How to enable personalized and dynamic marketing campaigns
Summary The online world has increasingly become an ecosystem tailored to the individual: a revolution that revolves around the…
The online world has increasingly become an ecosystem tailored to the individual: a revolution that revolves around the data-driven perspective. It is from here that the marketing strategies of companies who want to gain a competitive advantage must start.
No more one-to-many campaigns, but a new one-to-one dialog between the company and each individual customer. This is the turning point of personalization: the oldest secret of commerce, which is made possible by the most advanced digital technologies.
If we had to describe the Digital Transformation breakthrough in two words, we’d choose these: data and people. And the two are intimately related.
Once upon a time…
Think back to the internet of a decade ago.
The online world was more or less the same for everyone: search engines provided everyone with practically the same results, without considering – for example – their geolocation, personal data, or data related to other preferences. The same can be said for social networks. Sure, Facebook was born in 2004, but its wide diffusion started a few years later; do you remember what the platform looked like initially, when posts were listed chronologically, without any priority or scale based on preferences or interactions?
Today, this has changed dramatically: The online world is no longer a one-size-fits-all landscape. It is increasingly tailored to each individual user.
Google gives us the results we’re likely to be most interested in based on our previous searches (and a whole other set of metrics). Social networks (which have multiplied, from Facebook onwards) lead us to interact in increasingly engaging ways.
On the various websites we visit, we are shown banners of brands and products that are most relevant to our characteristics, our habits, and our behaviors. How many times have we thought: “That’s it, that’s exactly what I was looking for! My smartphone reads my mind!” Sure, we know it’s not “magic” or telepathy…it’s predictive marketing.
The same one that, to take one last example, drives the algorithm of related products in huge platforms, from Amazon to Airbnb.
This is what is meant by data-driven marketing. And the scope of this turning point (which will receive a further big push from the development of the Internet of Things, for one) is evident.
The ultimate goal of this turning point is personalization. As we said at the beginning: data and people. Or, rather, from data to people. We’ll examine this theme even further in this post.
Personalization: the new frontier is actually something old
For as long as commerce has existed, there is one thing that is more important than all the others: addressing customers by treating them as people, as unique individuals, different from one another, with their own habits, behaviors, and preferences.
It’s about taking care of them in a targeted manner, making tailored proposals because you know their characteristics… which therefore allows you to anticipate their desires.
After all, it’s something we all know very well, it’s part of our common experiences, even if we don’t always pay attention to it: the best salesperson is the one who knows you and your tastes, who is not intrusive but is able to offer you new products that meet your expectations.
The same happens, for example, when you go to a restaurant where you feel comfortable. Here, the owner and the staff treat you well and as a result, you’ll come back and you are likely to tell friends and acquaintances to do the same. Maybe you will even write a glowing review on TripAdvisor.
So, the benefits are mutual: they affect both the seller and the customer, the restaurateur and the guest, the user and the digital platform…and so on. It’s all a matter of loyalty, first of all; and of increasing the user base, consequently.
So far, so intuitive. But how is it possible to personalize experiences when we’re talking about an audience of customers (actual and potential) of hundreds of thousands or even millions of people? The solution once again comes from digital. And from data.
What used to be done by memory, more or less, of your trusted shopkeeper, your hairdresser, or your favorite restaurant, today is entrusted to algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems.
We all disseminate a huge amount of “digital footprints” online. We do this at almost every moment when we’re online. When we use search engines, when we shop online, when we use navigation systems to walk around town or when driving on the highway, when we use an app that tracks our athletic performance, when we post or express preferences on social networks. And these are just a few small examples.
These digital traces can always be found…of course, it’s a matter of learning to look for them in the right places and with the right tools. And this is exactly where companies that want to grow and prosper in the digital world must start from.
They have to learn how to collect this information, not only in quantity, but also the higher quality information (and this is the transition from “Big Data” to the so-called “Smart Data” or “Deep Data”). All in an omnichannel perspective.
The next step is that of analysis and interpretation, which must always be conducted on metrics that are functional for how you do business.
To give a very trivial example: a restaurant must put geolocation at the center of the variables; but the same cannot be said for a company that sells electronic products online.
When the interpretation is effective, marketing experts are presented with a very realistic picture of their target audience. First of all, a dynamic picture: because the “panorama,” the sentiment and the individual or general habits can change quickly, for various reasons.
Above all, however, it is a very high-resolution image, where it is possible to “zoom in” and not limit oneself to the overview. Basically, good data analysis and interpretation allows you to segment your target into many micro-targets, into clusters of individuals that show common characteristics, behaviors, and habits.
These segments, then, can be reached with increasingly personalized data-driven marketing efforts. And here comes the ultimate breakthrough. Finally, the target audience transforms into the individual person. From the one-to-many perspective, we move to one-to-one. Personalization, indeed.
It’s intuitive that this can have unprecedented effectiveness. But we want to provide some data to support it. We’ll take a look at this data in the next paragraph, before concluding on a specific tool of enormous power: that of personalized videos.
The personalization boost – some important data
In this section, we’ll be very concrete and direct. Here, we’ll look at some important data that demonstrates the effectiveness of personalization:
- Through personalization, you can reduce acquisition costs by up to 50%, increase average revenue by 5 to 15%, and improve the efficiency of marketing expenses by 10 to 30% (adweek.com).
- 79% of companies that have met and exceeded revenue goals have a documented personalized marketing strategy (netcorecloud.com).
- In a recent study by Gartner, digital companies using personalization based on user behavior and predictive marketing increased their profit by an average of 15% more than other companies (gartner.com).
- 81% of customers expect brands to know their attributes and understand when it makes sense to interface with them and when it doesn’t (marketingdive.com).
- 77% of customers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a tailored and personalized Customer Experience (forbes.com).
- 91% of customers prefer to shop with brands that offer relevant advice and recommendations that are tailored to them (accenture.com)
- 90% of U.S. consumers find personalized marketing experiences appealing (statista.com).
We could go on and on, but what is certain is that all the data and statistics point in the same direction. Personalization works: it’s fundamental for companies, and customers want it.
Of course, it’s important not to ignore the other side of the coin. Retaining the data of one’s own customers opens up important issues in terms of privacy and security; delicate issues to which companies must pay the utmost attention.
It’s a question of ethics, transparency of relationships, but also of brand image. What is comforting, in this sense, is that consumers are showing an increasingly mature awareness of these issues. In this regard, consider these figures:
- 83% of people are willing to give up their data in exchange for a more effective and personalized brand experience (accenture.com).
- 70% of millennials willingly allow companies and retailers to track their data, habits, and preferences in exchange for a better, more personalized experience (smarthq.com).
A concrete tool: personalized videos
Throughout this post, we’ve been talking about personalization, the importance of collecting and interpreting data in order to re-learn how to put people at the center of your business, starting a fluid, effective, transparent, and tailored dialog with them.
Now, let’s close with a concrete tool, which was defined in a Forbes article as “the marketing breakthrough that brands need” (forbes.com): we’re talking about personalized videos, a tool made available by specialized platforms such as Babelee.
Personalized videos adapt to the characteristics of the individual recipient, based on their features and browsing choices. In short, it’s the power of video coupled with the boost of personalization.
The results are formidable. And no wonder. Again, though, not to stay in the realm of theory, here’s some data to back it up:
- Personalized videos attract viewer attention 35% more than standard videos (hubspot.com).
- People who view a personalized video are 40% more likely to move on to purchase a product and service than those who receive a generic video campaign (webeo.com)
It’s all very telling, and no further commentary is needed. By implementing personalization into your campaigns, you are equipping yourself for the marketing challenges of the future!
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