The days of mass-communication are over. As more and more people turn away from traditional media sources and dive deeper into their virtual connections, the old ways of marketing and segmenting are becoming obsolete. While understanding the demographics and behaviors of people is helpful, the reality is the lines are becoming more blurred than ever before. Today’s consumer wants something more than mass messaging. In a world where almost everything is customizable, the customer expects a personalized experience.
The internet is at the core of nearly everything we do. Whether we are at work on our computers or tablets, watching TV at home, or tweeting on our mobile device, we are constantly connecting. Recent research has shown that the average digital consumer owns 3.64 internet connected devices (Global Web Index). What’s even crazier is that 87% of consumers use more than one device at a time. (AdWeek). Businesses no longer compete just against their competition, they also have to compete with their customer's attention.
With the overload of content, social networks, apps and a 24-hour news and internment cycle, it’s hard to grab a user's attention. You have seconds to capture your audience's attention before they move on to the next thing. So, how are you engaging them? The old ways of doing business online are quickly becoming obsolete. Users want more than just good content. They want personalized content that speaks to them directly.
Before you can really reach your audience you have to get to know them. Relying on standard demographic data isn't enough. You need to spend time interacting and engaging with them. You need to understand what their pain points are and how they are currently trying to solve them. You need to invest in what connects with them. It’s amazing to me how many companies still have a very weak web presence and don’t invest time or energy into understanding who they are targeting. A new website or fancy marketing tool won’t work unless you tell the right story. The only way you can tell the right story is by getting to know your audience on a deeper, more emotional level.
While many are still far behind, there are a number of brands that have not only succeed, but thrived by connecting with their customers and followers on a personal level. Here are a couple of my favorite examples.
After getting dissed on Twitter over and over again for being small, weak and “lame”, Smart Car fought back. Their response was received so well by their online social community it ended up going viral and gaining them more attention. This campaign was built on their user's frustration about how people kept talking badly about their product. The end result was more respect and a more dedicated community.
Domino's Pizza has taken the art of buying a pizza to a whole new realm. Their Domino's Anyware campaign is all about the user. They have taken advantage of today’s tech to enable their users to order a pizza from nearly any internet connected device. They’ve even built a pizza tracker where you can track the progress of your pizza and encourage your pizza making team. Check it out for yourself here. https://anyware.dominos.com/
Drift is a website messaging tool that lets online users chat with either the owner of that website, their team or an AI Chat bot. Now each user that comes to your site can get personalized help. This leads to higher conversion and an overall better user experience. Now Driftbot is not a full-service AI bot, but it can help point your users in the right direction. There are a number of other tools, albeit much more expensive, that can assist your visitors on a much deeper level. For small to mid-size businesses and start-ups, Drift is a great tool.
HubSpot is known for their marketing automation, but they also have a number of other powerful tools built into the suite. Using smart content, you can customize site pages for user segments based on a number of different rules. My favorite way to use this tool is to segment by lifecycle stage to help further a prospect along their buyer's journey.
TrenDemon is the newest tool we’ve added to our arsenal. The content marketing analytics they provide are worth the investment on their own, but the personalization side of the tool is downright awesome! Using real-time user data, content metrics and other various parameters, TrenDemon will show your visitors personalized content recommendations to help guide them to the right path. By mapping successful journeys, TrenDemon is able to predict and display the right content, to the right visitor, at the right time.
The days of broad segmentation and static marketing are over. Today’s user wants a personalized and engaging experience. As technology continues to push the limits of what is possible, those who are out front are the ones that will reap the benefits. No matter your industry or vertical, personalized marketing is a must-have component for all businesses. If you’re interested in learning more, comment below or schedule a free consultation with me here.
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