With the mountains of customer data available to brands today, it has never been easier to create tailored marketing campaigns and to offer personalized experiences to audiences. As people become more comfortable with the notion of their data being stored and used to enhance their brand experiences, companies large and small are realizing the benefits. Whether it's to improve reach, improve clickthrough rates, provide new experiences, or target very specific areas, personalization is changing the face of digital marketing.
The challenge for marketers now is to decide not whether personalization is right for their business, but how best to put it into practice in a way that suits them. We asked a number of marketing professionals about their own personalization practices and what measures they are taking to personalize their outreach.
Sipra Thakur, Former Head of Digital & Mobile Marketing at IMAX
When you are evaluating and creating a plan for your product, personalization is key to reaching the right audiences around the globe. For many with a global brand, this includes localization of content. With global audiences, what may work in the US may not translate in terms of language and content to audiences in Brazil. If this expertise doesn’t rest in-house, this can mean hiring agencies versed in different markets to tweak content to speak literally and metaphorically to best cater to audiences in that country. It’s that added touch that makes local audiences feel special and in-the-know about your brand.
Jen Martindale, Chief Marketing Officer at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
YBCA recently partnered with a D.C.-based political research firm to create our psychographic-driven audience segmentation. We’re ultimately trying to create a movement, so we felt it was important to use researchers that really understand coalition building instead of traditional marketing research firms. We are not trying to find the typical 'arts patron'. We’re trying to find people who want to create change in the world, and then give them art & culture as a tool to do it. We’ve started to apply these segments to our audience database through an ongoing process of surveys. By understanding each audience member’s human motivations, beliefs, and worldview, we’re able to put them on the right path to deeper engagement with our institution.
John Barnes, CMO/Vice President of Marketing at Sunburst Shutters & Window Fashions
Sunburst developed a strategy of local store websites, each with localized content, photos and information. Content is customized for each store’s site, and varies by geography. We also implement local email campaigns and social media. Localization requires a lot of management, but it’s critical to our success. The personalization effort has resulted in more traffic, better SEO performance, and most importantly: more leads and sales.
Bob Purcell, Chief Marketing Officer at Purity Cosmetics
Let’s presume that marketing is personalizing all the things that they should; email, loyalty and rewards, site pathways. Now, let’s lean on technology to personalize your products. Take a page from www.functionofbeauty.com, which completely can personalize your hair regime. Bring in a great UX/UI firm like Pearlfisher, Ammunition or Baker Street Partners to help you be more aggressive and objective.
Gina Pensiero, Content Strategist at Facebook
Customers grow more accustomed to more personalization and more targeted experiences every day. As technology and our ability to target improves, users move along in that direction as well, even expecting better, more elaborately personalized experiences… There are definitely moments where an engineer wants to create some aspect of a personalized experience just to prove that, technically, it can be done. Or a business wants to include personalization because they think they should. But users should always be at the center of this. If a user doesn't get any value out of it, it's not going to work… I believe personalization will continue gradually, but steadily. AI and bots are going to open a brand new horizon to personalization, which I believe we are only seeing the very beginning of now.