Three ways to personalise your marketing strategy

The key to creating a successful, personalised marketing strategy lies in overcoming three key challenges, says Brendan O’Kane.

Personalisation, ‘individualisation’, contextual marketing… the top marketing buzzwords of 2016 all speak to the same concern: Consumers today expect branded offers and promotions to match their interests and buying habits.OtherLevels - Brendan-OKane Headshot

Retail customers are now four times more likely to respond to personalised offers and marketing messages than to generic marketing.

Marketers know they need to rise to the personalisation challenge, but it’s no easy feat – even for large brands: Less than 10% of tier one retailers believe they are highly effective at personalisation.

To drive stronger outcomes, marketers have to take their strategies further. Personalisation is not just about customising the content of a message or offer: It’s about addressing each individual customer’s preferences in a holistic, high-impact way.millennial women with mobile phone -ThinkstockPhotos-479785966

Below are three challenges that could be inhibiting your company’s personalisation performance:

The single-channel challenge

77% of Australian marketers still see email as their number one channel, but its significance is steadily declining now that 25% of consumers interact with at least three devices daily. For a consumer to truly care about your offer, it should be timely, relevant… and it should actually reach the consumer on their preferred channel.

Embrace new avenues for delivering personalised content. Offering as many options as possible, through a cross-channel personalisation strategy, can enable you to reach 100 percent of your audience. How so? By targeting each recipient on the exact channel the individual person prefers across apps, mobile web and desktop.

Close-up hand holding mobile phone with analyzing graph against people in business conference and presentation background

Massive segments

A huge key to personalised marketing is value. Any offer, across any channel, must provide the end recipient with something useful and actionable in order to earn that customer’s click or conversion.

Speaking to a large audience at one time could limit your brand’s message. Oftentimes, most brands choose traditional standards when segmenting out their customer lists – using only basic demographic information such as gender or location to target large swaths of their audience all at once. Modern digital savvy consumers see through this and expect more.

Personalisation requires a more granular approach. More data-driven customer profiling can help you segment your offers and communications out to smaller groups based on data points like recency, frequency of interaction and amount typically spent – driving higher value to more targeted, motivated user segments.

Reaching millennials with mobile

Selling versus engaging

Most marketers measure the impact of their personalisation efforts using email-driven metrics, such as open rates and clicks, and measure marketing outcomes against each campaign’s performance. From there, they use tactics like A/B testing – a tool further explained in a recent case study with IHG – to improve performance over time.

But that is only one part of the marketing mix.

Effective personalisation is a cycle that starts with engagement: The more your customers interact with your brand, the more data they provide, the more personalised (and higher value) offers you can deliver as a result.

The benefits are clearest with younger consumers: 60% of millennials would be more likely to make a purchase after spending more time engaging with a brand’s content.

Getting customers of all ages to engage with your content, through cross-channel digital messaging and other low-cost engagement strategies, is what takes personalisation beyond just a buzzword – and it’s another step toward reaching 100% of your user base with every single campaign.

Brendan O’Kane is a digital marketer at Other Levels


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