August 04, 2015

Why Can't Marketers Master The Art of Personalization?

Marketers tend to have a broad market perspective that encompasses as much of the public as possible. The problem with this approach is that a brand loses the opportunity to reach its audience on a personal and emotional level that can encourage brand loyalty and recurring revenue for years to come.

According to a new report from Venture Beat, 80 percent of brands simply don’t understand their consumers beyond basic demographics or purchase history. This depersonalization may be effective when marketing basic necessities like dishwashing liquid or milk, which require a broad approach to reach the masses, but fails when applied to niche markets. After all, a person’s social status and background can only reveal so much about their interests, aspirations and desires.

By analyzing more in-depth details, marketers can paint a clearer picture of a consumer’s profile and what might attract them. The aforementioned study, which surveyed 506 marketers and 27 vendors, shows that current content marketing strategies may agglomerate like-minded people, but lack true personalization. Therefore, to truly engage consumers, brands must look beyond IP addresses and browser fingerprinting to social activity and post-transaction behavior.  

On the whole, most buyers don’t access a brand until they’re ready to buy something. The study proved that in most B2C cases, 95 to 98 percent of visitors only access an ecommerce platform when they’re ready to make a purchase, which indicates that the consumer had prior knowledge of the brand or was influenced by peer-generated interest. This inability to engage consumers beyond purchasing signifies a lot of lost opportunities for brand communication that may not result in immediate purchases but will establish a stronger personal connection to the brand.

Personalization is especially crucial for less-established brands. In order to make their mark on the industry, newer brands need to establish a foothold in the market by appealing to consumer individuality. For example, if you associate Ralph Lauren with quality, your first instinct when buying a shirt might be to always buy Ralph Lauren. However, new brands that are able to bridge the gap between your intrinsic associations and your personality stand a better chance at succeeding.

One way to engage consumers is to use tools that manage and consolidate customer data, like Tag Management Systems (TMS), Customer Data Hubs, Customer Identity Management, Customer Profile Management, and Data Management Platforms (DMPs). These tools allow marketers to monitor and analyze consumer behavior in order to get a sense of the true self behind the buyer. By going beyond the stereotypes associated with age, sex and class, marketers can delve into consumers’ social interactions, purchasing habits and post-sale actions to ascertain who the person behind the IP address truly is.

With this information, marketers can create content that targets not only demographics but also compatible consumers that are attuned to the same interests. By developing stories, PR pieces or Web content that opens a door to consumers with similar mind frames, you can create a community whose word-of-mouth will have a direct impact upon social media and networking outlets; thereby, defining your brand and creating a space within an often overcrowded market. 

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