Personalized marketing is more or less what the name suggests: marketing practices that focus on personalizing the message directly to the individual. What exactly this means and how it is implemented varies widely. Marketing firms can use personalization for everything ranging from email marketing campaigns to suggested products to personalized digital content. As technology advances, so too do the possibilities and scope of personalized marketing. Personalization looks to increase even further in 2020 and beyond.
With all of this in mind, what does personalized marketing look like today? To answer this question, we will first define a few of the key types of personalized marketing, identify some of the latest personal marketing trends, and finally make a case for why adopting personalized digital marketing is a no-brainer in most cases.
Types of Personalized Marketing
Personalized marketing is sometimes also referred to as individual marketing or one-to-one marketing. One definition states that personalized marketing is “the implementation of a strategy by which companies deliver individualized content to recipients through data collection, analysis, and the use of automation technology.” Yet this doesn’t tell the whole story. To better understand real-world applications, here are a few different types of personalized marketing being used today:
- Rules-based personalization (prescriptive personalization): this form of personalized marketing strives to anticipate customer needs and deliver on those needs. This might include placing prospective clients into certain behavioral silos like those who prefer online shopping vs. those who prefer in-person shopping and tailoring marketing materials accordingly.
- Content filtering: many modern companies have more than enough content to go around. Deciding which content will be most relevant to which individuals/companies often requires content filtering.
- Personalized recommendation engines: using algorithms based on consumer behaviors, companies like Netflix and Amazon have personalized user experiences to deliver the viewing and/or shopping experience that best meets their customers’ needs.
- Feedback personalization: in some instances, it may be possible to simply ask your customers what they prefer. This might include allowing them to choose themes for their user interface, choose from different settings, and much more.
Personalized Marketing Trends in 2020 and Beyond
Now that we have covered the basics of personalized marketing, let’s explore some of the latest industry trends.
Every marketing firm on earth (the ones that are doing their jobs, anyway) practices some form of personalized marketing in 2020. Consumers have come to a point where they expect their favorite brands to remember their name and their purchase history. So where do we go from here? Hyper-personalization is the natural next step for personalized marketing. Understanding the exact cross-section for consumer demographics, purchase history, personal preference, and much more allows marketing firms to deliver content that is pinpoint targeted at each individual consumer.
Geo analysis and site evaluations
As an extension of this idea, leveraging the already-available data for consumers into actionable information is key. That is where geo analyses and site evaluations come into play. While site evaluations are nothing new, combining modern concepts like drive time analysis and big data allows marketing firms to reasonably predict which customers are more or less likely to behave in different ways. This means less wasted marketing materials, more personalization, and greater marketing efficiency overall.
The Benefits of Personalized Digital Marketing
So far we have mostly used high-level concepts to describe personalized marketing. The next question becomes: is focusing on personalized marketing really worth it? Here are a few key reasons why investing in personalized digital marketing is likely to pay dividends:
Personalized marketing takes advantage of the customer feedback loop. Customers in 2020 have a more emotional and personal attachment to their favorite brands than ever before. They want to know that their voice is being heard. Personalized marketing offers an opportunity to be both proactive and reactive when it comes to exceeding customer expectations.
Personalized digital marketing saves money in the long term. With the amount of raw data available to marketing firms today, there is no excuse for not tailoring marketing materials to individual and/or group needs. A highly personalized marketing message delivered to the right consumer(s) saves money, increases efficiency, and ultimately should improve conversions.
Customer experience is better with personalized marketing. Last but not least, personalized marketing and customization is a great way to improve the overall customer experience. While this might seem high level as well, customer experience satisfaction is one of the most important brand metrics when it comes to creating not just customers, but loyal brand advocates.
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