You’ve heard it before: when it comes to knowing your customers, knowledge is power…
But, the true secret to success lies in how you use this knowledge.
We are on a mission to break down the differences between average content, and great content. These tips highlight the best ways to use customer data to better your content marketing.
Brands are often unaware they are sitting on a goldmine of customer insights that can almost instantly help marketers craft a more personalised message. Taking a deeper interest in the data you have, using a CDP for example, you can understand more about our customers. Like whether they shop online or offline, if they travel far to a store – offer them free home delivery, or if they always buy at Christmas – try and entice with other seasonal offers.
We see data as being personal, and human. If used well, it is something that can help inform how you communicate with customers better, and on a more individualised basis. It can be your secret to better content, allowing you to truly personalize.
Tip 1: Identification & Segmentation
When creating personalised content, the best place to start is with intelligent identification and segmentation of the humans you want to target.
Where to begin
> Establishing a strategy is important in recognising and grouping who you want to target, why and when. Identifying these tribes of humans, and grouping them so that you can speak to them in relevant ways, at relevant times, is a critical step towards creating standout personalised content.
For example, ensuring you don’t email a product offer, or set up retargeting to a customer that they have already purchased. This is a really common mistake that we see in our own inboxes.
> Consider segmentation techniques based on lifetime value, or RFM segmentation, and these segmentation methods will allow you to build tribes of customers. You can also enhance these tribes with “lookalike” customers – that is, other people within your organisation’s universe with similar behaviours and interests.
> By looking at these groups and drawing insights from them, you will start to recognise patterns for individualised content that will appeal most to them, and in what formats.
According to a 2017 Accenture study, “81% of consumers want brands to know how and when to approach them” – so this opportunity is far greater than adding an individual to your mass email marketing list.
Tip 2: Humanise
Once you have chosen your preferred segmentation model/s and have your groups or tribes set up – it’s now about humanising your communications to them. This includes both what you’re saying, and where you’re saying it.
Humanisation and personalisation go hand-in-hand. Personalisation (done well) increases message relevancy and therefore encourages desired behaviors, while humanisation builds the relationship and kinship, building trust, and in turn, advocacy and retention.
Remember, you are speaking to humans, from humans – not as a brand, nor a machine, nor a company. Speak on an individual level and start to build personal relationships and rapport. See how we talk about tone of voice in our latest resource The 2019 CX Playbook.
60% of marketers struggle to personalise content in real time
Social content is an excellent place to truly build quality human connections – as behind every click, share, like and listen, is a human being. Using the insights, to connect in a more human way, building quality relationships and emotional connections is integral to your organisation’s success.
Tip 3: Understand the importance of formats and channels
A critical component to creating standout personalised content is channel awareness. Being aware of which channels will work best for which tribe, is essential. And along with that, consideration of multiple formats and channels hitting the same individuals is also key, and this can be managed by using the right tools.
We see an ongoing theme of brands wanting to be better at knowing where to talk to their customers. A CDP is a very useful way to help an organization identify historically where their best customers have engaged with their brand the most and understanding and enhancing your entire MarTech stack will prove to be the secret to your future success.
A CDP delivers exceptional personalised experiences
David Raab – The Customer Data Platform Institute
Thinking about your Martech stack, CDPs enhance DMPs, DSPs and more. These complementary solutions provide organizations with real-time data, and combining with a DCP and DSP allow you to achieve personalization at scale.
Tip 4: Effective end-to-end customer service
Ensure you put the effort into where your customers will go once they’ve seen your message. This could be a personalised landing page, or retail experience (online or offline) – but you need to think very carefully through what happens next.
End-to-end customer service is critical. Beyond an article, a social post, or an email, their ongoing relationship with you from that first piece of content, need to be personalised and human.
It is believed that “by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator” ( Frost & Sullivan) – so success lies in joining all of the dots from content, through to a sale, and the ongoing, personal relationship – for the whole lifetime of our customer.
Personalised content should lead to personalised experience. A recent Forbes business article calls out new research proving that consumers are expecting (if not demanding) highly personalised experiences – both on and offline. For businesses who can deliver this, customers are typically willing to spend more with brands who truly know them.
Shoppers expect brands to remember them – whether that is in the digital channel, or in-store – yet very few companies are truly delivering on this.
Brands have an opportunity and an obligation to delight customers across every touchpoint. Digital customer experience is no longer an afterthought, and, as we’ve described in detail in our 2019 CX Playbook – it’s easier than ever to apply small changes and increase the impact digital CX has on a brand’s bottom line.
Tip 5: Frequency & Timing
81% of consumers want brands to understand them better
As important as the message in the content, so is the timing of delivery of this content. Organisations need to ensure they’re personalising content timings based on location, time zones and read-response rates. Think about how well you really know your customers? When are they engaged with different formats of content and what times of day (and week and frequency) have higher response rates? Frequency and timing can be just as personal as the name and offer itself.
Getting the timing right can have significant impacts on conversion rates. And working with the right solutions to identify the correct timing is critical to your success. We work with partners to look at time of day and day of week for both marketing engagement and transactions. And another angle we take is suppression and choosing when not to talk to a customer about something – for example, the cart abandonment offer, when they have just made a purchase in-store.
So, knowledge is power, but how you use this knowledge determines whether you can truly unleash your true power.
By using the right tools, and identifying the right insights, you will find immense opportunities for personalisation, or as we like to call it, humanisation, as well as driving engagement, successful brand building, and in turn, conversion.
Using your data to inform your communications, on a more individualised basis will be your secret weapon to true personalisation and cut-through.
It’s also critical to remember that personalisation isn’t just one element of marketing, but it’s the cohesive nature of all the customer touchpoints – digital, offline, past, present (and predicted future), together as one.
To get in touch or find out more about using delving deeper into personalisation for your organisation, reach out, we would love to hear from you.