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Learn how personalized marketing can boost customer loyalty and improve sales

While many consumers prefer privacy, they also want to do business with companies that understand them. This is where personalized marketing comes into play. Individualized content gives the consumer a feeling of control in the content they view, and helps prevent information overload.

However, it’s not merely a matter of preference. Personalization can translate into increased loyalty and sales, and failing to keep up with this trend can set brands behind. In fact, reports suggest that 41% of consumers have switched brands over poor personalization, and the effects of poor personalization can cost businesses around $756 billion a year.

A personalized marketing strategy can strengthen your brand’s reputation while securing future market share.

Creating a Personalized Marketing Strategy

Personalized marketing is about more than auto-inserting a recipient’s name into an email—though, these little details can help. It’s about knowing your audience and how to make them feel important. It’s also about inserting your brand gently—and helpfully—into the life of the consumer, without intruding. Your brand is the in-the-know friend who has the right answer, at the right time.

But how do you get there? By leveraging the right technology.

Measures to Consider When Creating a Personalized Marketing Strategy

When it comes to creating a personalized marketing strategy, brands must take the proper measures.

  • Identify your consumers, what they care about, and what they want. Create at least eight to 10 buyer personas based on shopping history. A buyer persona is a fictional person who reflects the attitudes, trends, and general lifestyle of a segment of your customers. Developing persona-based content can help your brand appeal to a key group, rather than presenting ineffective one-size-fits-all messaging.
  • Think strategically. Determine what your goals for one-to-one marketing might be: What brand message do you want to convey? Are you looking for repeat visits, increased trust, or more upsells? Do you have the short and long-term resources to accomplish your goals? Determine which channels you’ll use to connect with your audience: surveys, informal field discussions and focus groups, emails submitted through your website, social media, tech support interactions, e-commerce history, and/or third-party apps.
  • Assess your data. At a glance, you should be able to analyze what a particular customer reads in an email, considers from competitors, browses on your website and in-store, purchases, contacts customer service about, posts on social media, and positively or negatively reviews. This will inform how you market in the future.
  • Assemble your core. A marketing team will devise micro-segmented messages or campaigns that can be used across various platforms from print and TV ads to social media messages and niche websites. This team will need to act responsively to build upon successes or curtail inefficiencies.

How Personalized Marketing Boosts Customer Loyalty

A satisfied customer drives loyalty, and personalization is the vehicle. One survey found that 79% of customers were “very satisfied with loyalty programs that have high personalization,” and these personalized loyalty programs had 2.7 times more “satisfied members” than more generic programs. Here are a few examples of how personalized marketing has helped companies boost customer loyalty:

  • DSW: Shoe seller DSW recently ran an email campaign that alerted members of how many additional points they needed to receive a $10 certificate, and also to inform them of other deals. The result was a 64% increase in email opens, a 13% boost in click-through rates, and more sustained brand engagement for more than half of all readers.
  • Dove: The Dove Insider program has won awards for its personalized loyalty program, which sends offers to customers based on skin type and individual needs. They use interactive quizzes, beauty tip videos, and gamification to link consumers with the products they need. Shoppers feel loyal to a brand when they believe the company understands and responds to their needs with the right customized solutions.
  • Cadbury: Cadbury seized upon the success of Facebook’s personalized videos in a campaign in which they matched users to a Dairy Milk flavor based on age, interest, and location. Once users connected with the brand, a personalized video was created using photos and personal information that they could share with their friends on social media. The end result was a 65% click-through rate and a 33.6% increase in conversions.

How Personalized Marketing Improves Sales

how personalized marketing improves salesPersonalized marketing sets off a domino effect. Once you create a more effective message, the targeted recipient engages more frequently with your brand, loyalty and affinity develop over time, and you sell more to that individual. That satisfied individual evangelizes and, suddenly, you’re selling to their family and friends, expanding the scope of your marketing. Here are a few examples of how personalized marketing has helped companies improve sales:

  • Coke: Perhaps one of the most successful examples of personalized marketing is the “Share A Coke” promotion. In 2014, Coca-Cola put the most common names among Millennials on their bottles and invited shoppers to share a Coke with a friend. Over the years, the promotion evolved to encourage friends to not only share a Coke, but also to make a memory, with chances to unlock baseball game tickets and amusement park passes by peeling and scanning label codes. The campaign resulted in over 12 million media impressions and a 7% increase in young adult consumption in its first year resulting in the first spike in sales they’d seen in over a decade.
  • Shop Direct: It’s no secret that the weather affects consumer moods, and consumer moods affect shopping habits. Clothing e-commerce site Shop Direct personalized their homepage based on the weather. They use the visitor’s name, along with a greeting like “Nicky, brighten up” (with cheerful outfits) or “Nicky, wrap up” (it’s cold out there). This switch reportedly increased sales by over $6 million.  
  • Naked Wines: Customers prefer to do business with brands that use personal data to make shopping experiences more relevant. NakedWines.com allows users to rate their purchases online in exchange for personalized recommendations, which increased the number of angel investors by 100,000 in five years (which, at $25/month, translates to over $30 million in revenue.)

Get Started With Your Personalization Program

By now, you’ve seen the powerful effects of personalization. There are countless ways to speak directly to a consumer or niche segment, whether it’s through a new packaging debut like “Share A Coke,” a social sharing video like Cadbury’s, or a location-based greeting from Shopkick. If you’re new to the idea of shifting toward greater personalization, partnering with existing technology makes it easier to get started.

If you’re new to the idea of shifting toward greater personalization, partnering with existing technology makes it easier to get started.

Brands can use specialized personalization platforms and apps like Shopkick. Not only does the app gamify the shopping experience in a fun way for your consumers, but it also lets you personalize a shopper’s journey through a store. Starting with a personalized greeting upon arrival, shoppers are directed to products in-aisle, prompted to scan their barcodes and interact at shelf, and watch promotional videos in exchange for rewards points.

Shopkick enables our partners to begin a personalized marketing program or to increase their current level of personalization right away. To see the results of our app in action, check our success stories and contact us to learn how easy it is to give your consumers a more rewarding brand experience.

Image courtesy of nd3000