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How personalised marketing increases ROI

In today’s marketplace, where time is a limited resource, we are all becoming increasingly reliant on technology for almost every aspect of business to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Being technology driven, both as people and marketers, we spend a lot of time trying to automate our marketing processes so as to make ‘best’ use of time. However, when communicating with customers this can be damaging to the relationship and may actually turn them away.

Consumers have gone from being merely ‘buyers’ to people who actively engage with brands both online and offline. When interacting with brands on social media, customers are giving out their personal information in the hope of receiving more personalised services. With this in mind, businesses are beginning to revise their strategies and incorporate more one-to-one marketing with the hope of increasing customer engagement and loyalty.

Here are the main things to consider when developing your one-to-one marketing strategy:

You can never plan enough

Creating an effective one-to-one marketing campaign is no easy task. You must begin with a highly detailed, strategic plan. During this process, you need to take the time to identify all of the different connection points between your company and the customers, analyse the different customer journeys and map them out. This will help you to understand each customer experience and also identify any gaps in your process.

It may seem obvious, but keep the end goal of the campaign in mind when planning your marketing strategy. The objectives for these campaigns need to be well-defined in advance with specific success metrics that can be benchmarked across campaigns, and tactics.

Create a dynamic team

One of the biggest challenges faced by any marketer in achieving a successful personalised marketing campaign is understanding when to engage with the consumer in a cross-platform world, and of course how to do it in a way that will build long-lasting relationships.

Some progressive companies are using rich data along with omnichannel to create intimate customer experiences that operate outside the boundaries of online and offline purchasing behaviours. However, this is not easy. To create these strategies, marketers need to incorporate creative elements, numerous data sources, media channels and promotions which can require a lot of time and effort to align. To do this you need a dynamic team of skilled individuals across key departments in your company.

With so many new ways to interact with consumers, launching effective campaigns that significantly drive sales can be difficult. This is because the buying journey has become more complex. In order to keep up with consumer demands, all departments must work together to create a seamless experience or you risk missing opportunities.

The overall intent is to give the customer the recommendations or messages that they need at the optimal point in their path to purchase.

Test, test, and then test again

Like all new initiatives, you must test the strategy to find the right balance. Too often, businesses jump straight into a complex campaign without understanding the ins and outs of what will impact those campaigns. Always begin at a manageable level and then gradually add more layers in a methodical way.

Creating a culture that embraces testing is critical to crafting a well-defined personalised marketing strategy, since all marketing tactics don’t work for all organisations – it takes patience and realistic goals. Testing things like new data sets and campaigns are crucial to finding what works for a particular brand. Over time, you can learn which levers, data points, and campaign elements work and which ones don’t.

The next evolution in marketing is going to seem like a step backwards in some respects while we focus on improving customer-centric marketing. It may take more time to execute, but a one-to-one marketing strategy is the way forward and will almost certainly increase your ROI in the long-run.

Pressy Sankaran is the ANZ commercial director at Criteo, a performance marketing company.

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