Ask any marketing guru and they’ll tell you that their main job is building and maintaining personal relationships. Fortunately, today’s technology makes it easier than ever to connect with customers on a unique level. As businesses continue to gather more data about customers’ patterns, personalization will become even more of a marketing and business standard. Businesses are promptly listening to what customers want and responding accordingly.
From the very beginning, your company should aim to build long-lasting, personal connections with clients, customers, and partners. This prevents your team from mistargeting their audience or losing business to more relatable competitors.
If you’ve never given much thought to personalization in the business world, here are three surefire ways to tailor your customer’s experience for optimal results.
1. Sell customizable promotional swag
Surprisingly, this is an under-utilized tactic that produces significant results. Regardless of what your business sells, from B2B software programs to consumer-facing items, there are always products you can customize as “company swag.” Branded beer koozies, customized t-shirts, coasters, and even lanyards with your company logo on it can go a long way toward making your company’s name known.
Startups with small budgets often worry about spending money on marketing techniques. But in terms of cost, branded products are actually cheaper than many forms of digital advertising, not to mention costly, traditional, print advertising. If you’re worried that people will get rid of your swag and waste your money, keep in mind that your donated brand items are still a form of advertising being passed from person to person.
Slapping your logo on anything company-related is a key way to facilitate guerilla marketing for branding purposes. This strategy encourages businesses to promote their products in unconventional, memorable ways without spending big bucks. Part of the idea is to surround your current and potential customers with an “environment” that reflects your brand. Giving out laptop stickers with your logo on it to visiting clients or people at a conference might not seem like a strong marketing strategy, but it makes your image more familiar to others.
Additionally, having an arsenal of swag can contribute to a well-defined company culture. This is especially important for companies that are just finding their legs with new employees. Establishing who you are as a business comes with time, but it doesn’t take years to create clear values and goals. A core culture should also boost your team’s satisfaction. Employees’ overall ratings of their companies’ qualities are 20% higher at businesses that have strong cultures.
2. Use quizzes to define the customer experience
This is a personalization model that’s popping up in industries of all kinds. When a first-time visitor lands on your website, you can prompt them to fill out a quick quiz that helps you learn about them. This choose-your-own-adventure-like tactic should determine what their interests and priorities are, as well as what they want from your site.
Once you know your users’ preferences, tailoring your website to their needs becomes much simpler.
Brands like Winc and Care/of are implementing this strategy beautifully. Upon arriving at one of these websites, customers provide their personal information (as it pertains to the product/service they’re interested in), which is then used to alter their experience with the company’s products.
As a business, you want to know what your customers want so you can better serve them. Why not just ask them?
According to Segment’s 2017 State of Personalization Report, only about 22 percent of shoppers are satisfied with the current level of personalization they receive when shopping with brands. Clearly, there’s an enormous amount of room for improvement, but expect to continue to see brands adopting more individualized approaches to customer interactions on their sites.
3. Make your business emails lifecycle-focused
Nearly every single business relies on email marketing, but many email strategies miss the mark.
The goal of reaching out to customers via email is to continuously strengthen the buyer-seller relationship. Whether the reader is a first-time shopper or a long-time client, businesses need to continuously make efforts to stay connected.
The key to email marketing strategies is knowing exactly what message to deliver, whom to deliver it to, and when to send the email out. A big part of this process is understanding the customer journey with your particular business.
Adding someone’s name at the top of the email is a good start, but only 8 percent of survey respondents in Pure360’s research indicated that the address encouraged them to interact with the brand. What customers really want is more relevancy. They want emails that fit into their buying habits and encourage them to act at just the right time.
For this reason, businesses of all shapes and sizes need to adopt an AI-backed CRM system, period. By tracking and analyzing customer behavior, marketers are in a much better position to send the best emails at the best times. It’s not just about obtaining new customers; it’s about improving individual customers’ experiences to increase retention and conversions.
The term “lifecycle” refers to the general pattern marketers see with customer engagement. Generally speaking, there are three main phases in which your email techniques should fit: acquisition, consideration, and excitement. During the acquisition phase, the customer signs up for the emails. During consideration, the customer will open “abandoned cart” emails. Finally comes the excitement email that includes happy news like package tracking or shipping notifications.
If your emails aren’t playing into the lifecycle automation strategy, you’re essentially throwing messages at the readers and seeing what sticks, which is hardly effective. Personalize each email so it fits neatly into the buying strategy. This will get you optimal sales and help retain subscribers.
The overarching goal of personalization
Personalizing your swag, websites, and emails isn’t just a simple marketing ploy; it’s a way to utilize your data to create a unique, enjoyable experience for every customer. Additionally, the personalization process gives you more insight into your customers, allowing you to tweak things for the best results. If you don’t learn anything from your personalization strategies, then what’s the point?
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc., a San Diego Based Digital Agency that specializes in White Label Services for Website Design & Development and eCommerce SEO. With over 10 years of experience in the Technology and Digital Marketing industry, I am passionate about helping online businesses to take their branding to the next level.