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Marketer’s guide to personalisation

An explosion of data means there is no excuse for brands not to use their information to start and sustain a two-way conversation with consumers. And those that keep it personal will reap the biggest rewards, says Gavin Laugenie, head of strategy and insight at dotdigital

Be honest, are you maximising the power of marketing emails and brand messaging on other digital channels? Consider that every £1 spent on an email generates an average return on investment (ROI) of £42.24, according to latest statistics from the Data & Marketing Association.

This ROI would be even more impressive if the emails were personalised. At dotdigital we help our customers dial up that personalisation, across many channels, and make better use of their data to deliver incredible results.

There is a massive opportunity in the digital era for marketers to embrace data to cut through the noise and make the people they are targeting feel special.dotdigital stats

Those marketers who take a greater interest in data perform far better than others. If the heart of good marketing in 2020 is customer experience, personalising communications is a differentiator. The days of a “spray-and-pray” email approach should be long gone. People are becoming savvier with data and brands have to make a good first impression.

For instance, if you shout “excuse me” on the street, most people will turn around but, unsure whether you are talking directly to them, will keep walking away. However, when you personalise the “excuse me”, even with just their name, they are more likely to want to hear what you have to say.

Put another way, it’s high time marketing teams used the data at their fingertips to offer a customer service that is more akin to the experience you have at your local convenience store. You enter the shop, say “hello” to the owner, who you know by name. He replies with a warm greeting before offering goods that he knows appeal to your specific tastes and needs. It is this friendly, tailored service that dotdigital brings to campaigns.

Two-way conversation

It is critical that marketers understand data so they can carefully map the journey they want to take individuals on. Plot what messages to send, when, and determine what missives might work best.

Not enough businesses are looking at the customer journey, essentially because they lack the time, resources and expertise. The post-purchase piece is so important, too. I was shocked to learn that 53 per cent of companies are not requesting reviews after a customer has bought something from them. This is a massive missed opportunity.

Luckily, garnering information from consumers has never been so easy, thanks to the explosion of data and the desire for a personalised experience. You can gather vital information by asking consumers explicitly who they are and what they want. You can also use implicit data, predicting what products might interest them.

At dotdigital we offer a business health check that helps clients understand how to communicate the right message to the right people at the right time. We encourage clients to focus on a very strong welcome period with customers and take a multichannel approach, whether via email, SMS, live chat or push notifications on apps, or a combination. Take the time to create a clear message and explain who you are and what your unique selling point is.

It is all about forging a connection with a customer and it’s a two-way process: you are attempting to get to know them better while simultaneously telling them, a little bit at a time, about your brand.

Like a human relationship, you have to build up your knowledge of a person. You wouldn’t make many friends if every time you met someone you asked them 20 questions at once. Similarly, marketers can’t bombard consumers.

Take the time to get to know people. It’s a continuous process and the mutual sharing process will generate trust, which is essential, especially for older online shoppers. Slow and steady will win the day, and dotdigital is here to help those conversations.

For more information please visit dotdigital.com

‘Three Rs’ for a personalised approach

Recognise the opportunity, not just for you the vendor, but for the individual as well. Every interaction is a chance to develop your relationship with the customer and also build trust, which is crucial.

Remember the individual. If they buy some shoes, for example, don’t offer them the same pair the following week. Or, even worse, make sure they are not sent a discounted price for something they paid for in full before the sale.

Recommend something for them to improve their customer experience, based on their previous activity, their data and preferences. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something for them to purchase, but – and here’s another word beginning with “r” – it should be something relevant to them, such as a blog, for example.

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