When you engage your customers, do you get personal?  Once upon a time, marketing was a shotgun approach where marketers blasted their content out to catch consumer interest.  Nowadays, consumers have gotten smarter about marketing tactics and require more to gain their attention.  This has encouraged an emerging trend towards personalized marketing.

By Steve Mehr, CEO of WebShark360

Personalized marketing is really about tailored content.  Depending upon your target audience, your content can be personalized to encourage more leads and convert them into paying customers.  Yet according to Econsultancy, 94% of marketers are not using personalized marketing.  Those that do use personalized marketing claim big gains with 68% of these marketers reporting a boost to their marketing ROI and 74% reporting increased customer engagement.  With such promising results, why isn’t this more widespread?

Let’s face it; personalized marketing is not easy.  It can be downright hard to obtain the necessary data to deliver a truly personalized feeling piece of marketing.  Don’t believe me? How often do retailers get your personal needs/ desires/ title/ name correct when they email you? The answer is not all that often, if ever. But with some tweaks to your current marketing efforts, you too can make your content personal.

How You Can Personalize Your Marketing

As marketers, we all struggle at times with ways to highlight brands in some very unique and niche areas. But no matter your product, good, or service, personalized marketing offers you the ability to reach out to diverse audiences and make them feel like you know and understand them well.  By communicating your brand in this personal way, consumers respond with higher sales and increased brand loyalty.  Try the following ideas to personalize your marketing efforts:

Create custom marketing campaigns to appeal to specific customers. 

This can sound daunting, but a huge component of successful marketing is knowing your audience.  You must be able to segment your audience quite specifically.  You are not seeking the entire public, but perhaps you’re looking to sell to mothers who use natural baby care products, or coffee drinkers who prefer organic products, or surfers who need cold water gear, etc… Think of your customers in these highly segmented terms and offer them content that you can further customize.  Within this group, tailor campaigns to people who happen to be frequent users versus infrequent users, male versus female, etc… The sky is the limit, but the personalization will be noticed and appreciated by your target audience.

Create emails that seem to speak to your customer directly. 

Using CRM software, you can tailor your email marketing to seem like you composed your marketing email for just this one customer alone.  CRM software has the capability to collect and store information about your customers that you can use in easy to edit marketing emails.  As an example, your email could mention Jane Smith by name, and reference her passion for tennis, or her children.  When you personalize your marketing emails, you abandon the old shotgun approach and replace it with a sniper approach, attracting higher sales and increased customer loyalty.

Engage on site. 

A lot of the focus in marketing is getting users to visit a site and purchase. Yet not a lot is done to manage the experience. Usability testing, customer surveying and onsite messaging are great ways to help more visitors cross the chasm to becoming customers and up their investments over time.  To build engagement, you could even invest in a customer engagement platform and track the data and your success over time.

Get social! 

Social media is a wonderful way to engage your customers directly.  You can communicate your brand, your personality, and your brand message direct to consumers.  You can chat with them about their concerns, collect feedback about products, goods, and services.  Often, it’s this personalized attention and glimpse into the personality behind the brand that attracts new customers.  Get social and get personal with your desired customers.

Brand your content. 

Generic spammy marketing content doesn’t convert consumers into paying customers very well.  Instead, try branding your content to support your brand’s message.  Within my own industry, there’s a tendency towards putting out generic blogs about accidents on the freeway.  While it’s on message and on brand, many attorneys fail to truly personalize it and flesh out the message.  What about this makes your law firm the natural choice to handle an accident case like this? What can your firm offer victims?  By tailoring this content to be more personal, these law firms set themselves apart from the pack and encourage new clients.

The 2012 changes to search engine algorithms taught marketers that we have to adapt and evolve with our intended audience.  Search engines are showing a preference for personalized content because users are finding it more valuable.  Therefore, in an effort to attract the most users, search engines are showing these internet users what they want to see.  When you type in tanning salon, it won’t do you any good to see results across the country.  But if your results are local and even connected to people you know, or businesses you follow, these results will be more effective at capturing internet users’ business.  Take a lesson from these search engines and personalize your marketing to gain the customers you desire today.

About the Author:

Steve Mehr is CEO of WebShark360, an online marketing company focusing on attorney marketing.  A full service marketing agency, WebShark360 offers clients capabilities of boosting their rankings and attracting new leads with content marketing, SEO, public relations, social media, and media buying. You can contact WebShark360 here http://webshark360.com