We talk a lot about connecting these days. With our customers, each other, and the world around us. Connecting is easier now than it’s ever been, too. With a couple of smartphones, you can instantly see and speak with someone on the other side of the globe. With social media, we get immediate updates on the lives of anyone important to us. With all the ways to keep in touch, people are feeling more isolated.
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Why Does This Matter for Marketers?
In the world of marketing, establishing a genuine connection with customers has taken the front seat – the driver’s side. Yes, the customer – your customer – is now at the center of all your marketing activities (or they should be). Customers, not brands, drive the experience, but they still want brands to connect with them along this journey. Brands that successfully develop these connections are shown to strengthen customer loyalty and directly impact bottom-line growth. More than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand, and 76% will buy from them over a competitor. Long story short, connections matter to consumers and, therefore, they matter to marketers.
How Can Brands Connect with Customers?
While there are many ways to establish relationships with customers, one of the most valuable right now is personalization. Personalization taps into the data acquired by brands to help create highly personal and engaging experiences for customers. In other words, data – and the ways we apply it – help marketers connect with customers on a deeper level.
Examples of Personalization in Marketing
Starbucks may be the most popular retail coffee chain in the world, but it hasn’t lost sight of personal connections. The Starbucks app is incredibly personalized, using location and purchase history data to create an experience tailored to the user.
To make customers’ experiences even more rewarding, the Starbucks app keeps track of rewards progress. And it offers challenges to help users acquire more rewards, faster – ultimately boosting customer loyalty and increasing sales.
Netflix is the champion of personalization – well, aside from Amazon. Its proprietary recommendation engine has been suggesting “titles you might enjoy” for years now, and it works. Viewers are coming back for more, more often, because the service consistently serves up content users are likely to enjoy – and often do. Netflix subscribers know they can count on the service to deliver. Netflix has even gone so far as customizing the screen artwork displayed to each user, increasing the likelihood the user will click.
There may be hundreds of variations to appeal to individual customer preferences and behaviors, like these for the release of Stranger Things.
Personalization is nothing new for Target stores, but the retail giant is always looking for ways to apply it. For example, Target is now combining personal data with digital signage to create personalized experiences for in-store shoppers. If a shopper searches for a product online, then signage could make a suggestion or offer a deal on that product once the customer visits a physical location. By delivering custom offers and recommendations based on personal data, Target is likely to please customers by showing a real connection to their wants and needs.
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In an era of isolation, connections are everything. For marketers, establishing those connections is now possible with personalization, and brands have every reason to use it.
If you want to learn more about personalization, check out the digital marketing trends of 2019.
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