Did you know the average consumer now receives over 1 million marketing messages per day? Just think about it. Television, radio, online advertising, social media, bill boards, newspaper, printed flyers, product placements, bumper stickers, t-shirts, hats……it is no wonder it is becoming increasingly difficult to break through the noise to be seen and heard. So how can we as marketers, small business owners and non-profits continue to be effective in getting our message out? The answer is through marketing customization and personalization.
What is the difference between customization and personalization?
The term “customization” refers to a company’s ability to produce products and services that meet the needs of an individual consumer group, often known as the “target market.” This group is then presented with products and services along with options to customize to their specific needs. At Plumb Marketing, for example, we work with several membership groups to offer new member welcome kits and ongoing communications. While each organization has a kit that is fulfilled and sent, each organization’s kit is customized with their branding, welcome letter and any components they may desire to be sent, such as a hat, t-shirt, luggage tag, et al.
The term “personalization” refers to a company’s ability to react (and eventually be proactive) to the consumer’s previous behaviors as it relates to a brand or a product sector. Variable data merges like those you see in email marketing or an addressed letter (i.e. Dear Mary) are excellent examples of personalization. With today’s technologies, we are also exploring new options to personalize B2B (business to business) marketing. One new option we will be bringing in to Plumb Marketing is the ability to “rip” business names, logos and essential branding elements from the world wide web and create personalized items. This personalization technique can be used on apparel and other marketing collateral to gain the attention of the consumer.
How can you stand out?
The key to embracing customization and personalization is to constantly be monitoring how your clients and prospects engage with your brand then apply this knowledge to your marketing efforts. Here are a few ideas:
- Use segmentation in your email marketing and apply to direct mail campaigns. As people sign up (or you sign them up), make note of lead source, client/prospect status, previous purchases and click through rates on links within emails. Then begin to send targeted communications around your findings.
- Leverage new technology, such as remarketing programs, to follow your consumers through social and website activity with advertising based on their most recent searches and interests.
- Go deeper then just a first name on a mailer. Really show value by diving deep into the personas of your buyers and speak to their language, interests and experiences. Then apply these findings to all marketing efforts for that segment, essentially speaking to your customer in their words.
The fact is that when marketing customization and personalization is done well, a recent study by the European Journal of Marketing reports that, “Customization increases perceived service quality, customer satisfaction, customer trust, and ultimately customer loyalty toward a service provider.”
Not sure how to speak to your ideal client? Knowing them is the first step. Download our ideal client development tool and get started with customizing your marketing message today!
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