Personalization drives marketing success.
If you’re a marketer, you probably already know that. After all, 98% of marketing pros say personalization advances customer relationships. And 90% who are already implementing and tracking personalization efforts report a measurable lift in results.
So we know personalization works. We know it’s the wave of the future. And we know our companies need to get on board—and fast—or risk being overtaken by the competition.
But here’s the million-dollar question: What does personalization in digital marketing actually look like? If we want to keep up with the personalizing Joneses, what does that mean for our marketing tactics in practical terms?
Here are some answers.
If you’re thinking about personalization in digital marketing, chances are you’re probably going to start with your website. After all, you control the content on your website. You have access to any data it collects on your customers. It’s the obvious, low-hanging fruit here.
So, what does web personalization look like?
At it’s simplest, it means understanding your customers and serving them experiences they want.
For example, let’s look at Netflix. Log into your Netflix account and what do you see? Foreign Dramas with Powerful Female Leads? Dark Comedies for Hopeless Romantics? Oscar-Winning Coming-of-Age Westerns?
Whatever the categories in your feed, chances are they’re oddly, wonderfully specific and very likely to match up with your watching interests. They are, in other words, personalized to you on a granular level.
And the reason behind that? Netflix has prioritized personalization way beyond knowing your name and giving you suggestions based on directors or actors. They’ve actually categorized movies into over 77,000 incredibly specific sub-genres and they serve up those sub-genres to you based on their deep knowledge of your preferences.
It’s personalization at its finest. It knows who you are and what you like, as its relevant to the brand, and it serves you something valuable based on that information.
Another common channel for personalization is social media. And specifically: Facebook.
The site already has robust personalization tools. It can help you hone in on the slice of its two-billion-person active audience with its already existing targeting tools.
But here’s the kicker: These days, marketers can improve on even Facebook’s targeting by using their own customer data to create lookalike audiences in Facebook. To do this, marketers are using tools like Lytics to generate a list of their most engaged customers. They then feed that list into Facebook’s lookalike tool and – et voila! – they can target ads based on their ideal customers rather than just interests or demographics.
One Lytics customer used a Facebook personalization strategy to reduce customer churn. A large car rental service, they wanted to bring back customers who’d almost made a purchase. They knew what cars they liked. They knew the target dates for the rental. And they knew who the customers were. And so they fed that data into their Facebook ads and served up personalized offers encouraging the churners to come back and finish booking.
The result? 10% more reservations.
Another Lytics customer—Nestle Purina’s PetFinder.com—used customer data to target highly engaged prospects who’d recently done searches on puppy adoption. Their campaign performed even better—with a 300% jump in conversions and a 90% drop in conversion costs.
Rewind a few years in the marketing world and you’ll find that email was the early personalization (not to mention automation) frontier.
Before we were getting to know our customers on social media or our websites or personalizing to them through ads, we were adding their first names to email openings and segmenting emails based on things like stage in the sales funnel or customer interests.
Since then, personalization has come a long way. Now, email personalization goes deeper.
We get emails that share content we’ll love based on our interests and interactions with brands.
Amazon sends us post-purchase emails inviting us to rate and review or purchase an add-on that’s relevant to us.
LinkedIn writes to let us know about jobs similar to the ones we’ve viewed.
Email personalization, in other words, takes advantage of what we know about each customer in order to send them the right content with the right messages at the right time.
Speaking of personalization, did you know that Amazon’s recommendation engine is responsible for 35% of its sales? They’re a great example of how personalization in ecommerce can drive truly epic results.
And they’re not the only ones benefitting from great, personalized purchase recommendations. In fact, studies show that 45% of online shoppers would rather shop somewhere that makes personalized recommendations. 49%say they’ve made an impulse purchase based on a personalized ecommerce recommendation. And only 5% of those impulse buyers returned their purchase.
So, what does good ecommerce personalization look like?
In addition to Amazon’s spot-on recommendations, another great case study belongs to Dr. Martens.
The brand used customer data to identify customers with an affinity for their museum collection, who lived in the UK, who were likely to engage, and who had not yet purchased their newest satchel. Targeting those buyers resulted in a 60% higher conversion rate and a 20% increase in order value.
What about offline personalization?
Personalization in digital marketing might be the easiest type of personalization to master. But the truth is that some of our sales funnels still happen offline. In stores. On the phone. Via direct mailings. Billboards.
So, is personalization possible there too?
The answer, we believe, is yes.
Why? Because we’ve seen customers successfully doing it.
One customer, for example, used digital customer data to transform their telesales.
Previous to their personalization efforts, the telesales team was pulling lists from the CRM to try and upsell subscribers from a $50 basic subscription to their service to the much-more-valuable $3,000 upgrade and upgrade $3,000 subscribers to a lifetime subscription.
The original CRM pulls were painstakingly slow and non-specific. Telesales would request a list. Tech would deliver it several days later. And the sales reps would go to work.
When the brand got serious about personalization, they started pulling more specific, real-time lists from Lytics—which incorporated not only CRM data, but other online marketing data. The new lists identified subscribers who’d made a purchase in the last week and had an increasing momentum with the brand based on Lytics behavioral scores. The list was automated to send to the telesales team every single day. No more requests. No more wait times.
And the results of this more personalized data in an offline marketing medium?
An 80% increase in revenue.
Other good examples include Whole Foods, who saw a 16.5% increase in foot traffic and 6% jump in sales when they integrated online and offline experiences.
If it’s not cross-channel, it’s not personalization
So, email, web, and social media personalization are all well and good. But here’s a key truth:
Truly effective personalization in digital marketing is cross-channel.
In fact, omnichannel marketing generates 250% more engagement and conversions. Not to mention that omnichannel marketers with 3+ channels retain 90% more customers than marketing that personalizes across two channels or less.
An increase in channels seems to correlate with an increase in overall engagement and serious purchase intent. Which means if you aren’t personalizing across channels, you’re probably missing out on a big opportunity.
Okay, great…but how do we personalize?
So, we have a sense of what personalization in digital marketing looks like. The next step? Figuring out how to do it ourselves.
We wrote a whole guide on the ins and outs of personalization, but we’d also love to chat about your company’s specific goals, needs, and plans. Reach out to our experts today to start the conversation.