Why Personalization Still Matters

Don’t underestimate the importance of even a little personalization in marketing. There’s a mid-point between generic marketing and big data science, and you can tap into it to drive customers back to your store.

As marketers, we strive for cultivating a genuine connection with consumers. We look for clever ways to entice them to want our products, often imposing a one-size-fits-all strategy on how we communicate with them. Sure, it would be great to be able to smartly consume and use the Big Data we have, but between the generic and the big data solution, there’s a waystation that can lead to quick dividends: Personalization.

Think about yourself as a consumer. In the physical world, you’re flooded with choices. Take a bookstore, for example: there are thousands of books to choose from. Rather than having to navigate the shelves to find that one book or subject that really interests you, imagine how great it would be for the salesperson to see you come in, recognize you, and say, “Hey, we noticed the last couple of times you were in here that you were interested in European History. Have you seen this book?” or “Hi! You’ve looked at books about knitting before; did you know we were having a sale on them?”

Of course, most salespeople will never have that level of customer connection at the store level. Sure, there’s the occasional exception – the barista with the incredible memory, or the wonderful local bookseller whose shop you’ve supported for years. But what the physical world lacks in scale, the digital world can easily create.

How can you personalize the marketing you send out to your customers? Take a store that offers baby supplies. A shopper first sets up an account and makes a first purchase – newborn diapers, wipes, pacifiers, swaddles, a What to Expect the First Year book – all indicators that the buyer is revolving around a newborn. Now, you as a marketer have a wealth of information about this customer, and multiple touchpoints which you can use to talk to them later. In 3 months, you can send them a newsletter on how to wean a baby towards solid foods. In 3 more months, you can talk to them about baby-proofing their house. All because you saw them come into your store and make purchases that told you something about where that buyer probably was in their life.

You could always send them the same marketing message you send everyone else. But that puts the onus on the customer to find what they’re looking for; as a marketer, you should be helping them to find what it is they need – and what they never knew they needed.

So, how can you personalize your customers’ shopping experience?

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