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To Deliver Powerful Customer Experiences – Get Personal

In today’s competitive marketplace, brands are all vying for the eyes of consumers. Ask yourself: Does your campaign inspire engagement or action? Is it timed to reach the recipients at a precise moment? Are you targeting consumers across their preferred communication channels?

By Judy Berlin
Published: April 25, 2017

In today’s competitive marketplace, brands are all vying for the eyes of consumers. Ask yourself:

Does your campaign inspire engagement or action?

Is it timed to reach the recipients at a precise moment?

Are you targeting consumers across their preferred communication channels? 

If the answer to one or more of these questions is ‘no’, your communication may be lacking the pizzazz it needs to cut through the clutter of marketing messages.

Gone are the days of a one-size-fits all approach. Personalized marketing technology is opening the door for marketers to transform the way their brand and consumers communicate. Personalized marketing puts the customer at the center of the campaign strategy by targeting individual recipients in a compelling manner in terms of content, relevancy, design and channel. Campaigns that are individualized will help deliver a unique, engaging and effective customer experience. Variable data, personalized images, personalized video and personalized URLs (PURLs) are all tactics that help drive engagement. 

By maintaining a highly personalized dialogue with customers, brands can transform customer relationships into much more loyal and strategic ones.

So what can you do to inspire more actionable results and develop meaningful communications for current and future customers? Get started with these tips:

  • Use both print and digital: Seamless integration of both print and digital channels is critical. By spanning print, digital, social and mobile channels, marketers can reach consumers in their preferred format for greater impact.
  • Deliver a consistent, personalized brand experience across all channels: All campaign brand messages should deliver a consistent look and feel across all channels – from the style of photographs to the colors, fonts and graphics. The integration of design, logic and data across multiple media channels makes it possible to blend these media-specific capabilities into one cohesive customer experience.
  • Keep data updated: A clean data list will allow for easier synchronization of personalization and digital technology integration within a campaign. Customer demographics, interests and preferences along with historical purchase data should all be used in tandem to build each unique customer profile, which can enhance the customer experience.
  • Use audience segmentation and personas: Audience segmentation allows marketers to divide customers into subgroups based on varying criteria or personas to target customers more effectively. Personas are special profiles that pinpoint defining characteristics of certain audience segments such as demographics, professional life, communication preferences, interests, etc. By distinguishing different representative customer groups and identifying how each group makes decisions and interacts with the brand, marketers can specially target each group. As you craft different personas, you will be able to better gauge what type of content is useful and relevant to customers associated with that group and identify what will motivate them to react to your communication. 
  • Have the right technology in place: In order to create individual journeys effectively and to scale, you’ll need the right tools to orchestrate and automate your campaigns. Be sure that your software solution can integrate data, rules and design into a single framework that can be managed and automated across all stages of development. Automation allows campaign activities to be scheduled in advance or triggered according to individuals’ behaviors and responses.
  • Collect and analyze results across all campaign channels: Campaign monitoring and analysis will enable you to see results firsthand to determine what works and what doesn’t. Evaluate the effectiveness of each message and channel to assess your ROI and plan for future campaigns. This will help improve the overall customer experience and build a much more loyal relationship over time. Additionally, successful campaigns can be used as models for future campaigns as long as the software being used enables cloning or the creation “campaign templates.

Personalization allows brands to connect with their target audiences all while building and improving the brand experience at every touch point, at the right time.

Take, for example, this campaign in which a company used a key milestone to engage customers:

Company anniversaries are great opportunities for brands to deliver specialized campaigns that engage customers in celebrating key milestones – and that’s just what Finland-based Elovena Oatmeal did when it celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. To ring in the special occasion, Elovena Oatmeal worked with digital packaging company, PackageMedia Oy, to develop two programs that encourage customer interactions between physical packaging and digital services:

  • The first a “social shelf” campaign that enabled consumers to contribute aphorisms on Facebook for printing on Elovena packages, generating an automatic tweet in the process.
  • The other a “social tasting” campaign that gave customers the ability to scan a unique QR code on an Elovena package to order and send Elovena samples with personal messages to friends – prompting many to share images of their packages on social media.

Each campaign successfully engaged consumers, resulting in hundreds of aphorisms delivered to market shelves on Elovena packages and thousands of personal stories delivered with tasting packages. Responses to the tasting packages, in particular, were frequently shared on Twitter and Facebook in ways that evidenced real, emotional connections were taking place. These activities generated positive buzz among consumers, competitors and marketing professionals, giving the campaign additional reach.

Creative ideas inspire engagement – and using personalized multichannel communications is the perfect catalyst to bring those ideas to life!

Judy Berlin is Vice President of Marketing at XMPie.

 

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