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In 2020, generic advertisements and worn-out slogans do businesses more harm than good. Forbes reports that 91% of consumers claim they tend to favor brands that personalize their customers’ experiences in the form of recommendations, marketing strategies, and advertising. With a plethora of brands to choose from, customers prefer to shop with the ones that make them feel appreciated.

No matter what product you offer or what industry you’re operating in, personalization is crucial to marketing. According to the latest studies, 71% of surveyed consumers reported feeling frustrated with a generic shopping experience, and 74% revealed they did not like a website when the content felt impersonal. Deciding to cut costs by reducing personalization is a major startup mistake many businesses make. Instead of saving your resources on strategically important tasks, it is better to invest them in a set of marketing activities that will make your business prosper. Alternatively, you may rely on a startup development company and seek professional advice. 

In this article, we’ll break down the steps required to bring the marketing closer to your customers and grow your business by boosting personalization.

Step 1: Research Your Target Audience

Your marketing is as good as your knowledge of the company’s client base. If you jump straight into designing a campaign for an unspecified demographic, chances are, it’s going to miss the mark, and the loyalty you’ve built for the brand will take a hit. Generally speaking, a misplaced personalization effort can be worse than going without one. For instance, if you focus on the US audience in your marketing campaign but you will hit Asian consumers, your marketing effort might be wasted. 

Start by challenging your preconceived understanding of your target audience. Look at the experience of other companies in your field and analyze cases instead of relying on assumptions. Once you have candidates for being your target audience, start conducting small and large scale quantitative surveys covering your customers’ age, gender, occupation, lifestyle and other aspects required for you to learn more about these groups’ preferences and needs. In many cases, taking this scientific approach will reveal points of inconsistency between your existing marketing strategy and the intended target audience.

Step 2: Divide Your Customer Database Into Clusters

Once you get familiar with your clients at large, it’s time to break the customer database into smaller segments by various qualities. Clustering strives to identify customers with the least variations in randomly determined features and brings them together into a single group. It’s one of the most effective mathematical approaches to improving personalization. 

For instance, you might want to categorize your customers into segments based on purchases they make. Thus, you’re likely to get the following groups: high spenders, mid spenders and low spenders. However, these criteria might vary depending on your marketing activities and the nature of your business. 

What Tools Can You Use for Customer Clustering?

The most widely known algorithm for clustering is k-means cluster analysis. This technique doesn’t simply gather customers into predetermined groups. Instead, it treats clients as data points in a dataset. It looks for qualities in each dataset that are shared to various degrees by several subjects. After these points of intersection are identified, it is up to a marketing specialist to examine the formed groups and label them appropriately.

If you don’t have any programming knowledge or a data science team, you can use various data analytics services like Tableau or any of its alternatives, such as QlikView or IBM Cognos.

Step 3: Create Personalized Messages for Each Customer Segment

Clustering will give you new insights into the preferences and expectations of your customer database. It will be up to the marketing team to label each group and determine what values, interests, and preferences of these clients you can use to create an appealing campaign. When researching your target audience, you had to identify who was likely to buy your product. Now, you have to figure out what their motivation for doing so is.

One of the most widespread personalization techniques is providing your customers with personalized discounts. If you’ve noticed that a certain group of your buyers is interested in a particular product (they visit the product page and read the description), encourage them to purchase this item by providing them with personalized benefits. Thus, you can boost sales and make your audience happier. 

Creating personalized messages when you have all the necessary data is a relatively easy task. Short, pointed messages that speak to each particular client group’s priorities are the most memorable and stimulating to act. Depending on the age and type of each group, you will need to adjust the language and delivery.

Step 4: Choose a Communication Channel for Your Marketing Campaign

You need to deliver your marketing via several channels to ensure a better reach. The primary online platform that you use should either reflect the specific features of your product or host the majority of your potential customers.

For instance, if you offer photo editing software, showcasing its capabilities on Instagram is one of the best marketing approaches you can take. This platform is oriented at people who prefer consuming visual content, and the interest for your program is likely to spike in that environment. Choosing a text-based platform—such as Medium—as the primary communication channel, in this case, would be less effective.

Step 5: Develop a Thought-Out Plan for Your Campaign

  • The goal and budget. First of all, determine the ultimate purpose of your campaign. Whether it is to increase the sales, gain new customers, improve retention rate, or promote a new product —  you need to have a clear understanding of what you want to gain. Knowing your end-goal from the start will help you allocate the correct budget to your marketing campaign.
  • Designing the steps. Determine when you are planning to launch each piece of content. Design the content and tailor it to specific marketing channels. You should also use this stage to develop monitoring mechanisms and metrics to evaluate the campaign’s performance. It means you should set specific KPIs depending on your goals and marketing activities. For instance, you might set a certain amount of leads you’re striving to get from email campaigns or organic traffic. 
  • Post-launch analysis. The campaign doesn’t end when it goes live: you need to constantly monitor its course and note what adjustments are needed for future marketing efforts. Also, think about the analysis tools you will require to process the results of the campaign. Depending on your marketing activities, you might use a variety of tools, such as BuzzSumo, SEMRush, Ahrefs, etc. 

Step 6: Launch Your Marketing Campaign

Launch your marketing campaign on the chosen platforms and monitor the response. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for feedback and provide them with handy means to leave comments. You can enable your users to publish their feedback on your website or social media pages. Alternatively, you may ask them for feedback privately via email or phone. 

The personalization in your campaign only begins with customizing the content to resonate with your clients; the second half of it is interacting with your customers, either via social media or by responding to their queries. It’s also crucial to ensure that your company can handle the surge of clients in case the campaign proves to be effective.

Step 7: Analyze the Campaign’s Results

During this stage, you should examine the results of the campaign. In addition to merely determining whether it was successful, apply the previously designed metrics to measure how your clients met the personalization efforts. Surveying your customers can help you get a grasp on what they particularly liked about the personalized content and what you will need to improve in the future.

Personalization begins with getting to know your audience. Determine your true target groups and apply clustering methods to further break them into various customer segments. Subsequently, design specific marketing messages for each group, customizing them to fit with the newly discovered interests and preferences that clients in each segment have. After the campaign is over, analyze the results and pay special attention to the response to your personalization efforts. Thus, you can boost sales, drive more traffic and build customer loyalty. 

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Anastasiya RashevskayaAnastasiya RashevskayaAnastasia is a Content Marketing Specialist with 6+ years of experience. She uses the power of words to create content strategies that help businesses grow and prosper in such a saturated digital environment.View all posts by Anastasiya Rashevskaya