One of the big differences between last century's traditional marketing and this century's digital marketing is the modern approach encompasses more personalization.
Creating a targeted email marketing list of your clients is the first step toward customer journey personalization. A broader goal should be adoption of hyper-personalization, which is simply taking the concept further with smart technology to optimize results.
Before you can appreciate hyper-personalization, you must understand the importance of basic personalization. The internet has created many new markets, which are divided into specific niches. This paradigm has led to new challenges for businesses to compete with different versions of the same industry. Never before has appropriate branding and personal connection with target customers been more crucial.
Back in the day companies focused on one-size-fits-all marketing in terms of sending out one message through a medium like print or television, or even the early days of email, to a mass audience. Now that the internet has become an essential part of marketing, of course we have to recognize that consumers no longer have to conform to business choices within driving distance. Countless other choices are now available in a matter of clicks—instead of miles.
If your business solutions don't provide a perfect fit for individuals, it's not that hard for them to keep searching for alternatives online. But if your company understands diversity and reaching different market segments, it's ahead of the curve. Today's consumer gravitates toward companies that listen and respond to their personal needs. By reaching out to each customer through personalized means, you can establish more loyal relationships.
The main revolution behind recent hyper-personalization is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time data to deliver the most relevant content to each specific online follower. Leveraging internet of things (IoT) technology is quickly being adopted by retail chains through apps and sensors that detect return customers. Tapping into this data gives companies a better idea of who visits their stores and why.
The top reason for embracing hyper-personalization is to improve the customer experience. Here are other key reasons to move toward this next generation approach to digital marketing:
Investing in the latest technology that connects customer smartphones with company databases or customer relations management (CRM) software is essential to stay competitive. It will allow you to customize messages for different market segments so that they are distributed to people who want to read them. Once you have organized your customer profiles in specific segments, you can run various campaigns at once to reach different segments with targeted messages.
Account-based marketing (ABM) is now the most practical way to reach target customers using digital technology that allows for engagement. The key is to develop profiles for each customer and use machine learning software that tracks their behavior. It can further be used for email marketing campaigns in which each customer receives a personalized message based on their history of purchasing and inquiries.
The three main components for effective hyper-personalization are engagement, relevance and trust. The more you engage with customers as individuals rather than faceless statistics, the more you can learn about each of their interests. That knowledge can help you refine your products, services and direct communication, which ultimately leads to stronger trust among customers. These days customer loyalty goes a long way and can make a big difference in business growth and survival.
The key to hyper-personalization is utilizing all forms of data and marketing channels available to learn as much as possible about the interests of each individual customer. Some of the industries beyond retail that have already done well with digital transformations include manufacturing, telecom, banking, media, transportation, insurance, health care and services, as well as government and education.
The future of business continues to move toward IoT, AI and customized solutions. It's better to join than resist this system that is steadily taking over. Think about how much time and money it will save on market research compared with traditional methods of collecting data on customers. The age of hyper-personalization is not a theory, it's reality. Use it to your advantage so that you can develop closer relationships with customers.
Jen McAdams was Vice President of Global Demand Generation and Field Marketing.
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