Being liked and having a large social following is important for brands these days, but it's not as important as being loved. Social media 'likes' can be purchased thousands of followers at a time but to paraphrase The Beatles, all the marketing money in the world can’t buy your brand love.
There's a deeper connection at work when consumers love your brand. And when it does happen, the benefits are far more rewarding and long-term than even the best lead generation campaign could deliver. Here’s a stat: When they are emotionally engaged with a brand, 94% of consumers are highly likely to recommend it to others.1
You just can’t pay for this kind of brand advocacy.
The magic ingredient for making consumers fall in love? Personalization! It's the key to building loyal followings and retaining customers in retail: 44% of shoppers would become repeat buyers and 40% report having spent more money on a purchase than planned because of a personalized shopping experience.2
To get in on the action, here are three proven marketing personalization strategies for retailers:
1. TREAT CONSUMERS AS INDIVIDUALS, NOT SEGMENTS OR BUCKETS (AUDIENCE)
Remember that every consumer is uniquely complex. Seventy-four percent of today's consumers expect companies to treat them as individuals, not members of a generic segment (like ‘millennials’ or ‘suburban mothers’).3 Generic personas and buckets only lead to generic relationships, loving a brand takes much more.
In the first step, make sure that you are able to recognize individual consumers across channels and collect all profile information in customer data platforms (CDPs). Then get help from AI with features such as smart audience segmentation to assemble the most relevant audience for any given marketing content or sales offer.
2. MEET CONSUMERS WHERE THEY WANT TO BE MET (CHANNEL)
Consumers form strong emotional bonds with their preferred communication devices but can be hard to follow in an omnichannel world. What’s more, preferred channels can differ radically from individual to individual: 33.5% of North American internet users prefer personalized offers sent directly to their phone.4
The preferred channel can also vary by use case. When it comes to receiving marketing messages from a brand after making a purchase, over 73% of Generation X consumers and 58% Millennials in the UK named email as the No.1 channel.5 To always choose the perfect channel at the right moment, Selligent Journey AI combines long-term data on preferred device and channel with real-time behavioral data to choose the perfect time and customer touch point (learn more about using AI to wow customers).
3. SHOW CONSUMERS YOU HAVE WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING FOR AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME (OFFER)
Consumers love personal offers that show a brand cares about them and their situation. Over 75% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a retailer who knows their name as well as their purchase history and recommends on-taste products.6 And after receiving a personalized recommendation, 49% of consumers even report purchasing a product they were not planning on buying.7
Delivering relevant offers at scale requires a combination of real-time customer data – also to know what products customers already own – and AI capabilities. Based on a specific customer's behavior, statistical calculations or items added to a wish list, AI engines automatically generate cross and upsell offers and use send time optimization capabilities to nail the right moment.
These are just three strategies to use personalization in a way that consumers will love. The key to it all is capturing relevant customer data, seamlessly integrated across each and every touchpoint between retailer and consumer. That way, every new initiative always reflects the highest level of customer intelligence.
In closing, remember that your customers' love is hard to earn and easy to burn: 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience.8 Deliver the best possible experience every single time. Because once the consumer relationship is personal, it's always going to be personal.
Creating a deeper connection with your consumers that love your brand can provide rewarding benefits. Download the complimentary eBook, "The Personalization Handbook For Retail Marketers," to start delivering shopping experiences to your consumers on a whole new level, focusing on the individual consumer.
1. Gensler Brand Engagement Survey. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://www.gensler.com/research-insight/gensler-research-institute/2013-brand-engagement-survey
2. Shoppers expect more personalization (2017. October 26). Business Insider. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/shoppers-expect-more-personalization-2017-10
3. Selligent Marketing Cloud Consumer Study 2018. https://www.selligent.com/press/selligent-marketing-cloud-study-finds-consumer-expectations-and-marketer-challenges-are-rising-in-tandem
4. Great Omnichannel Expectations 2016-2017 Shopper Survey Report. iVend Retail (January 2017).
5. Customer Engagement 2018. Foresight Factory (Sep 18, 2018).
6. Accenture Interactive Index 2018.
7. Shoppers expect more personalization (2017. October 26). Business Insider. Retrieved March 22, 2019, from https://www.businessinsider.com/shoppers-expect-more-personalization-2017-10
8. Experience is Everything. PWC (2018). Accessed on March 22, 2019, from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/library/consumer-intelligence-series/future-of-customer-experience.html