Learn your customers. This is not news to anyone in sales, but the more you understand about your audience, the better you can appeal to them. With more and more sales moving to digital, companies need to invest in digital empathy and offering a personalized brand experience is the way to go. Gartner agrees, that this is the year that personalization can enable up to 15% more profits for companies who re-engineer their content strategy to align with customer intent on a case-by-case level. For instance, a questionnaire that simultaneously tracks their answers and interests while drawing them to your critical on-site content that aligns with those interests is a win-win. In the end, your customers are satisfied immediately when, after a few clicks, get what they need on a personalized listing page or action report, especially if you gate it, and you understand your customers in real-time. Raise your hand if you want to be a trusted consultant and thought leader with great top of funnel pipeline…
Peak Interest. Peak Opportunity.
You’re being overmarketed. That must sound strange coming from a marketing blog, but the truth as we see it is that there is more noise out there than ever and digital ad-apathy is stronger than it’s ever been. So how can marketers cut through that noise and get their foot in the door? Lead generation today is about taking the time to tailor and target the message to the right person. It’s important to balance marketing automation with personalized lead-by-lead outreach. Is it time-consuming? Absolutely. Is it worth it to increase your ROI? Absolutely.
Marketers overwhelmingly agree that personalization is a huge benefit for developing and maintaining customer relationships. According to Adobe 60% of us are having trouble trying to make the switch to personalized content, but 90% of marketers recognize that their target audiences expect a personalized experience.
So what change is happening to boost marketers’ confidence in 2020?
You may have the creative personalized ideas, writers, designers, and web developers ready to help go to market, but until your business has the right data to drive your GTM ideas, you might be starting from scratch. Instead, companies who cultivate all of their customer data together, including customer journey tracking, cross-platform reporting, and aggregating lead generation trends across their web, mobile, email, and social channels will find the personalized insights they need to succeed. Harness the bountiful (and cheap) organic user information, across multiple data platforms, into one cohesive customer profile. Then build your storytelling experience, quiz, or dynamic CTA button around what you’ve discovered about your users. Turn your expensive anonymous users into cheaper hyper-targeted users through a foundation of data and let a personalized marketing experience reap the benefits.
On average, marketers within companies store their customer data in at least four different systems, most of which are not shared or have no way to make meaningful connections. Dramatic investments are in store for whatever integration, platform, or process can unite the omnichannel user data and enhance data analysis. Start with implementing data-driven objectives like:
- Location Data
- Survey Responses
- Ad Campaign Interaction
- Tag and Filter Results
- Track Pageviews
- Smart Lists
- Dynamic Content Blocks
- Link Clicks
- Referral Source
With this precise user understanding at marketers’ fingertips, we enjoy the familiarity of personalized campaigns. Yet culling that data together and offering a message or experience to the potential lead based on their previous interactions with your company is vital to getting that foot in the door. Invest in understanding your audience and their behavior and interests and they will invest in understanding you.
Email is Still Mail.
Let’s face it, our inboxes aren’t overflowing with personal communications from friends and loved ones. That doesn’t mean email marketing has to be impersonal. So how do we get a user to click on that one email subject line when they return from vacation to a mailbox full of ads? Personalize your headline copy, customize imagery by location, gender, or season, and insert dynamic CTAs to make the offer relate to what you know about them. Make it pop!
Bonus – add additional personalized flair to your brand experience by implementing a kickback email upon conversion. The most common form of a kickback email is an automated thank you note sent to their inbox once their personal information enters your CRM. Higher engagement rate – check. Great first impression – check. Polite digital etiquette – check.
You’re on the Right Landing Page.
Let’s say you’ve finally convinced the user to engage with your content and click on the CTA button, you know you have their full attention. Making a personalized first impression when they arrive on the landing page both affirms that they are in the right place and encourages them to remain there. In the Calling All Optimists case study, the media campaign was designed to match the messaging that worked in the first place to pull double-duty by complementing the interest on the landing page. Driving the target audience to the site, the user is met with a unique welcome message in the hero-zone correlated to the specific ad they engaged with.
Personalizing your page ensures that traffic from all over the world sees the most appealing content for them. Whether it’s one of your homepages (yes – the more the merrier!) or a campaign landing page, every page should have a purpose correlating to every unique visitor and their previous exposure to your brand.
Make It Personal
Stand out by personalizing your digital reputation. Customers will remember your services, your messaging, and your products if you direct them to what makes sense for them, rather than sending them on a wild goose chase. Content marketing has been top of mind for this industry for years now, but personalizing that content marketing strategy is a way to make your brand feel exciting and special.
It’s time to say goodbye to cookie-cutter content passively thrown into your resources listing page and keeping your fingers crossed that someone stumbles into it. With social media engagement on the downfall and Google’s algorithm prioritizing their own thought leadership over yours, it is imperative to transform your strategy into something that appeals to your ideal customer. Two-thirds of consumers say they will switch to brands that treat them like an individual rather than a data point, a trend that will continue to be driven by younger audiences who value brands that are transparent, authentic, and personal.
No matter the tactic, the fundamental purpose of personalizing any campaign is to boost engagement by telling the user you understand their need. Communicating your own message by listening to their needs first will always prove to be worth the research, planning, and testing effort. Delighting the modern consumer is going to take some analytics-grit, but doing your marketing homework before investing in any large personalization initiative will pay off in 2020.
If anyone is looking for a strong example of the impact of website personalization, they don’t need to look any further than this year’s redesign of ESPN.com. ESPN’s move shouldn’t come as a surprise—after all, most enterprises redesign their websites every 18-to-24 months. But the reason that ESPN received so much attention is that it made one very significant strategic shift—its new website adapts to the person who is viewing it.
Some of the techniques that were built into the site allow it to reflect the location, preferences, interests and the device of each of its visitors. For example, it can predict (within reason-more on that later) your favorite team based on its best guess on your location. Once preferences are determined, it can prioritize relevant content every time you return to the site. That means the dynamic delivery of relevant content, a tailor-made river of information that is constantly updated.
ESPN certainly isn’t a pioneer in website personalization—after all, Amazon has been delivering that type of individualized content for years. But ESPN has figured out what every enterprise company needs to learn: Website visitors across all industries and sectors now expect at least some level of a customized experience. In fact, according to one recent survey, three-quarters of online consumers get frustrated when websites offer content that has nothing to do with their interests.
In other words, enterprise organizations that don’t start offering a more personalized experience will soon see their target audience abandoning their websites—resulting in lost opportunities for conversion, and, ultimately, lost revenues.
Here are four tips to help get you on your way to a better customized experience for your visitors:
Go Mobile First. This means installing technology that identifies the various devices that visitors use to view your content. First and foremost, Google rewards mobile-friendly sites in its page ranking, and is beginning to penalize those that aren’t. Viewers using their mobile devices need to be easily able to access content on those devices, and that requires a far different design than for a desktop or laptop.
Recognize the Buyer’s Journey. A first time visitor is going to need different types of content than someone who has already visited the site on several occasions. That means more general explanatory content for first-time visitors, with content moving towards specific questions and specifications as they move through the journey and towards a purchasing decision.
Use the Best Tools for Persona-based Content. Cookie technology is a necessity to understand and track where returning visitors have been on the site, what types of information they have sought, and what they might need next. Anticipating their needs and interests will result in a significant increase in conversion, and a decrease in frustration.
Allow Visitors to Contribute Their Own Personalization Settings. In the case of ESPN, it might seem obvious to assume that a visitor from Washington, D.C., was a Washington Nationals fan. translate But they could just as easily be a Baltimore Orioles lover. Checking in with that visitor directly will deliver better engagement, and better results.