When it comes to building relationships and connecting with customers the importance of personalization is undeniable. Brands often claim to focus their marketing efforts on their customers, however, all too often it’s very apparent they’re thinking of themselves…focusing only on their business goals, benchmarks, and quotas without considering their customers.
Let me ask you this: Do you consider, sending 10 generic emails each week, thinking about the customer? Or sending the same digital flyer or coupons to every customer? How can posting to social media three times per day be considered providing value to the customer? How is any of this personalization?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying marketers should stop sending marketing emails or stop making social media posts. What I’m saying is that more marketers need to take a step back and really ask themselves whether their marketing efforts are providing their customers with something of value or simply meeting internal metrics.
Marketers need to be the other person in personalization. This means not only personalizing their customers’ experiences, but also personalizing the marketing tactics used to interact with each customer. Marketers must change their mindset from focusing solely on reaching as many customers as possible to also focusing on building a relationship with each customer.
Marketers should imagine themselves taking each customer on a date. The content you’ve shared with that customer is the dinner conversation between you and your date (customer). Was your conversation (content) interesting enough to secure a second date? Was it obvious you have shared this same conversation (content) with other dates (customers)? Did you overshare? Would you take yourself on another date based on your conversation (content)?
In order to connect to each customer personally, marketers have to treat each customer like an individual person while also acting more like an individual person themselves. In order for customers to feel connected to a brand marketers have to be the person behind the content and marketing efforts, adding that personal touch necessary to building 1:1 connections.
Any 1:1 connection takes two to tango, so be the best dance partner by personalizing marketing efforts to truly connect with each customer. Allow each customer to feel as though your marketing communications are coming from a real person who is sending them content that they are actually interested in. This means some customers might prefer to dance the waltz or salsa instead of the tango and as a spectacular dance partner, you must be ready to change dance styles or in this case marketing tactics and communications, to match each customers’ evolving needs and preferences.
Data collection and automation technologies are great tools to make this process easier and more scalable but must be used properly. Marketers must ensure they have access to their customer data in real-time and automated campaigns must be set to evolve as your customers evolve. This means ensuring your customers are receiving the content most relevant to them at any given time and making them feel a personalized touch in each communication instead of the “set it and forget it” mindset which befalls most automated campaigns.
In the end, this all boils down to the need to review the way current marketing efforts make customers feel. Do current tactics provide a personal touch? Do customers feel there is a person who cared enough to select a piece of content for them specifically or just another automatically sent bulk marketing email? When marketers begin focusing on being a person connecting to another person, delivering true personalization and creating meaningful customer connections becomes easy