“What does personalization really mean?” Long gone are the days when adding a *|FNAME|* merge field to your email or mailer was the equivalent of personalized communication. Today, in the Age of the Customer, buyers are empowered and expect a whole new level of personalization when they interact with a brand.
Targeting customers with relevant, meaningful, and timely communication is key. Success lies in delivering personalized experiences across all channels, whether face-to-face in the tasting room or at an event and perhaps the most challenging across all digital channels.
Today’s consumers are better connected than ever before. The mass of touchpoints can easily lead to fragmented communication and poor customer satisfaction but the good news is we can also leverage the wide variety of touchpoints we now have with our customers to better serve them. That means digitally marketing to consumers based specifically on the goods or services they have shown an interest in or have purchased in the past, at a time and place of their choosing in the channel they prefer, with the goal of conversion.
It seems almost impersonal when described from the data perspective but the truth is, using and analyzing data is similar to listening. Good data collection and analysis can tell you everything a customer wants from you, given their journey with your brand. A single customer record can tell you where they live, how much they purchase, what they purchase, where they purchase, and how they found you, the list is long. How you communicate to these customers should be just as detailed.
Personalization Best Practices For Digital Marketing
Using just the basic information discussed above there are already so many opportunities for personalization. For example, communicating with a wine club member is much different than the communication you would have with a non-member who recently visited the tasting room or was perusing your website. Personalization begins with using just this basic information. By simply adjusting the sender of your message you are already beginning to personalize the communication, be it your wine club manager or your tasting room manager or in the case of your website maybe a note from the winemaker on a new release or top-selling wine.
Using a small amount of data you can communicate with your customers in a meaningful, personalized way that resonates with an experience they already had with your brand. Using a customer’s name, email address, purchase channel, and varietal purchases you can create dynamic email messages tailored to a wine preference or invite them back to the tasting room for a special event because they often purchase there. By knowing their day or date of purchased the message can be customized to send a thank you for visiting last Friday message. Each piece of information you add to the mix the more personalized and detailed your communications can become.
These are simple examples utilizing email that are easy to create and save as templates. Many email software programs allow the creation of custom fields. Some also allow an email to be triggered on list upload or can be automated and scheduled to send at a specified time or by customer interaction. The classic example of this is a cart abandonment email.
Today, some e-commerce platforms, such as our partner Commerce7, are including personalization features that recognize whether a customer is new to your website or a returning visitor and will dynamically display the customer’s first name and a “welcome back” message without them login in. Some providers are now able to display customized and dynamic content to the visitor using the same data from the email example. Wine club members can now be greeted with their discounted pricing and tailored specials upon arrival to your site, returning purchasers can be displayed wine choices based on past purchases.
Leverage Technology to Deepen Personalization
Looking deeply into customer behavior data and taking the time to do an audience analysis brands can gain valuable and actionable insights.
What if you were able to know which of your e-commerce purchasers only buy Chardonnay, and of those who will only purchase if given a discount or only buy when shipping is included? Would you still send a generic email offer risking email fatigue or personalize your message to these groups?
What if you knew which wine club members frequently repurchased club wines following a shipment within the first month? Would you send a personal message and special offer to thank your members for their loyalty and encourage their continued repurchasing?
What if you knew in almost real-time when a customer visited your website and tasting room and made three consecutive purchases in 45-days making them your number one customer? Or worse, what if you didn’t know?
By analyzing customer data, you gain the ability to customize the person’s experience to their individual needs and desires based on in-depth information and insights about them. This leads to opportunities for increased revenue and customer retention. Through personalized communications and experiences, brands will consistently be building long-term relationships and can begin to think and market more effectively with their customers – top of mind.
Your customer data provides almost limitless possibilities when it comes to understanding and knowing the needs and expectations of your customer. That combined with segmentation of customer data into distinct and similar clusters, you can gain meaningful insights into how to grow your business while maintaining the personal relationship today’s customers expect.
These are the questions we are helping brands answer today to help them grow, retain customers and build long-lasting customer relationships at all levels of their DtC business.