Do you remember when there was a time you scrolled through your Instagram and liked some cliche quote saying, No one cares? Then the digital marketers say Hi. Psst we do care about you. As humans, our greatness lies in making others feel better. The same logic applies to personalization in marketing.
Personalization or customization refers to art of tailoring marketing efforts and messages to individual consumers based on their preferences, behaviours, and demographics.
Today, we are discussing what people expect from Personalisation in marketing and what they actually receive. It was there and will be there online in the form of Websites, Mobile Apps, Emails, Ads, Chats, and so on.
Personalisation in Marketing
Salesforce’s third edition of the State of the Connected Consumer report found that 64% of customers expect tailored engagement based on past interactions. It also found that 71% of customers expect companies to communicate with them in real time.
Better Consumer Experience
- It is scientifically proven that human love attention. They expect them in cyber space too. By delivering relevant and customized content, marketers can create a more personalised and engaging experience for customers, making them feel understood and valued.
- Let’s start with the case of Amazon. By being a prime customer, you will get the most out of the platform, including free delivery, early sales etc. The platform recommends personalised recommendations based on your browsing history also.
Increased Customer Engagement
- It is a traditional marketing trick to call customers by their names. When customers hear their name, they feel valued and sense a feeling of care. They feel the same when customers receive messages and offers that align with their interests and needs. They are more likely to engage with the content, click through to websites, and make purchases.
- For example, Baskin Robbins allows customers to customize their Icecream by choosing their preferred toppings, sauces, or sides.
Improved Conversion Rates
- Personalisation captures the attention of customers. This has a direct impact on conversion rates. It can be making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or subscribing to a service.
- If you want to see a real case, you can look at how Decathlon reduced cart abandonment with personalised Stories.
Enhanced Customer Loyalty and Retention
- Personalisation creates a connection between the brand and the customer, leading to long-term relationships. By continuously delivering personalised content, marketers can foster customer loyalty and improve customer retention rates.
- For instance, Starbucks offers a discounted price on coffee for someone who place their order on their birthday. Offers that remind users of items they left in their cart or celebrate their birthday to show users that you care about them on their special day.
- Collecting and analysing customer data provides valuable insights into customer behaviour, preferences, and purchasing patterns. Marketers can make data-driven decisions, optimise their marketing strategy, and refine their targeting, messaging, and product offerings based on actionable data.
For example, if you purchase a refrigerator online, it is natural for companies to advertise a voltage stabiliser. This way, you can find those products more quickly without needing to scroll through the web pages searching for them.
- In today’s competitive landscape, personalisation has become an expectation rather than a luxury. Customers have come to expect personalised experiences from brands, and businesses that fail to deliver may be left behind.
For example, Nike allows customers to customize their sneakers through its Nike By You service. Customers can choose their sneakers’ colour, materials, and other details to create a truly personalised experience.
Everything taken in excess is poison. While personalisation can be effective, remember not to make it too personal. There are some issues and challenges associated with its implementation.
Lack of Quality Data
- Incomplete or incorrect data can lead to making assumptions based on limited data. What follows are flawed personalisation efforts, resulting in irrelevant or off-putting marketing messages.
- If you are a social media user, you have probably heard about Bitmoji. It’s your own cartoon avatar. But do they really look like you? Now you get the point. We create those emojis based on limited data sets, like our skin colour and hair colour.
Data Privacy Concerns
- Personalisation involves collecting and analysing large chunks of customer data, which can raise privacy concerns. Consumers may be apprehensive about sharing their personal information, especially in the wake of data breaches and privacy scandals.
Starbucks uses location data to offer personalised offers and discounts to customers when they enter a store. While it is an effective marketing strategy, customers get the perception of being surveilled everywhere they go.
- Countries across the world are being strict with privacy regulations. The case of the EU’s GDPR guidelines is one of those examples where outsourcing of personal information is restricted. Maybe in the near future, the UN will pass a resolution on privacy regulations, which can affect personalisation efforts.
Over-reliance on Algorithms
- Personalisation requires leveraging algorithms and automated systems to analyse customer data and make recommendations. But machines are bound to fail. Relying solely on algorithms without human oversight can lead to biased or inaccurate personalisation.
- It is evident from 2021 when Amazon’s Alexa gave a dangerous challenge to a child.
- Personalisation algorithms may inadvertently reinforce stereotypes. This can lead to discriminatory outcomes, such as assuming certain preferences or interests based on demographic characteristics.
- In the case of an Amazon Prime account, which is shared by many, it is impossible to target users using that single account for products or services.
- There is a thin line between providing personalised experiences and overwhelming customers with excessive targeting. Bombarding with messages across multiple channels can lead to annoyance and a negative perception of the brand.
Another example of personalisation. Just open your mail, and you will find junk emails. E-mail marketing is good, but often many products and services customers love to buy will go unidentified because of the junk content.
Resources and capabilities
- Creating personalised or customised experiences can take a lot of time and resources, which isn’t always feasible for all businesses. So some businesses might perceive it as an anti competitive practice.
The way out
Personalisation in marketing is a powerful tool for building strong customer relationships and driving business growth. However, once you go down that road, there’s no turning back. You have to be consistent in your personalisation and customization efforts. Consistency is what will help you establish brand loyalty and trust, while the opposite can cause frustration.
- Whether you will implement personalisation in marketing, make sure that the data is collected and stored in compliance with regulations, is secure, and is only used for the intended purpose.
- Marketers should prioritise transparency, consent, and data security when collecting customer information. Striking a balance between personalisation and privacy is crucial for marketers to build trust.
- Invest in robust data management systems to ensure data quality and accuracy. Employing diverse teams and implementing regular audits can help identify and mitigate biases in personalisation algorithms.
When giving Product recommendations, it is essential to strike a balance and respect customer preferences for frequency and channel of communication.
- Personalisation should also consider the context in which customers interact with a brand other than individual preference. Marketers need to consider factors such as the current situation, location, and specific needs to provide truly valuable personalised experiences.
- Gathering customer feedback and preferences through surveys and feedback loops can provide insights to improve personalisation strategies and avoid overwhelming customers.
All that being said, don’t let the challenges deter you from considering personalization for your business. Marketing is like asking someone out on a date, So make it memorable.
Keep in mind that people will forget what you say but will never forget how you make them feel. It is simply a matter of human dignity. So try to create a win-win situation by winning the hearts of customers and also improving business growth.
With thorough analysis and planning, you can create an experience that truly resonates with your customers. And, ultimately, focus on your goal, i.e., making your customers happy and creating a lasting connection that keeps them coming back for more.