5 Ways to Personalize the Marketing Experience

As millennials, we are often classified as being the #MeGeneration. We proudly blast our accomplishments over social media, made selfies a thing, and expect to be have our needs met...yesterday.

While our elders may classify these characteristics as entitlement, or even worse--narcissism--as a member of generation Y, I think this assessment is an oversimplification.

Due to our high standards, we have revolutionized the customer service and marketing experience. Whereas our parents may have tolerated generic telemarketing calls (or as my parents politely referred to them, nuisance calls), today we get service catered to our specific needs.

Marketers need to step up their game to understand our lifestyle and the challenges we face in order to stay relevant. They need to target us in a manner that’s casual, natural, and doesn’t interfere with our day-to-day lives. While we may have been the catalyst in the rise of individualized marketing tactics, other generations are onboard for the ride, as they too have grown to expect marketers to become more in tune with their specific buying habits. In fact, 74% of customers report feeling annoyed with brands when they receive content or advertisements that are not specific to their needs.

As a result, businesses have had to dig deeper to get insights into their customers’ preferences. Hence, the rise of big data and the subsequent evolution of precision marketing and predictive analytics. Because we have access to a huge amount of information, businesses have developed computers that can quickly analyze that data in order to discover patterns in buyer behavior and personal preferences. Since personalizing the marketing experience is difficult on your own, tools that take advantage of big data are highly useful in delivering that customized experience we expect.

Here are 5 exciting ways to get personalization right:

1. Run targeted campaigns

Imagine you’re a big time CMO. Your deep involvement in your own corporation often results in being a bit out of touch with the everyday wants and needs of your customers. In one of my very first jobs, I found this first hand. I was working under an executive in the fashion industry who wanted to market very expensive, high-end dresses to moms in Middle America.

Having no big-data or analytics, I tried to get a better idea of our target market through regional mom blogs. It quickly became obvious that saving money was a top concern of the very individuals this executive wanted to target--making our products pretty irrelevant. This lack of understanding of the basic realities of the customer resulted in a largely unsuccessful campaign that wasted time, money, and effort.

This type of situation could have been easily avoided if the company acquired deep behavioral insights into specific user segments instead of wasting time with failed research. Luckily, there are a few up and coming platforms that do just that. With big data and predictive analytics tools, you can combat one size fit all campaigns by obtaining insights from the analysis of particular behavioral patterns, buying habits, and other attributes. Such technologies are also able to assess the best marketing interaction for each individual, enabling organizations to make smarter, and more precise marketing decisions catered to fit real people. As a result, marketers are able to create powerful marketing campaigns that truly hit home for their target audience.

2. Customize your social media marketing strategy

Perhaps the most telling platform out there, social media has a lot to contribute in terms of individualized marketing. There, you can easily divide your customer base into segments based on age, gender, location, and more. While these basics are great, what really makes social such an intelligent marketing tool is its ability to dig deeper into the lives of your target audience.

Through social, you see not only your customer’s basic identity, but also their thoughts, inner feelings, people and activities they like, and so on. As a result, you actually get an in-depth understanding of your customer in a way that the marketers of yesteryear can only dream of.

That’s the beauty of tools such social customization tools. Such tools let you get an inside look at your followers’ conversations regarding your brand. As a result, you gain a great amount of relevant insights and can derive various patterns that help you to cater your content, for a more enthusiastic following and greater ROI.

3. Get in touch with your customers

Nobody knows your customers better than your customers themselves. Therefore, actually getting in touch with them is a great place to start in order to successfully personalize their experience.

From online chat to customized emails and in-app messages, to feedback and customer support--taking advantage of such tools and strategies ensures that customers are heard so marketers can cater directly to their specific needs.

4. Individualize your user journey

Especially in ecommerce, personalization is becoming more critical than ever. With so many sites to choose from, customers are only going to buy from the one that is able to capture their attention in a big way.

By taking advantage of tools which offer a customized onsite user journey, you make a statement that you care about your customers’ needs and understand their  and tailored search bar which intuitively understands the context and application of your customers’ searches. It’s autocomplete fills in answers based on their natural language so customers can easily find what they are looking for.

In addition, think about using curated landing pages which display products geared to particular user segments. As a result, users are pulled in based on their particular product preferences, making them much more likely to go through with the purchase.

5. Customize your content

If you are at all involved in the marketing world, you know that content is a must. Producing content, whether it's in the form of a blog, video, picture, or infographic helps your user-base to connect to your brand as a resource. In essence, you offer them solutions, and they gain a deep respect and connection to your brand.

All of this is all well and good except for the fact that each person has unique problems. As a result, the type of content they crave will vary significantly. By utilizing tools that get insights into your users’ various needs, you can better understand the types of content they find valuable, and blow them away with useful advice and individualized content they can use everyday.

So while millennials get a bad rap for our so called “me first” culture and desire for instant gratification, a little self-love in this case has gone a long way. Because of the larger cultural push towards individualism when it comes to marketing, sales, and customer service--businesses are now required to do more to build positive, mutually beneficial relationships with their customers. Not only does this help to improve the products and services we love, but it also ensures the entire experience is more fluid and genuine.

Lauren Sirt is an avid writer, passionate about the world of high-tech and innovation. She loves to keep up with trending topics and write all about the startup world.