From my experience, there are a few key lessons that every marketing agency must understand, grow and adhere to in order to make it in the digital age. But the case for personalized marketing isn’t just for digital marketers — it’s for all marketers. Because regardless of what mode you use, we are all living in the digital age.
My company specializes in helping our clients create targeted, personalized campaigns and we do this by using the exact three steps outlined below. In fact, we teach this process to each of our clients, helping them to understand what is needed to truly create a campaign that speaks directly to their ideal customer, in their language and via their preferred medium. Curious? I want to share this process with you, too:
Step No. 1: Create descriptions of your ideal buyers.
These don’t need to be exceedingly specific yet. This means you look at what’s important to your ideal customers and why they use your product. It can help to give them an alliterative name as well, such as “Healthy Hannah” or “Convenience Candy” as this can make it easier to understand their corner.
For those of you who are tempted to skip this first step, let me tell you why you should reconsider. Let’s pretend you are marketing one of the many meal subscription services that have popped up in recent years. You want to market your brand as being healthy, time-saving and less wasteful than traditional shopping, which means your product is a little pricier than a trip to McDonald’s or the corner market.
Now, let’s go back to the two profiles named above, Healthy Hannah and Convenience Candy. Healthy Hannah cares about where her food comes from, the nutritional benefits and the caloric totals and macros of each meal and is willing to pay more for these features. But Convenience Candy cares about the easy delivery, fast prep and taste. Both could be potential customers, and both would certainly benefit from your product. But if you skip this first step, you might not realize that one profile fits your product and company much better.
This lesson is important. You don’t always have to personalize your product to the consumer; sometimes the opposite works, too. Conversely, you could try to target both of the profiles, but then you would need to make it clear that your product’s top benefits are the health and the convenience. Or, more likely, you could have two completely separate marketing strategies, one for each profile.
Step No. 2: Find the unique goals and features (or pain points/deal breakers) that your buyer finds indispensable.
For each profile, what is the consumer’s main goal? Or what are the main things each profile wants to avoid?
Healthy Hannah probably wants healthy, wholesome food and wants to avoid the opposite and unethically-sourced food. Whereas Convenience Candy is probably more interested in fast delivery (like the king of convenience and personalization, Amazon) and wants to avoid food that tastes like space station rations or waiting six business days for shipping.
If you know the true goals (and pain points) for your client profiles, then you can personalize your advertising, marketing and even products to match what your consumers really want. Additionally, by finding the unique goals for your customer profiles, you should be able to figure out the language they use, what they view as your weak points and strengths, and what avenue they want to be reached by (e.g., email, chat features, social media, texts, etc).
Of course, you can do research to find these details out, as marketing statistics are readily available for a price. However, there is another option that many companies overlook: customer surveys, reviews or sample studies of their current customers (or competitors, if you are just beginning).
My company uses a mixture of both options, or we mesh the existing data about our clients’ ideal profiles with questions from their current customers to see why they purchase from them and where they heard about them (aka their preferred platforms). This takes our personalization to new levels, as we are actually catering campaigns and plans to their current, successful customers.
Essentially, you need to understand your customers if you want to sell to them successfully. But “sell to them” doesn’t have to be as negative as it used to be, as marketing is moving away from interruptive, annoying practices and toward authentic, personalized and transparent strategies.
Step No. 3: Get found by the audience you worked so hard to target.
Now you know who, why and how. But none of your work will help you if you cannot be easily found by your target audience.
Instead of focusing all of your efforts on the creation and none on promotion, make sure you give both aspects attention, as promotion of your content or ad is actually even more important than the content or ad itself. In fact, many industry leaders (such as Neil Patel) consider 80% content promotion and 20% content creation to be the magical number.
This means you have to bring the personalization and targeting to your customers with lead gen forms, demographical data, search history stats and more from the websites and social platforms they are currently on.
Instead of making a killer content or marketing plan with no way to get it out there, make sure you look ahead and give just as much effort to the promotion as the creation (if not more).
Now is not the time to start creating generic ads, content or pages. Do the research and understand what your consumers want and need and what their deal breakers are.
Using personalization, targeting and the correct voice to truly reach and communicate with your target audience and ideal customers is more important now than ever, especially as younger generations are becoming the largest consumers.
Don’t get left behind by using antiquated marketing plans or cookie-cutter ads. Instead, use the tools the digital age has given you and create your own success.
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