Ten years ago, the marketing team of a company wouldn’t be considered as a pivotal importance; but over the last few years, they’ve become the heart of a solid business.
The marketing of a business or a product can make or break how it is perceived by customers, candidates and clients. If you get it wrong, it can prove pretty testing for the reputation of your company name.
But something that is growing to be a huge deal in the world of business is personalisation. Whilst these techniques have been present in the industry for a long time, it’s only recently that personalisation has truly taken off.
Personalised marketing used to be a matter of something simple, such as putting the customer’s name on the website when they return, in order to further develop a relationship or remind that customer that they’ve valued. Nowadays, personalisation has become much more advanced, allowing for deeper and more meaningful customer and client relationships. As opposed to merely being used as a tool to make your clientele feel wanted, personalisation also encourages conversions and increases sales on both e-commerce stores and other websites.
But there is an abundance of other big benefits that personalisation offers in digital marketing that other techniques can’t quite manage – so what is it that makes it so special?
Put simply, personalisation can help to achieve more successful results in a number of ways. As already stated, the power of simply remembering the customer’s name on your business’ digital platforms can make a huge difference in their opinion. Most businesses have taken this one step further by pre-filling in personal details and remembering purchasing information. Why? Because it removes a barrier that might otherwise prevent the customer from converting. It allows for a quick, easy and stress-free transaction, which is more likely to tempt return custom.
Personalisation also helps to find the best, most relevant deals for specific customers in particular, which entices them to take a further look, as they don’t have to hunt for the deal suited to them. It’s virtually impossible to use the internet now without seeing advertisements of your favourite online websites down the sides of your browser. Not only that, but all of the products you see pop up are usually ones that you’ve previously looked at or similar to your recent purchases. Again, this is all down to company’s making your individual digital platform personal to you; and is an ingenious tool for businesses to reel you in.
Personalised content can encourage customers to engage and do business with you, such as personalised subject lines, greetings, or references to previous actions taken in email campaigns.
Another technique that is proving more popular is the use of specific landing pages that are pre-loaded with customer information. By remembering past behaviours, businesses can present relevant product or offers that appeal to particular customers, and increase conversions. It’s a win for both them and their customer.
Over time, personalisation allows businesses to make the relationship with customers more intimate, and provides them with the ability to gather more data on their habits and preferences. B2C and B2B relationships differ, but rewards for individuals can still bring past relationship closer, and can even create new ones.
It’s in the name, but personalisation aims to add a personal touch, to what would otherwise be a rather impersonal process. Personalisation makes customers feel a little more special, as it can help replicate the feel of one-to-one communication.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just e-commerce or retail companies that can benefit from personalisation. It is also something that can be a huge benefactor in recruitment agencies, limited companies or any business that sells, creates and delivers a product.
It allows you to personalise messages, offers or deals along each stage of the marketing or sales funnel; and encourage potential customers to be driven further down that funnel. But there’s no need to limit the collected customer data strictly to marketing. When you or your sales team calls up potential or existing customers, having personalised data to hand can really help generate a natural, informed conversation, and help the customer make a purchase.
It can even improve the look, feel and development of your online presence or brand, and can help keep your website fresh to potential customers. New website visitors can receive a more welcoming entry point that appeals to newcomers, whereas returning customers can be shown specific messages or content which interest them, and aligns with where they are in the sales cycle. The website can also be personalised in line with any campaign referrals, offer conversions, or previous web pages they have visited.
Increasing engagement with your customers can be difficult, but personalisation can certainly help. Personalised content or messages can keep customers on the site for longer, as the personal edge will encourage them to click or read. Quality, rather than quantity, is key. For instance, personalised email campaigns will reap better open and click rates than generic emails, where it used to be a matter of sending the same email to as many people as possible.
At the heart of it, personalisation improves the customer’s experience of browsing your website, and digesting your content. As you are providing relevant content, you are providing information they will actually find useful. The possibilities and opportunities of personalisation are endless; and as a company, you have the freedom to use these tools at your disposal. It’s merely a way to use and implement the information that you already have for the growth of your company.
Loyalty programmes, personalised offers, suggested products and suggested repeat purchases are all examples of personalisation techniques that you can introduce to give your business the personal touch that it needs to keep up to speed with competitors. Alongside this, follow-up emails help retains existing customers, as you can thank customers for the conversion, provide recommended next steps, or offer complimentary products or services later on.
Overall, personalised digital marketing helps improve your marketing efforts on the whole. Your marketing will become predictive, rather than reactive. You can offer and provide what the customer wants before they even request it. The best marketing gives customers the right information to the right people at the right time – which personalisation can achieve.
Whatever form of content you wish to provide, personalising your content or outbound marketing campaigns helps to improve otherwise generic marketing methods. Technology is what has pushed personalisation to new levels, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
As customers use connected devices more and more, it develops new ways to connect and engage with customers – which all ties into personalised digital marketing. In the future, successful companies will find innovative ways to connect with customers that remains appropriate, and helps the customer receive a superior experience, that also helps your business generate more sales. For instance, Smartphone apps are quickly taking over the typical web-browser style of online shopping, which should be the key foundation to a retail company’s delivery.
Stores like Selfridges, Next and Amazon have all created an app that have specific landing pages, personal detail memory and suggested purchases implemented into them, depending on the specific visitor. This gives customers the ability to make a transaction in seconds with a simple click on their phone.
Following this trend is the entertainment industry, who are head and shoulders above the rest with their personalisation marketing. So much so that the future of DVD’s, CD’s and downloadable music programmes like iTunes are uncertain because of platforms like Netflix and Spotify. Searching for the film, TV show, song, artist or album that you want is practically found for you before you even know what you want yourself. These apps are experts in suggesting your favourite film genres, styles of music and even match playlists to your moods. This is truly the height of personalisation; and is a level that all businesses should be aiming for.
The growing importance of delivering a personalised experience online is highlighted in a new Econsultancy and Monetate survey in which 94% of businesses stated that personalisation ‘is critical to current and future success.’ Furthermore, the research found that for two-thirds (66%) of client-side respondents, both improved business performance and customer experience are the main drivers for personalising the website experience.
The Realities of Online Personalisation is based on a survey of more than 1,100 digital and ecommerce professionals working for brands and agencies, carried out in February 2013. It looks in detail at what is driving online personalisation, the tactics and types of data being used to tailor the online customer experience and the barriers to success.
One of the key trends identified in the report is the fact that as businesses have become more digitally mature, marketers are conscious of the need to deliver experiences which are more personalised and nuanced not only for existing customers but also for first-time site visitors, using real-time behavioural data. And the benefits of personalising the consumer experience are obvious.
Businesses that are currently personalising web experiences and who are also able to quantify the are seeing an increase in sales of 19% on average. This translates into hundreds of millions of pounds and dollars of additional sales for online businesses across a range of business sectors.
The proof is in the pudding; personalisation can take your business to great heights. Even if you aren’t a company with an online presence yet, you should start small and work your way up. There’s no reason why the turnaround of a company can’t be something subtle. Cast your mind back to one of the greatest personalisation campaigns ever created. It wasn’t an online technique, it wasn’t complicated and it wasn’t something that needed much thought. But how many of you were desperate to find your name on a Coca-Cola bottle when they introduced personal labels? See – simple, yet genius.
Many of the clients we work with at Uniting Ambition have implemented personalisation to their digital platforms and have worked personally with us to develop online campaigns for their businesses. If you're in need of a few personal touches to boost your sales, recruitment levels or marketing, Uniting Ambition might be able to help! Alternatively, if you're on the lookout for exclusive opportunities or a new role, give us a quick call or take a look at our current openings here.Back to Small Business blogs