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The Power of Personalization

Dec 18, 2017
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Creating authentic connections online is not an easy task. Studies show that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day. (Source) With all of this noise, how in the world do you ensure that people hear your message? If you want your message to stand out and engage, you must personalization it.

Personalization is not a new trend or tactic. Its use in marketing and sales emails has been in existence for quite a while and when used correctly can provide a tremendous uplift. What has changed is the technology behind it. Today marketers and sales professionals can create a unique experience for each visitor that comes to their site or engages with them. Personalization helps to create a more human connection using digital tools. Check out the video below to learn more. 


Video Transcript:

Thanks so much for watching. If this is your first time, or maybe you've been watching a while, but haven't yet subscribed. Please hit the subscribe button below. We would love to have you as part of our community.

So today we're going to be talking about marketing personalization, and how we can leverage it to make our interactions online a little bit more personal and a lot more human.

So there's a difference between segmentation and personalization. Now segmentation, you're marketing or targeting groups of people based on similar behaviors. Maybe you're breaking it down into demographics or geographics, or maybe a behavior that they've taken before, or a cultural or psychographic. But what you're doing is you're grouping people based on pre-defined or set values that somehow link them together.

Now, this can be very helpful, and segmentation is extremely helpful when you're doing marketing because you want to make sure that your message is meeting the right context. And when you're doing mass communication or communication to a lot of people, you need to make sure that you have the right context.

And that's where segmentation comes in. But what we have the power to do today, is personalize our message unlike ever before. Now, personalized marketing is also known as one-to-one marketing. And here, instead of segmentation, where we take a group of people who have commonalities and group them together, marketing personalization brings it down to an individual level. So we're able to give somebody a specific message based on their unique needs, and their unique personality and the things that they have going on in their life.

So this is individualized. It's much more personal and allows us to be a lot more human using technologies. Now, personalization has been around for a while. This is where you get an email from somebody who says, "Hey, Joe. It's nice to see you", you don't know this guy, but he's gotten your email somehow. And they're able to insert some tokens into a message in order to make it a little bit more personal. So that's one area where personalization has been in use for quite a while. And if you see some of the statistics around it, they tell us when you use personalization in marketing emails or sales emails; you have a six times greater transactional rate.

So, people who don't use it, they're missing out, because they're not more personal in their emails. Another tip in emails and I see this a lot, especially in personalized emails, don't over-personalize. Now you can bring in too much information into that email, or personalize it too much; it kind of seems creepy. So you've got to make sure that you don't use all the data you have in order to make this email that's like, "Hey, man, I don't really know you that well." So make sure that you use it smartly, but use it in a way that allows them to know that hey, I know you're a person with unique needs and problems and challenges, and I want to have a conversation with you.

Now, 74% of website visitors get frustrated when they see content that appears to have no impact on what they're looking for. Now, as you see over here, this is a little rough sketch of a pop-up, right? Maybe you've experienced a pop-up or a slide down or a bar that comes out that's telling you a little bit more about the site, or maybe somebody's pushing a new product or service that they have. Now, pop-ups work. They're extremely valuable when they add value. Now that's the key. Is this piece of content going to add value?

And a lot of times we use pop-ups from a segmented sort of mind. So we say this group of people is going to see this specific pop-up. Now that may work in some cases. But most of the time, what happens is, these people inside of these segmented categories, they don't have everything the same. They just kind of match in one area.

So you can show them this. They get frustrated, annoyed, and they leave your site. So what we can do is use personalization to present pop-ups or present extra information or related articles, based on a unique person's individual journey. Now you can add a lot of value, specific value that's personalized to them, and that's where you see these pop-ups, and these slide up bars and the exit banners work really, really well.

Now when you use personalization, it's also been recorded that on average there's about a 19% uplift in sales. This is because you are able to hone in that message around people and give them what they need and what they want. And we've been doing personalization for a number of years. I fell in love with it because one of our goals as an agency is to be more personal in our marketing and to help leverage the internet in tools that are available to us on the internet to present a more human experience, a more, just a connected experience with people.

So one of the tools that we've been using is a tool called TrendDemon. And it's a great tool. And I'll put a link to it in the description. What Trend Demon allows us to do is scan all of our content, index all of our content, and then review how each customer is going through the journey as they are looking at pieces of content. They're downloading articles on our site, or e-books or other offers that we have. And then when that person comes back, we have a record of what they've done. And now we can serve up the related content based on their customer journey.

We can figure out what they want as an individual, and then deliver on this content all along the journey. And maybe sometimes that leads to a sale, but other times it just leads to somebody connecting to us, because a large part of our database isn't necessarily people we’re selling marketing services to, but we're training, and teaching, educating and we're building that relationship. That's a cool part of what we do. And Trend Demon allows us to help individualize the journey. If you've spent any time on our site, maybe you've seen an exit banner. Or at the end of a bar post, you've seen related articles, and you notice that those articles are either related to what you're reading or are connected to things that you've looked at in the past on our site. Because of that, we're able to give you a little bit more of a contextual experience based on your specific needs.

Not everybody's going to have the same experience on our site, and that's encouraging to me because we're allowed to put ourselves in a different light. Now, how do we do this? Well, marketing automation tools help. We sync Trend Demon up with HubSpot, and it allows us to share some of that information in between both the marketing automation side, as well as the CRM side.

People who are in our customer database are going to see different information than somebody at an SQL level or an NQL level or just a lead level. And being able to sync that information, we're able to present to them, more contextually appropriate content, content they want to see and interact with. 

We can also get traffic from UTM sources. So maybe we have a campaign out there, and we have a specific universal tracking code that we've created for that campaign. Now we can start to segment, that's the early part of personalization, is segmentation, and push people to a certain traffic source, collect some data on the interaction there, and then help to further engage with them in their journey in a more personalized way.

And we also use cookie tracking. As we all know, cookie tracking is what allows Google Analytics and other analytics trackings sites to work. Once we place that cookie into somebody's browser, we can start to collect data on how they interact with us, which again, is all for the purpose of serving them valuable content that's going to lead towards a better connection, which in the long run is going to lead to more sales.

It's going to lead to a higher reputation as a company. So this is an overview on the power of personalization. The key is just to get going because you need data for personalization to work. If you don't have data, it's not going to work well because it's not going to have enough to feed the algorithm to say hey, this person should get this or that or this.

So, make sure that you get started. That's the first step. Start to segment your audience, and then move toward personalization, where you can deliver contextually appropriate content and make your digital marketing way more human.

Hope you guys enjoyed this episode. If you have any questions, please comment below. We would love to continue to engage with you in this conversation. And until next time, Happy Marketing.

Here is the tool we mention in the video:

ROI Calculator

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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