Learn how to begin personalizing each interaction with your customers to help build brand loyalty.
How do you build brand loyalty in a world of increasing choices?
You personalize the customer experience.
If you want to build trust with your potential prospects and improve your chances of acquiring customers (and keeping them), a half-hearted approach won’t cut it with today’s competition, no matter your industry.
Personalizing the customer experience will ensure you reach potential customers and keep current customers coming back to your business.
What Is Personalization?
You know you have an incredibly valuable product or service. But if you don’t share it with the right target audience and show how it can be useful for their specific situation, it can be nearly impossible to acquire a customer.
For example, your software can potentially help dozens of industries improve their employee retention. But if your marketing is targeted toward a general audience, customers who could benefit might struggle to connect the dots as to how your product or service can help them.
Personalization in your marketing and sales strategy is about using the information and data you’ve collected to help craft the perfect offer that speaks to the individual customers and prospects you intend to serve. A personalized experience can often be the difference between a new sale and a missed opportunity.
Why Should Your Organization Care About Personalization?
If you were to open your inbox right now, you would see a handful of emails from your favorite companies referring to you by your real name.
While simple on the surface, there’s something about seeing a well-known brand address you as if they were a friend. Of course, personalization in marketing goes beyond a customized greeting in an email.
While simple on the surface, there’s something about seeing a well-known brand address you as if they were a friend.
Marketing involves multiple real-life humans deciding whether a product or service is right for them. Leveraging the power of relevant data and analytics to help demonstrate the value of your product or service can significantly improve your chances of helping prospective customers. And that will help turn them into current customers.
Recent statistics on personalization couldn’t be clearer: Personalization improves your brand's reputation, increases sales, and helps improve your conversion process.
Here are just a couple of stats about the power of personalization:
- 75% of business buyers expect companies to send their company personalized offers.
- 70% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important for companies to provide a personalized experience for their company.
- 65% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to their business.
- 79% of organizations that exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy, according to monetate.
- “87% of consumers surveyed say that personally relevant branded content positively influences how they feel about a brand,” according to OneSpot.
It’s clear that brands and sales teams that go the extra mile and enhance their prospects’ and customers’ experience through personalization often see incredible ROI on their investments.
So, how do you go about implementing personalization in your business for the maximum results? It starts with the data you collect.
Make Your Data Work for You
Effective personalization begins with collecting and connecting data from across your entire organization. Brands see a lot of disconnected data, but when you can build individual customer profiles and continuously add to those profiles, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships with customers over time.
“True 1:1 personalization means recognizing and relating to an individual with truly individualized experiences that offer value and meaning throughout the buyer journey,” according to the team at the customer identity company, Signal.
You and your team need to be looking for ways to help customize each prospective customer’s experience to fit their specific needs throughout the customer journey. It’s going to take more than a friendly greeting for truly effective customer personalization.
If you’re selling communication software to help mid-sized businesses, for example, and a current prospect is head of marketing at a nonprofit, you and your team should tailor the demo specifically to how the software can help nonprofits – helping the prospective customer see what the product can do for his or her company.
The more relevant information on prospects and customers you can collect, the better you can serve them what they need. Many potential customers are happy to share more information about themselves with the expectation that they will have a more personalized experience.
Examples of Personalization
Here are a few real-world examples of how you can use personalization to improve your conversions and customer satisfaction.
A great example of personalization comes from Hilton. The company understands that value is different for each of its guests.
Mark Weinstein, Hilton’s senior vice president and global head of loyalty, partnerships, and customer engagement, discussed the Hilton Honors rewards program with DMNews.com.
“It’s about our loyalty back to customers,” he said. “So often you hear brands use the word loyalty, and what they're talking about is customers consolidating their spend to the brand. That certainly is an important step. We'd love to have their business, and we know that we have to earn it every day, but the loyalty aspect is what we deliver back to the customer. It really is about understanding how we can serve different customer needs differently — that it's not a one-size-fits-all model.”
Hilton’s personalized rewards model keeps people returning to its hotels.
Social Media Engagement
Although automated data collection plays a significant role in an effective personalization strategy, engaging with your prospects and customers on social media is yet another effective way to build trust and engage with your target audience.
A single tweet or reply on Facebook may not show immediate results to your bottom line, but over time, the relationship and trust you build through engaging on social media can have a considerable impact when it comes time for your prospects to make their buying decision.
Here’s a simple reply from CoSchedule to a marketing strategy consultant who tweeted an article published on CoSchedule’s blog.
It’s a simple reply that shows the team at CoSchedule appreciates that the tweeter read and shared the article.
Would you rather purchase from a brand that has engaged with you on social media and promptly answered your questions or an organization that leaves you waiting in an online chat queue for over an hour?
Even for B2B companies, social media engagement can be a powerful tool to build trust and strengthen the authority of your brand in your industry.
Personalization also allows you to offer relevant information to your prospects and customers based on their past behavior.
So, going back to Hilton as an example – the company sends timely and relevant emails to its loyalty members based on their preferences, such as the destinations customers are interested in going to. Hilton gets that information from the customers’ stated preferences.
If you know that certain long-time customers might find one of your upcoming products useful, you can reach out to them directly and share why it might make sense for their business.
Providing relevant recommendations based on the trust and relationship you’ve built with your customers will go a long way.
Invest in Personalization
Whether you’ve experimented with personalization in your sales and marketing process before or are just looking to get started, investing in delivering an exceptional experience starts with taking personalization seriously.
It’s an everyday process, something that you always have to be aware and on top of. Effective personalization requires truly caring about your customers and prospective clients. This could be done by personally responding about your product on social media, tailoring an offer specific to just one customer’s needs, or however you decide to personalize the experience with your company.
Always be looking for new ways to improve the personalization experience, and embrace the idea that personalization is a key part of growth for your business.
Whether it’s replying to a question about your product on social media or tailoring an offer specific to one customer's needs, those who fail to embrace personalization will struggle to keep up with those who do.