Why a Personal Approach to Digital Marketing Always Wins

By: Kristy Esch

[vc_row css_animation=”” row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern”][vc_column][vc_column_text]Today’s digital landscape is cluttered with brands who are trying to grab your attention at every turn. Whether you’re selling everyday essentials or big-ticket items, brands have to find ways to connect with their customers without having them step into a brick and mortar store or even speaking to them most of the time.


It’s no secret that marketing needs to be personalized and customized for customers to feel like they aren’t just a number. But many brands don’t go beyond the inclusion of a <first name> tag in their email campaigns to automatically populate the recipient’s first name. Are you serving up an experience that makes the customer feel like they are on their own shopping journey?


Chances are, your answer was probably not. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Here are some strategies to make your digital marketing approach more personalized.  


Strategy #1: Make Your Experience as Hands-off as Possible


Let us explain.


Think about when you make an Amazon purchase. For this example, let’s say you’re buying a new hamper. Your old one is worn out, the handles were too small, and you’d like something a little bit more aesthetically pleasing. First things first, you go to Amazon.com. If you’re logged in, you’ll see your name at the top and some recommendations based on past purchases underneath the search bar. If you left items in your cart from the previous browsing session, they’ll be there.


Next, you type in hamper in the search bar (and more related phrases will automatically be populated), and tons of options become available. You see ratings, reviews, description of the products, the option to select Prime-only items, the distributor, price, size, promotions, and more.


Did you ever have to chat with someone to get more information? Did you ever have to contact Amazon to process the purchase?


No. This was a prime example of online guided shopping.


The goal with any shopping experience is to make it personalized, but also make it as hands-off as possible. If your potential customers have to call you for more information, then they won’t feel empowered to make the decision. Give the customers complete control and the information they need to make a decision and follow through. The more you can do that, the more conversions you will see.


Strategy #2: Treat Every Customer Differently


Have you ever been to a website after you’ve submitted a contact form and that website is still showing calls to action (CTAs) that are urging you to contact them? Annoying, isn’t it?


Every website visitor is in a different spot in their buying journey, and it’s important to recognize that not every website experience should be the same.


Use cookies and other tracking mechanisms to know what actions your viewers have completed on your website so that you can only serve CTAs that make sense for where they’re in the buying journey. Remember if they viewed a floor plan on your property management website last time so that you can now serve up CTAs that encourage them to schedule a tour. Ask them if they’re buying a used or new car, and only show options for the option they select.


Look at the buying journey that your customers go through, then map out the potential calls to action that could be associated with each stage. That will help you determine what CTAs you need, when they should be shown, and how you can use them to guide customers through the buying journey.


Strategy #3: Provide Unique Recommendations by Using Visitor-Provided Information


Who knows best what the customers needs? Typically, it’s a combination. The customer knows what they want and need, and you might know what options you have to support those wants a needs. But you can’t make a strategic recommendation without having information first.


Interactive tools like assessments are great ways to gather information about your potential customers, in addition to providing recommendations that make sense for them based on that information.


Brands today use artificial intelligence (AI) to help map products into recommended categories and provide suggestions to shoppers who have indicated qualifiers for their purchase. You’ll be able to go one step further if you have the information directly from the shopper to make those recommendations as personalized as possible.


For example, if you’re a furniture retailer, use a style assessment quiz to find out what the shopper wants in their aesthetic, what pieces they need, and what room they’ll be furnishing. Then, you can use their information to feed the recommendations for a rustic couch and ottoman set for their new living room.


Not only will the customer not feel as overwhelmed by choices, but they’ll feel like they have help in their selection process.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]