As the world becomes more and more saturated with information, it becomes harder and harder to stand out from the crowd. It also becomes more important than ever to make your customer feel like they also stand out from the crowd. Personalizing your campaigns tells your customer that you know them, you see them, and they are not just one of the masses. It lets them know you put some thought into your relationship. After all, you’re not just selling, but trying to build a relationship, right?
1. Stop Marketing
Look at the following definitions from Merriam-Webster and tell me which role sounds more personal:
A. One that deals in a market; specifically, one that promotes or sells a product or service
B. One that leads or directs another’s way; a person who exhibits and explains points of interest
I hope you said B. The correct answer is B.
A marketer is “one that deals in a market; specifically, one that promotes or sells a product or service.” Are you dealing in markets? If you are, stop. The quickest way to become more personal is to stop “dealing in markets” and start relating to people. How do you relate well to people? Be a guide: one that leads or directs another’s way; a person who exhibits and explains points of interest.
Think about it: A marketer serves a business. A guide serves another person. Where is your focus? If your focus is on the product or the business, that’s what will come out in your campaign. If your goal is to bring points of interest to your customer’s attention, that will come out in your campaign, as well. You are not there to move products, you are there to help.
2. Clean Up Your Act
Your campaign is only as good as the audience it reaches, and in order to reach the right people, you need strong, healthy data. Collecting data is only half the cycle; you have to clean it up and keep it healthy if you want to maximize your impact.
Think of data cleansing as a database wellness check. You want to make sure your database is fit and in shape. Trimming off duplicated or excess records and flushing out any errors or corrupted files will help you focus in on your true audience. A healthy database allows you to clearly see your customers and the best way to meet their needs.
3. Say Their Names
If you want to get personal, you have to make it personal. Create a very specific target customer profile. Give your customer a name. You have a specific product intended for a specific purpose. The more specific your niche, the easier it is to identify your target customer. If your service or product is more universal, come up with specific scenarios to narrow down a few different personae. Then market to each of those. While building your target customer personae, consider the following:
Who are my ideal customers? (Title, role, place within company dynamics)
What exactly do they do? (Duties, day-to-day work, major projects)
When do they need/buy? (Seasonality, timing – check web analytics and sales reports)
Where do they work? (Physical geographic location, within the company)
Why do they need what we have? (Usage, motive, value)
Answer: How can we fill that need?
4. Dig Deeper
Segmentation is an important aspect of target marketing. It helps define and strengthen your personae for future interactions. In a way, segmentation allows you to let the customer take the lead. First, brainstorm broad topics and solutions that may be of interest to your customer and create content for them. Within your content for broader subjects, you can link down to more specific items. The deeper into your content the customer gets, the more detailed their profile becomes, clearing a path down which you may personally guide them.
As an example, a SaaS company may send an initial email spotlighting deals for services across several industries that they service, with links to each. Let’s say your customer clicks through to the healthcare section and then goes to private practices. Now the SaaS company can follow-up with an email specific to private practices. With automation software, you can continue to track who goes where and hone your messages and guidance more and more with each interaction.
5. Play with your Platforms
Modify message and calls-to-action based on common channel usage and interactions. This goes for both traditional and digital media. Don’t just create cookie-cutter posts for all of your digital channels. If you’re on Facebook, use call-to-action buttons to engage your audience. Use concise messages on Twitter. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all visually powerful. Know your platform and play to its strengths.
And consider that customers actually want to play. Gamification tools aren’t just for B2C companies. These platforms can help guide your customer through support articles and onboarding, as well as increase engagement and referrals.
6. Strike a Match
You’ve hired good people, now utilize them. There’s a good chance that the people on your team have an interest in your product or service. The best advocate is someone who believes in the cause. Find your ideal customer persona and look around. Assign projects to employees who relate best to your profile. Like-minded people find it a lot easier to relate to one another.
Relationships are in. Moving product is out. People are desperate to be unique and noticed. Taking the time and effort to narrow down and personalize your messages will let your customers know you see them and you value them. They’ll do the same in return.
Melissa Reinke is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She is a storyteller, editor, writer, and all-around word nerd extraordinaire. She spends her days managing web content and her nights unwinding in myriad creative ways, including writing for herself and others. From personal memoirs to professional solutions, when writing and editing for others Melissa’s singular goal is to sculpt each piece into its best, most successful form while maintaining the integrity of the original voice and vision. Based in Music City, USA, Melissa can often be found enjoying great live tunes with even better friends. Then again, she’s just as likely to be found curled up with a good book and a tasty beverage.