Due to today’s competitive world, companies have pushed campaigns rather than conversations. They are more focused on their brand than their consumers. That is why consumers are demanding tailored communications, a better experience and are expecting consistency across all channels. You can’t blame them, can you? After all, consumers are craving personalised marketing.
How do we Become Personalised in our Marketing?
Personalising our content is not writing each email one by one to our leads and consumers, because that will be a waste of good resources. Personalised Marketing is about delivering timely and valuable content, segmented by customer personas and the stages of customer buying journey while resonating across all your marketing channels.
For example, Road Biker Barbara is a consumer who visits your bike shop website for the first time. She is looking for a bike that is equipped for marathons.
Meanwhile, Beginner Biker Benji, who has been receiving informative emails about biking fundamentals, is a prospective consumer who is about to purchase his first bike from your website.
Through your content marketing, you would not want to offer Barbara an experience like Benjis. Why? Because Barbara and Benji have
- Differing customer personas, and
- Are at different stages of the customer buying journey.
You want to personalise your content that is suited for each customer persona and each stage of the buying journey. This is achieved by breaking down your content strategies for awareness, education, validation, purchase, and retention, and then developing and managing the communications you send to each customer persona.
Step 1: Create Your Customer Persona(s)
Creating customer personas for your business is imperative if you want to succeed with flying colours. We cannot stress enough the importance of this because the most fundamental aspect of designing a successful strategy is understanding our customers and their needs.
Customer Personas are basically the fictional representations of any business’ ideal customers. By creating these personas, this will make it easier for you to adjust your content, conversations, product, and services to the specific needs, wants, behaviours and distresses of different customer groups.
By getting a better understanding of your customers and be relevant in the content you deliver, you must collect customer information. To do this, you can provide a sign-up form/whitepaper or questionnaire on your website that requires a fill out of the consumer’s details; their birth date, their interests, their needs etc. This can help you determine the right content to send to your potential customers.
For example, you could send a promotional birthday offer to your customer or send email content tailored to your customer’s preferences.
To learn more about customer personas and how-to tips, read here.
Step 2: Create Content for Each of Your Customer Personas at Different Buying Stages
Once you understand your customers deeply and have created your customer personas, it is now important for you to create the appropriate content for each stage of your consumer’s buying journey. The reason for this is because consumers respond differently at different stages of the customer buying journey due to the relevancy of the content.
The Consumer’s Buying Journey consists of 5 stages: Awareness, Education, Validation, Purchase, and Retention.
At the beginning of the journey (also known as Top of Funnel of TOFU), there is the Awareness stage. At this stage, your consumers are most likely unaware of what you do, and unaware that they have a need.
Goal: Create awareness of your products or services and your brand, so your consumers know what you do and how you can help them.
Example: Bob’s Bikes would create blog content that triggers the customer persona’s pain point – how do I lose weight, what hobby should I pick up etc.
Once you have created awareness, your prospective consumers will now travel through to the middle of the funnel (also known as MOFO), that consists of Education Stage, Validation stage and Purchase stage. MOFO is where you want to “nurture” your leads.
At the Education stage, your prospective consumers are now interested however is still aren’t too familiar about your products and services and how great of a brand you are.
Goal: Show the value of your products/ services and brand, and provide educational content whilst building a relationship with them.
Example: Bob’s Bikes’ website could offer free ebooks/ white papers and email subscriptions that educate their leads on how to ride bikes, the benefits of cycling and guide to buying the best bike.
At the Validation stage, your lead realises that they have a need and is willing to consider your products or services.
Goal: Offer expert and peer validation of your products and services. Your current customer’s review on their experience with your brand speaks louder than anything else. Expert recommendations for your brand serves great support and confirmation.
Example: Bob’s Bikes could compile several case studies and testimonials from his previous customers as well as expert brochures that feature Bob’s Bikes.
At the Purchase stage, your lead is getting really hot and is almost ready to purchase. The thing is, they are making comparisons between you and your competitors.
Goal: Convince your consumers to select your brand.
Example: Bob’s Bikes could offer special discounts, vouchers or use scarcity to create urgency to boost the sale.
Once your consumer has purchased, they will move to the Retention stage (also known as the Bottom of the Funnel or BOFU). Most brand’s neglect this stage once their customer’s made a purchase, however, this is the most important. Repeat and long term customers are too valuable to disregard; “it is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing one”. Ensure that you continue to interact with your customers and gather feedback from them too.
Goal: Content at this stage should be made to maintain your relationships with your customers, delighting them with valuable content and not to forget, collect feedback.
Example: Bob’s Bikes could email feedback forms to his customers and send informative content on more advanced features on his bikes, accessories, tips, and tricks.
Step 3: Personalise the Content for Each Customer Persona
Now that you’ve created the content for each stage of the customer buying journey based on each customer persona, this will enable you to deliver the very objective: personalisation.
Here are some personalised marketing campaigns that you can use.
- For each lead that you have attracted, start their emails with their name. This immediately creates a personal connection, bringing awareness to your consumer that this email is specifically tailored to them.
- Abandon cart emails: to remind your prospective customers that they’ve left something important behind!
Tip: use subject lines like “You forgot me!”, “Still deciding?”
- Review and feedback emails: collecting customer feedback is important while it also shows that you value their thoughts on their purchase
- Emails specific to customer persona’s interests. You can categorise valuable content by interest. This will be helpful to use as a recommendation to your consumers to help them branch out to other products and services you may offer.
- Back in stock emails
Similar to an alert, back in stock emails are great to remind customers of your product availability. When products are out of stock on your website, provide a “notification for back in stock” call to action and whitepaper that requires the consumer’s name, contact details etc. Once you have their details, you’ll be able to contact them once your product is back in stock. Create automated emails through Active Campaign, Mailchimp, Hubspot etc. These are great and easy-to-use software that will make automating personalised content a dream!
Social media campaigns
Interacting in real time with consumers can help increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. As social media channels are one of the most effective platforms to spur engagement, having conversations through social media keep brands at the forefront of consumer’s minds.
- Reply to any comments and questions for real interaction. Consumers really appreciate it when their comments and questions are acknowledged. This also shows that your business makes the time to read and answer your concerns. *Tip: As there are so much presence and noise on social media, its difficult to manage conversations with your followers. Socialert is a social media automation tool that can help you brand monitor. This tool makes the process of social media listening easy, like helping you track hashtags and keywords, collect user-generated content, quantify reach and impressions, filter results by time, location, sentiments etc. and also provide in-depth reports.
- Product/Service recommendations: Consumers don’t simply purchase from the page. Purchase usually happens when you place the right products/ services at the right price point at the right time, all in a personalised manner. By placing highly relevant products/services across several positions in your website (of course suited to their needs and preferences), your recommendations will definitely push your consumers towards conversion
- Chatbox: With the help of chatbox on websites, you’ll be able to provide good customer support whenever a consumer requires help. You can format your chatbox so that it requires the customer’s details like name and email, and what they need help with.
- FOMO (Fear of missing out) Marketing
FOMO, also known as Fear of Missing Out is a clever marketing trick that has a psychological effect that innates a sense of fear of missing out, which will make the consumer more eager to purchase from you.
Like in Booking.com, they use captions like “7 people are looking right now”, “In high demand – only 3 rooms lefts” and “Great value today”, to lure and captivate customer’s who are considering on their purchase. With a fear of missing out on this opportunity, this pushes consumers into making the purchase.
Step 4: Personalise their Entire Experience Across All Channels
There are many touch points throughout the customer journey that allows for personalisation. If you think about a typical consumer in today’s digital realm, they would engage through Facebook, Instagram, emails, websites, text messages, mobile apps, blogs, retargeting ads etc.
There are so many communication channels and devices that consumers can engage on so it’s important to maintain consistency on all our channels. The in-store experience should match the app experience, which should match email messaging and social media experience.
Today’s consumers are demanding personalised marketing. So as businesses, we should deliver personalised marketing. However, in order to implement personalised marketing into your marketing strategy, it is imperative for you to understand your customers and their needs.
Create your customer personas, tailor content accordingly to the stages of the customer buying journey and personalise this content to each customer persona. Then, you will be able to incorporate personalisation into your marketing campaigns all across your channels.
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