Personalized marketing is not a new concept. The practice of tailoring the message to better target the consumer is a tried and true marketing strategy. But while the digital world has made it possible to use ever more sophisticated methods of customization, a message that reads ‘Hey [First Name]! Are you in the market for pearl bracelets?’ doesn’t cut it any longer (if it ever did). Consumer demand for personal experience is on the rise. Three out of four customers want businesses to understand their individual needs and wants, and two out of three shoppers expect brands to anticipate needs. Over fifty percent of consumers expect every single interaction with a shopping site to be personalized. Thus, it should come as no surprise that many brands are spending over half their marketing budget on personalization. Nearly all (97%) of marketers who use personalization say that it boosts their bottom line. Personalization is the way of the future. But how do you personalize when it involves large and potentially diverse audiences? Keep reading to learn how to successfully optimize your marketing campaigns in 2023 and beyond. 

Why Personalize? 

Frustration at not being able to find what they’re looking for is a top complaint among consumers. Any business that wants to survive and thrive in today’s market must focus on some aspect of personalization in order to make the shopping experience a positive one. A digital world of constant ad bombardment combined with expectations of instant gratification means that irrelevant messages will be ignored and deleted without a second thought. Find great examples of successful personalized marketing approaches in this article about best SaaS marketing campaigns.

What is Hyper-Personalization? 

Hyper personalization involves integrating machine learning, AI, and real-time data. By combining elements of product and consumer data, algorithms deliver the most relevant products and services to shoppers. Hyper personalization means that no two visitors get the same customer experience.

Find a tutor for this topic

Find a tutor

What is Holistic Personalization?

As impressive as hyper personalization sounds, holistic personalization takes it a step further, optimizing the shopping experience every click along the way. Data from online behavior, brick-and-mortar visits, and even telemarketers are integrated to create a one-of-a-kind experience, anticipating the customers’ every need and desire. Benefits include more relevant marketing leads and a more positive experience for customers, leading to repeat business as well as stronger customer loyalty, all adding up to an optimized return on investment (ROI). 

How Do I Merge Customer Data?  

There’s tons of data out there, but how do you use it to your advantage? One of the challenges of working at scale is teasing out the relevant information. Begin by organizing your data. Too many businesses keep sales figures in one spot, browsing info in another, and abandoned cart details in yet another. By unifying your consumer data, you can make use of it in real time, getting more value out of it, and in turn offering your customer a better shopping experience. This is known as a single customer view. 

 How Do I Harness Commerce Data? 

 A database that contains purchase history, site visits and activity, other customer interactions, and past product or service recommendations are the first step in creating a curated experience for your audience. Customer data is of course essential, but it’s only one piece of effective personalized marketing. For maximum ROI, customer details must be combined with product information to create commerce data. An example of this is taking a customer’s clothing size and cross-referencing it with product availability. Add in the customer’s browsing history and prior purchases and you have a personalized experience. A customer data engine unifies your information, allowing you to hit a marketing home run more often. 

 How Do I Integrate Automation and AI? 

 Automation is a must-have for scaling personalized marketing. Automation takes over repetitive tasks, freeing up time and (human) brainpower which in turn improves productivity of everyone on staff. Examples of automation include an automated welcome, product recommendations, abandoned cart reminders and win-back programs. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are only getting more sophisticated and smarter every day, and they will be an essential component of marketing moving forward. 

 How Do I Develop an Omnichannel Strategy? 

 Customers expect to be able to have the same experience no matter where they shop. This means that another essential component of personalized marketing at scale is that it must provide a unified, seamless experience across all platforms, including mobile, desktop, email, social media, and even brick-and-mortar. With omnichannel strategies in place, real-time prompts take the consumer on a custom-tailored experience that will offer higher conversion rates. 

 How Do I Choose the Right Software? 

The right software is essential for personalized marketing at scale. Just as there is no single one-size-fits-all message for your customers, the right software will depend on your business needs. There aren’t quite as many programming choices as there are businesses, but there are still plenty. Some options include:  

  • HubSpot sends time-optimized emails and behavioral pop-ups as well as personalized lead forms and calls-to-action (CTAs) based on device type, referral source, and other consumer characteristics.  
  • Optin Monster: Reasonably priced, Optin Monster is a good choice for small and medium-sized brands, helping them to grow and define their audience. Whether you’re just starting an e-commerce business or have already got one underway, Optin Monster offers Shopify and WordPress plugins to easily and seamlessly set up or integrate into existing websites.  
  • Proof is another option for creating adjustable pages for a personalized experience. Text, images, and CTAs can all be swapped without any coding necessary, creating a unique campaign that is hyper-relevant to individual customers.  
  • Episerver uses machine learning to continuously improve accuracy over time. Not only can you customize the content, but also the timing of the delivery.  
  • Evergage focuses on business-to-business (B2B). It uses A/B testing with real-time analysis. It can also help with upselling and cross-selling.  
  • LiveChat is an inexpensive way to include chat support onto your site that is able to guide the shopper all the way from finding a product through the checkout process. It reduces customer stress and frustration and offers a genuinely personalized experience. 

These are just a few examples of what’s out there in personalized marketing software. There are many more worth looking into, as well as the untold number being developed every day. 

In Conclusion

Customers want to feel understood and valued. When they do, engagement and loyalty soar, and the very best form of marketing, word-of-mouth, also increases. Happy customers are returning customers, and positive reviews from trusted sources are marketing gold. Customers want and expect a personalized experience, and any business that wants to succeed must take notice. Do your research, find the right software for your needs, and leverage the best AI has to offer. It may take a little trial and error, but when it comes to your bottom line, it is well worth the effort.