Personalized marketing is the present and future of digital marketing – and as the technology evolves, it’s becoming more of a reality for businesses of all sizes. This presents an immense opportunity for businesses that want to stand out from their competition and deliver a truly personalized omni-channel experience to all of their leads and customers.
In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to implement a personalized marketing strategy for your business.
What is personalized marketing?
Personalized marketing (aka one-to-one marketing) is a marketing strategy whereby companies and marketers use technology to deliver personalized marketing messages, content, and online experiences to prospective customers.
It’s about sending the right messages at the right time, based on the prospective customers’ behavior and interests, and about making personalized product recommendations based on individual needs and interests.
Who is it for, though? Which businesses should use this marketing strategy? Most any type of business can leverage this strategy to drive engagement and increase sales because, quite simply, personalization makes for better marketing; however, it’s probably e-commerce and retail businesses that can get the most out of one-to-one marketing.
Think of Amazon, for example; the giant online retailer has been using personalized marketing techniques for years and they have a big part of their impressive growth rate. Mostly through recommendations and product suggestions; if you’ve ordered anything from Amazon in the last years, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
You buy a book and then suddenly you get an email from Amazon with other “books you might like” – one of them catches your eyes, you buy it, you get more recommendations sent to your email and so on.
Or, whenever you browse or buy a product, you’ll notice similar products that you might be interested in, other products that are usually bought with that product and generally, a lot of things that you probably don’t really need, but suddenly start wanting.
Maybe it hasn’t worked on you, personally; but it has worked very well for Amazon and its huge customer base. A few years ago, it was reported that Amazon’s buying recommendations added an additional 10% – 30% in their revenue – basically, millions more in revenue just from targeting the right people with the right content.
How to implement personalized marketing: useful tools
In order to implement personalized marketing into your digital marketing strategy, you need technology to help. Here are some of the best tools to help you get started implementing this strategy and deliver better, more personalized user experiences:
Pure360: for e-commerce personalization
Pure360 has a suite of 4 different modules, 2 of which – PureTargeting and PureCampaign – are perfect for e-commerce personalization as they allow you to:
- Create personalized experiences for all users both via email and on your website
- Create personalized email marketing and marketing automation campaigns
- Create unique customer journeys based on data and buyer personas
Pure360 will allow you to track your customers’ and visitors’ behaviours so that you can automatically generate personalized content in real time – on email and your website. You can then send them triggered emails or set up email workflows with the marketing automation tools and the tool will automatically pull the right content for you – such as product recommendation based on past purchases, or triggered emails for cart abandonment, for upselling and cross-selling, for renewals, and much more.
You can even make sure that the email is sent at the best possible time; Pure360 can find out when your customers usually open their emails (on an individual level) so that you can automatically send your marketing messages at exactly the times each person usually opens their email, thus helping you increase your email open rate.
As I mentioned before, it’s not just your email communications that you can personalize, but also the browsing experience on your website. For example, you can make it so they see the products that are directly relevant to them, see other products “purchased after viewing this” and so on – quite similar to the tactic used so successfully by Amazon.
Strands Retail: for retail
As its name suggests, Strands Retail was built with retail businesses in mind; as a personalized marketing tool, it helps those in retail with:
- Segmenting their customers based on real-time and in-depth data
- Making personalized product recommendations based on actual preferences and behaviour
- Triggering personalized marketing emails for an increase in sales
- A/b testing for optimising your personalized marketing campaign and strategy
You start with the customer segmentation software, where you can leverage real-time data (like their browser history and actual customer data) to build more accurate customer profiles, which will later help you deliver them a personalized experience based on their profile designed to help you cross-sell and up-sell.
In terms of email marketing, you can easily send triggered shopping cart and browse abandonment emails, as well as regular personalized recommendations emails – or, updates with all of your new releases and most popular products (or other promotions you want to make).
To continue evolving, you can also use the a/b testing options to test out different types of personalized marketing messages and use these results to optimise your campaigns.
IBM Watson: for enterprise real-time personalization
IBM are well-known as leaders and pioneers when it comes to technology products – and the IBM Watson Real-Time Personalization service is no different.
As its name suggests, Watson Real-Time Personalization allows you to personalize your website for each and every visitor you have and it’s all done in real time – meaning, everyone visiting your website will see the content and the products that are directly relevant to them with no unnecessary distractions, thus helping you improve the quality of your website traffic, as well as your lead generation and sales.
Watson uses intelligent analysis to help better understand the online behavior of your visitors and therefore, improve their browsing experience based on this intelligence and based on rules you set.
You get to decide which parts of your website should be personalized on a case-by-case basis and the both new and returning visitors will see website content that is personalized to them.
Beyond that, Watson Real-Time Personalization also features cognitive learning, meaning that it can learn about each user and their online behaviour, each time they visit your website; based on these brand interactions, you can then deliver better-suited content that will not only enhance the customer experience overall but will also help you improve customer engagement, as well as your overall sales and ROI.
Personalized marketing is slowly but surely becoming a necessity for businesses of all kinds of types, but none more so than those in e-commerce or retail.
Not only is it something that customers are starting to expect – personalized product recommendations, in particular, can make the shopping experience much more pleasant (and quick!) – but it’s a much more efficient way of boosting your sales and return on investment than traditional email marketing tactics.