Personalization Insights from the UKJun 23, 2014 - by Neil Capel
Marketers around the world have access to more data points to inform them of the interests and preferences of individual customers that ever before.
We opened our London office a few months ago and recently conducted a market research study (with the help of Redshift Research) to see what UK adults are thinking about online shopping and brand loyalty. I thought the results of the study could be of interest to many marketers here on LinkedIn.
The market research survey found that UK consumers increasingly both understand and expect a personal interaction with brands. Over half (54%) see personalization as receiving tailored messages that reflect previous purchases or interests, while 47% believe it is messages focused on specific offers in which they have previously shown interest. 29% of respondents expect personalization in the form of messages focused on previously browsed products or services.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that millennials, which we delineate as 18-25 year olds, not only understand personalized marketing but actually demand it given that it directly ties back to their loyalty to a given brand! Almost three in five adult participants (59%) are happy to buy online from new and different brands without researching them first – this figure drops dramatically for the younger generation. Almost two fifths (38%) of millennials are more likely tobuy exclusively from brands they trust.
Personalization is important to consumers; and with the younger generation actively looking for a more personal brand experience, it is a must. Brands globally are increasingly considering how best to build a trusted relationship with consumers and looking at what actually drives that brand-consumer relationship. When 39% of shoppers say they will unsubscribe if they receive too many marketing emails, there is clearly a fine line between increasing sales via staying top of mind and losing customers for good.
To meet customer expectations and demands for personalization, marketers need to fundamentally change their approach. Many organisations still talk about wishing to achieve a single customer view and explore real-time information, yet in reality the vast majority are still reliant upon batched campaigns.
There are two essential concepts to understand in order to deliver that personal customer experience and to build a trusted relationship. First, attain individual customer knowledge – across every platform, from response to email marketing to online activity and social media behavior. Be transparent in this approach by giving consumers the opportunity to opt-in to each touch point. Second, forget the generic assumptions that have traditionally driven segment-based campaigns; effective personalization puts those assumptions to one side and ensures content and offers are served up in response to actual, measured and tracked customer behavior. Be reliable in the content that you serve, using data and analytics to serve meaningful content to each customer.
No two customers experience a brand in the same way – and true personalization transforms brand trust, engagement and loyalty. You must give customers what they want.
Neil Capel is the Founder & CEO of Sailthru.