It used to be that for multi-channel brand marketers and e-commerce directors simply gathering data and market research was a win for a brand and its sales teams. In the last few years, marketers and analysts alike have been trying to get their arms around big data, both from an online and offline perspective.
Consumers in B2C and business buyers in B2B expect more and more personalization of shopping experiences. So whether you market a small business or are a CMO of an enterprise level organization, you need to know some solid basics about Digital Personalization.
Why Digital Personalization is Essential for Online Marketers
In B2B website marketing, success comes from low bounce rates and, primarily, qualified lead acquisition. In e-commerce, success comes from increasingly visible online sales, reduced shopping cart abandonment, improved cross-selling, upselling, reviews and product social shares. Online customers are fickle, with the average site visitor in most categories staying on sites for less than 3 seconds if you are lucky. More and more, site visitors expect an excellent, tailored user experience on the desktop, mobile phone and tablet.
To engage with customers, as a rule of thumb, you need to know them first. Building detailed User Profiles per customer, as we know in U/X, is a step one in functional planning for any website. Customers will stay longer when you cater to them individually based on their makeup, interests and behaviors.
As Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO of Monetate, the global leader in personalization whose platform powers multi-channel personalization for enterprise level companies, stated in an interview with me earlier this week: “No two customers or buyers are exactly the same. Their situations, their makeup and even their location in real time matters to their shopping experience.”
Why Digital Personalization is Essential for Multi-Channel Marketing
Customers and B2B prospects aren’t just online. In social selling today, we understand the importance of developing relationships one on one, both online and in an integrated approach. As Lucinda so eloquently stated “Selling is personalized marketing.”
We know that customers are searching online while in store. We also know that influence marketing is a core component of how shopping is trending in the future. To engage today’s sophisticated shopper and content generator of reviews, we need to personalize their shopping and buying experience from end to end.
The Keys to Digital Personalization for Any Size Brand
Personalized Marketing can be as extensive as what a company like Monetate does for Office Depot and improving their ROI by 15x in one month as a result of serving specific customers content and offers online based on their specific makeup, location, shopping interests and behaviors, or it can be as simple as segmenting your LinkedIn 1st network as a B2B marketer, reviewing a prospect profile and reaching out to them with an Inmail or campaign that aligns directly with their buying interests.
In my many LinkedIn Marketing posts on ClickZ, I have discussed the importance of quality over quantity and creating one on one relationships that support online to offline conversions. Now, in what Lucinda calls “Level 5 of personalized marketing”, that kind of B2B solution selling can be applied to B2C brands through understanding customers in real time by analysis of key website data.
If you as a marketer, brand representative or agency are not thinking about digital personalization, you should. Personalized Marketing has become even more important as consumers take control of their own buying experiences. Begin to assess who you are serving and what is important to them. Any size brand can gain data insight, even from the smallest sample of customers.
Once you begin to personalize your client shopping experience, you will start to see real gains, not only in sales, but in brand loyalty because your customers will feel that you get them and aren’t broadcasting or selling, but simply serving their needs.
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