Wouldn’t it be great if marketers could customize their marketing message to every single one of their buyers? We might not be quite there yet, but we’re closer than ever to achieving that 1:1 marketing ideal. If you were at Connections or Dreamforce 2013, this shouldn’t be news to you — in fact, if you were at either of these conferences, you probably noticed that the marketing industry is progressing almost too quickly for us to keep up with it.
The reason for this? The development of more and more marketing technologies designed to make our lives easier, improve sales insights, help us personalize our marketing messages, and more. Even tools like marketing automation, which sound impersonal by name, can help us achieve our goal to market to our buyers on that 1:1 level.
Let’s take a look at a few ways that we can start personalizing our marketing with some of these new technologies.
One of the biggest hurdles for marketers has been moving away from batch-and-blast style email messaging to a more personalized approach. Instead of sending out mass emails, marketers can now segment their email lists by location, industry, job title — any manner of criteria. And with marketing automation, these emails can be customized with variable tags and signatures that make emails appear as though they’re coming from individual sales reps or members of your team. This is especially helpful in the case of lead nurturing, where a personalized message from a rep at the right time can help move an indecisive buyer from one stage of the sales cycle to the next.
In today’s marketing landscape, in which your buyers expect messages to be delivered to them at the right time, it’s important to be everywhere that your buyers are — and that means mobile and social. A great example of this in action is Salesforce1, salesforce.com’s new customer platform (downloadable as a mobile app). With the introduction of Salesforce1, customer-centric marketing has reached a new level — one where we can access a hyperconnected world of customers, from their interests to their social data, just by clicking on our mobile phones. With that kind of powerful technology already in place, imagine where we can take 1:1 marketing in just a few years (or even months).
Customer-centric marketing isn’t limited to social media, mobile, and email. You can extend that 1:1 experience to your website through dynamic content, in the same way that Amazon creates personalized shopping experiences for their customers by displaying suggested items based on purchase history. With a technology that comes with dynamic content functionality, like marketing automation, you can display specific pieces of content on your site depending on who your viewer is, helping to personalize your buyer’s journey right from the start. Not only does automation give you the ability to use dynamic content, you can also fully sync with your CRM so that sales and marketing can have full insight into prospect data, which can be used to personalize the sales process even further.
Marketers realized the potential of social media a long time ago, both for content distribution and community management. Your buyers are using social channels to air their grievances, search for products, and share information that would be impossible to access otherwise. Social media is the ideal stomping ground for marketers and salespeople, and it’s also a great channel for cultivating those 1:1 customer relationships. Don’t be afraid to reach out via social on a one-to-one basis — just use common sense, and make sure you're not crossing the line and being intrusive.
Not only is it becoming easier to personalize your marketing content, it’s becoming more important. Your buyers expect a personalized sales experience when going through the research process, and it’s up to us to deliver it.