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Personalization at scale: How to connect personally with a mass audience

Dive into the realm of data-driven customization and learn how to elevate your brand's engagement and conversion rates effortlessly.

Rose McMillan · March 25, 2024
Personalization at scale: How to connect personally with a mass audience

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Every company wants their marketing efforts to stand out from their competitors. The best marketing campaigns connect with their audience by targeting their needs and creating bespoke messaging.

Personalized marketing isn’t new, but many companies struggle to make their efforts count. Personalization at scale goes beyond simply identifying your customers by name, you need to segment your audience thoroughly.

In this article, we'll explain what personalization at scale is, its benefits, and how it can lead to higher customer engagement, revenue, and ROI.

What is personalized marketing?

Personalized marketing is a strategy that involves tailoring marketing efforts and messages to specific individuals or groups. These groups are created based on their characteristics, interests, preferences, behavior, and demographics.

This strategy requires data and technology to create customized experiences for consumers. When done correctly it can boost engagement and ultimately drive conversion and customer satisfaction. Personalized marketing can be done across a range of marketing channels including social media, website content, email marketing and product recommendations.

What is personalization at scale?

Personalization at scale refers to companies delivering tailored and targeted marketing to a large audience or customer base. This content is created in line with your collected customer data meaning every customer receives content that’s tailored to their specific needs.

This approach requires automation technology to do the heavy lifting as companies need to share their specialized and individual content with a wide range of consumers.

What are the benefits of personalized marketing?

Personalized marketing comes with a host of benefits, from understanding customer pain points to improving customer relationships and improving success rates.

Let's explore the benefits of personalized marketing strategies in more detail.

Drive revenue

Personalized marketing is a more cost-effective strategy compared to traditional advertising as you're almost guaranteed to receive a higher level of engagement. When you send out general marketing communications, some, if not most, of your audience will likely have no interest or use for the product.

Not only is this a waste of resources, but it also limits your potential return on investment (ROI). Personalized recommendations can drive customers to spend more, in fact almost half of shoppers have said that they have made impulse purchases based on brand suggestions.

One study found that personalized marketing can increase sales by up to 10% and increase marketing ROI eight times; making it a no-brainer for businesses.

Improved customer experience

When customers know you understand their needs, they're more likely to trust you and your business. By creating personalized experiences you're showing customers that you identify with their pain points making the whole customer journey simple.

This approach changes the buying process from a typical transaction into a strong customer relationship. When customers trust you they’ll trust your recommendations and believe that you truly understand their needs.

Increase customer loyalty and retention

When customers feel heard and understood, they're more likely to feel valued. Personalized experiences help improve the overall customer journey, increase customer loyalty, and encourage positive word-of-mouth.

65% of a company's business comes from repeat customers, which is why keeping your consumer base happy is crucial. Personalization can help you earn the loyalty of your customers. In fact, 80% of self-identified frequent shoppers choose to buy from brands that provide personalized shopping experiences.

Personalized marketing has gone way beyond simply using a customer's name. The average consumer sees 1,700 advertisements each month, and a personalization strategy is key to cutting through this noise and reaching your target market.

Other emerging trends include:

  • 45% of Millennials and Gen-Z want more personalized shopping experiences
  • Personalized services are the third-most sought-after e-commerce tactic
  • A 50% increase in email open rates for emails with personalized subject lines
  • 70% of shoppers only respond to marketing materials tailored to their interests
  • 75% of consumers are more likely to buy after receiving personalized recommendations.

What are some examples of personalized marketing strategies?

Targeted emails

Personalized emails are a great way to reach your target audience. Marketers can create and send bespoke emails to different customer segments and audiences depending on their demographics.

Marketers rely on valuable first-party data to segment their audience. They may collect customer data via sign-up forms, newsletters, or gated content and use this to determine what marketing messages to send to each group.

Fear of missing out (FOMO)

Customers hate missing out - so make the most of it! Some companies choose to capitalize on this by how many people are viewing their products or have bought it recently.

E-commerce sites incorporate FOMO through personalized messaging to try and convince customers to make a purchase. It lightly pressures the potential buyer to purchase to avoid missing out on a trending product.

Account-based marketing (ABM)

Account-based marketing is a common B2B strategy that involves sales and marketing teams tailoring a specific pitch to an organization. While traditional marketing strategies focus on casting a wide net, an ABM strategy targets specifically chosen clients.

A big part of this strategy involves selecting ideal candidates. The process can be expensive but the chances of conversion are much higher leading to better overall profits.

Product recommendations

Product recommendations rely on data collection to determine the type of product, service, or offer a user will most likely be interested in and tailor their recommendations accordingly.

Typically used by e-commerce and entertainment platforms. For example, if a user frequently uses a video streaming platform to watch comedies, the platform will continue to suggest related content that they’ll likely enjoy. This allows customers to filter through these choices and make a more informed decision with more chance of success.

Social media marketing

Social media platforms are a key marketing channel for many businesses. It's a way for digital marketers to manage their customer interactions by having direct conversations with customers.

Highly personalized marketing messaging helps marketers collect worthwhile responses. This detailed customer data can help you improve communication and drive conversions.

Challenges with personalized marketing

Gathering data without hassling customers

Customer data is a crucial component of creating a personalized marketing strategy. You must have enough information to accurately predict how someone will respond to a certain product, service, or scenario. A customer relationship management system (CRM) can make storing the data simple but you need to look to find ways to collect it that don't have too big an impact on your client base.

There are two main ways that companies gather data:

  1. Web analytics: These are pieces of code on your site that track what products your customers look at while online. While the code doesn't have any effect on the customer experience, some people don't like seeing ads for products that they have recently viewed or interacted with.

  2. Customer surveys and forms: These are much more transparent so customers often feel more comfortable interacting with them. They can sometimes be time-consuming, so you may find that participants fail to complete longer forms.

There is no one right way to go about data collection. Instead, you need to assess what works best for your company and customers. Sourcing the right data is very important, so it may take time to find the method that works for you.

Find the right balance

While some customers appreciate brands that target them and their interests, it's important not to overdo it. Some companies like to utilize retargeted ads to speak to their customers, however, only 6% of consumers enjoy this approach.

It's important to strike the right balance to show that any personalized content you're providing has value, and isn't just an excuse to excessively advertise. Your personalized marketing strategy should also respect prospect privacy but avoid mentioning it so much that your audience begins to get worried about their confidentiality.

Allocate resources effectively

Developing an effective personalized marketing strategy takes time, work hours, and funds but you also need the right tools. Marketing automation tools can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, reducing the amount of time your staff spends planning and actioning your strategy.

Marketing automation technology needs to be planned, targeted, and tracked. Tech can handle mundane and repetitive tasks like consolidating and storing data so you and your team can focus on the big-picture stuff like project management.

CRM tools help you to keep track of your funnel so you can plan your resource allocation more effectively.

How to implement personalization at scale

Centralize your customer data

The first step is to collate all your customer data sources into one easy-to-access space, like a CRM. You want to have enough data to plot the customer journey, without this, you will struggle to scale your personalization strategy.

To make the most of your data you need to consider:

Single customer view

This is a comprehensive database that contains each of your customer profiles including their purchase history, site activity, and product recommendations. This approach helps businesses to gain a complete understanding of their customers to help them create targeted audience segments.

Without a single customer view, achieving personalized experiences is almost impossible.

Commerce data

E-commerce personalization requires a combination of customer and product data, often referred to as commerce data. By integrating customer data such as clothing size with information about specific products, businesses can serve hyper-personalized product recommendations.

Commerce data is the key element you need to implement personalization across your customer journeys.

Create an omnichannel strategy

An omnichannel strategy helps you to deliver personalized interactions across all customer touchpoints and integrate all your marketing channels.

This all-inclusive strategy helps you tailor your customer journey based on real-time triggers, customer segments, conditions, and integrated marketing channels (including email and SMS). You can use these triggers to share personalized offers that convert.

Leverage AI and automation

AI and machine learning tools can automate manual tasks, streamlining processes like lead management, retargeting, and personalized content creation across all your marketing channels.

Practical uses include:

  1. Automated welcome sequence: Tailoring onboarding experiences for prospects and new customers through highly targeted and personalized welcome emails.

  2. Product recommendations: Providing relevant suggestions for products to inspire additional purchases across different touchpoints, including top-seller recommendations, rating-based recommendations, and cross-sell recommendations.

Conclusion

Customers expect a personal touch from businesses. When implemented right, a personalized marketing strategy could be the difference between a one-off sale and a lifetime customer.

Striking the right balance is key. You want your customers to know that you value them, but come on too strong and they could find your approach annoying.

The first step to any personalized marketing journey is managing customer data. Companies with a successful personalized marketing strategy invest in the right tools to streamline their processes.

Capsule CRM helps you store all your essential customer info in one easy-to-access account, so you can have everything you need at your fingertips.

Find out how Capsule CRM can help your personalized marketing strategy by trying it free for 14 days.