to help you think big and start small with personalization:

1. Personalize to Unknown Visitors: People who have not yet shopped with you or shared their data still require a good experience. In fact they require an even greater first impression of your brand. Use cookies to determine their search behaviors and deliver an appropriate mix of personalized content, so you’re not starting from scratch.

2. Personalize to Existing Shoppers: Those who have shopped with your brand offer a wealth of data to help you build customer profiles, including wish list and previous purchase info, that you can leverage to improve the path to purchase with cross and up sell opportunities.

3. Connect Devices to Mitigate Cart Abandonment: According to Barclays Research, 43 percent of consumers abandon their cart in search of better deals, while the second most common reason for abandonment is forgetfulness. To combat this, connect various shopping devices by rebuilding shopping carts that shoppers can seamlessly recover, regardless of their fragmented searching and shopping habits.

4. Use Countdowns to Create Urgency: Create deadlines for sales and promotions, or providing reminders to personalize products with enough time for shipping gifts. Countdown-based marketing builds excitement, drives traffic, and creates sales.

5. Ratings and Reviews: Peer feedback is a great way to validate product quality or experiences. It also enhances enthusiasm around a purchase decision. For example, show how many other shoppers are viewing similar products at that moment.

6. Time and Weather-Based Personalization: Send information that is relevant to customers’ surroundings: For example, an email with a special discount for “Shopping Snowed In” is not a pertinent offer to a customer in Miami.

Magento Head of Global Content Amanda Batista contributed to this post.