In some ways, there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur or to build a startup from the ground. This is largely due to the convenience of shopping that many customers enjoy, and no matter whether the goods or services you want are in the same town or halfway around the world, they can all be ordered to your door or your device with the touch of a button.
Although it is great, this new way of buying and using services is highly competitive for businesses. Companies must stand out from the crowd but when you’re competing against organisations online, on social media and in your own local market, it can be difficult.
However, one useful weapon in a company’s arsenal, particularly for marketing purposes, is personalisation. For example, email personalisation boosts open rates by 26%, and click-through rates by 97%. Let’s take a look at how modern personalised marketing techniques can help your business grow and reach its potential.
What Is Personalisation?
Personalisation matters to all companies and rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach, it focuses on a specific audience, informed by the consumer’s needs and wants. It is a great marketing tool that can improve the relationship between a company and its customers.
For personalisation to be done effectively, however, companies should be focused on gathering as much data about their customers as possible. Armed with that invaluable information, startups and entrepreneurs can analyse their data and use the results to create an action plan specific to their customer’s behaviours and interests.
Here are just some of the personalisation aspects that customers expect from their favourite brands:
- Easy to navigate stores or online marketplaces
- Relevant product or service recommendations
- Tailored messaging to their needs
- Targeted promotions
- Milestone celebrations
- Timely communications tied to key moments – e.g., Easter and Black Friday
- Post-purchase follow-ups
- Using their name in communications
- Behaviour-based triggers
- An engaging experience from the first purchase
- Your brand showing up in their frequently visited sites and apps
For the marketing department of any company, time and effort must be spent on getting to know its customers. This is particularly important for new and emerging businesses to help them grow their brand, and to build a loyal customer base.
But in modern commerce most customers aren’t coming into a store and interacting with you, they are making purchases through your website, email communications and over the phone. To aid in building a better picture of what these customers want, companies must instead rely on consumer data.
But How Can You Gather Such Data?
One of the best ways to collect useful personalised customer data is through surveys, either through your website or email. But that’s not all and through your website you can use analysis platforms to gather heatmap information and learn the results of A/B testing.
We know that the customer journey is different for everyone, and therefore everyone must be treated with an element of personalisation. And, with 46% of businesses now investing in data for personalisation, it has never been more important to hone in on what makes your customers tick.
When collating your customer data it must consider customers’ demographics as well as what they like, want and need to deliver the right messaging and supporting language for truly personalised communications.
In the days when companies were at the centre of their local communities, it was easy for shopkeepers to know that Silvie loved Birds custard while Monica preferred Ambrosia. But walk into your local supermarket today and that personalised experience is largely gone.
These days, practically all companies include the names of their customers in their email communications, and with the bombardment of marketing emails arriving in our inboxes, it doesn’t take long for the illusion of personalisation to wear off.
Enriching Your Content Is Key
As such, companies need to add another layer of personalisation to come across as sincere when sending marketing communications to their customer base. This could be a well-written piece of content that adds value to the customer’s life, the inclusion of images or videos in communications and, perhaps more importantly, relevant discounts and offers.
Approximately 74% of customers become frustrated when website content is not personalised, with 91% of customers more likely to purchase from brands that provide them with relevant offers and recommendations. This is because impersonal information is a turn-off for customers and if they aren’t invested in it, they can quite easily ignore it.
The Importance Of Trust And Testimonials
Building trust in your brand is vital for business success. In fact, 66% of customers now expect their unique needs to be met by the company they buy from and there is no greater evidence of that than testimonials from other consumers. Displaying your customer reviews on your website, Google Business Profile and other directories allow people to see what you are capable of. But in the interest of sincerity, it is important to display all of your reviews, whether they are good or bad.
Only publishing positive reviews can be a negative as most companies cannot please all the people, all of the time. Instead, showcasing any bad reviews and how you have dealt with them shows people visiting your website that you are a professional business that knows how to communicate on a personal level – and it highlights your willingness to resolve issues, which builds trust.
Boosting Customer Loyalty
Repeat business is the lifeblood of most companies, particularly those at the beginning of their journey. Personalisation is a great way to boost customer retention and loyalty as it builds an emotional connection that lasts when customers feel valued by a company.
Through regular discounts or timed offers, or even regular insights and user statistics, a customer can feel that connection with a brand and remain loyal. Even supermarkets are adding personalisation back into their stores thanks to unique discounts offered to customers with loyalty cards, such as Nectar or Clubcard prices in Sainsbury’s and Tesco, respectively.
Higher Conversion Rates
If you have an ecommerce store, a great way to include personalised content is a ‘You may also like’ section. This can showcase other items that your customer may wish to buy but great care must be taken to ensure the recommendations are relevant.
For example, a customer looking at black boots on an online shoe store may be disappointed to be recommended a pair of pink trainers. The bespoke purchasing journey is important and online conversion rate can improve by 8% when you include personalised consumer experiences.
There is nothing wrong with a little bit of healthy competition but ultimately if your business is going to grow then you need to outperform your competitors. Not only is personalisation a great way to build trust and loyalty, and boost conversions, but it is becoming a necessity as your competitors are also adopting similar strategies.
When faced with the reality that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalised interactions, SMEs, entrepreneurs and business leaders must listen. With a choice between one company that appears to care for their interests and another that doesn’t even seem to know their name, most customers find the decision an easy one to make.