How Personalized Should Marketing Be?

At one point in time, all marketing was personal. The bank
teller knew your name, the door-to-door salesman knocked on your
door, and the car dealer knew what you liked in a car because he
lived a single block away. That time, however, is now long
gone.

The advent of websites and email led to mass-marketing
techniques that could reach many people in a short period of time,
but at the expense of personalization. However, companies today
understand that
personalization in marketing
remains important. After all,
people like to feel like a product or service message is tailored
specifically for them.

So how can a company develop personalized programs while still
driving ROI? Are there any secret weapons? I wanted to know the
answer, so I asked a panel of experienced digital marketers, CMOs,
and agency creatives to share their thoughts on a
Currnt KnowledgeStream
. The following are some of the key
takeaways.

Understand Your Audience

Knowing your audience and how they behave in a variety of
situations will lead to better and more personalized experiences.
Alex Doward said
that a good way to understand your audience is to
come up with personas
, or the types of people that consume your
content. Then, define how that content will be different based on
those personas.

For example, people visiting your website using their desktop
computer might be better served with a different form of content
than people visiting your website on their mobile, because you’ve
identified that the people visiting your site on their mobile are a
different kind of people. They’re more suited to a different kind
of content than the ones visiting your site using their desktop
computer.

It’s About Your Product

Once you’ve defined your personas and have a better
understanding of your audience, it’s tempting to personalize your
content everywhere. However, as mentioned by Abbas Ravat, your
personalization ultimately still needs to be about your product. It
needs to lead to better brand recognition, more sales, and more
market share.

That’s why
Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke”
campaign was so successful. It
turned personalization on its head. Instead of asking for
people’s names in an attempt to personalize their content, Coca
Cola printed a wide variety of names on their bottles. People
wanted a Coke bottle with their name on it, and
Coke’s market share
increased worldwide.

Don’t Over-Personalize

Closely related to the point above, marketers also need to make
sure they’re not over-personalizing. Your content should not come
across as creepy or smug. The customer should always have options
and should definitely not feel as if they’re being watched. You
might think this is easy to avoid, but it’s not. It’s a thin
line that’s easy to cross.

Paul Belle Isle
says that personalization should be about adding value. Use it to
make a genuine connection or to make your product or service more
relevant. Think of Chipotle, where you can make your own burrito
just as you like it.

These were only a few of the points that the panelists made
about the importance of personalization in marketing. Curious to
know more? Head over to our
Currnt KnowledgeStream
. And feel free to give your own opinion!
We have an open forum and we welcome your contributions.

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Personalized Should Marketing Be?
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How Personalized Should Marketing Be?