by Yash Chawlani, contributor to Business2Community
In a way, the retail environment has become saturated and challenging for industry bigwigs as well as new entrants.
Every business is facing mounting price pressure from discounters and improved price transparency. Conventional differentiation methods that held so strongly — such as a distinct product or competitive pricing — are not as efficient as they once used to be.
However, that doesn’t mean differentiation is impossible.
It can still manifest itself through personalized approaches where retailers design tailored experiences for individual customers. Such personalized experience, that can become tough for competitors to imitate and enable businesses to gain a sustainable edge.
According to a study, 89% of companies today compete among themselves on the basis of customer experience, while more than 50% of organizations aim to further personalize the CX.
This is telling of the desire for personalization, especially in the face of a recent Accenture finding where 91% of customers claimed that they were more likely to do business with brands that provided personalized experiences.
How Customer Experience and Marketing Are Connected
In this day and age, customers have grown to desire personalized experiences.
So much so that it has become a “hygiene factor”: customers may take it for granted, but are quick to jump ship if the retailer gets it wrong.
When done right, personalized experiences have been known to report a 20% increase in sales.
I think it is safe to say that CX and marketing are connected and personalization is that link.
6 Steps to a Personalized Customer Experience Marketing Strategy
1. Connect with customers and ask why they use your product
Customers are often frustrated by the repeated attempts that they have to undergo before an agent finally gets to their pain points.
However, this is not completely on the well-coached service representative too, as customers are often inept in their description of the problems they face.
This is where visual engagement tools like live video chat for business can make life easier for customer service teams. Brands can use live video chat for customer service to make customer interactions more engaging and personalized while delivering a delightful experience.
The video medium is not new, but its implementation in customer service can be revolutionary.
By utilizing live video chat, customers can instantly connect with service representatives and interact with them in real-time to get their queries solved quickly.
Customer service can also use this platform to understand why they use your product. That will become your USP.
Closely note down what customers are saying about your product and what features they use the most. Based on this information, you can modify your landing page and homepage content.
You can even use this information in your ad copy.
That’s how your existing customers can be very useful in scoring your new customers.
2. Use existing data to understand customer preferences
Were you aware that customer data is so integral to successful digital marketing today that 40% of brands have active plans of expanding their data-based marketing budgets?
Analyzing the data provides the marketer with the chance to understand what you did right and what they got wrong.
It also affects more than just marketing decisions, as it has been known to increase ROI through campaigns leveraging data-driven personalization, resulting in a 5-8x ROI for their campaign spend.
Various types of customer analytics enable your sales team with information on the customers’ buying process and consequently helps them to take measures that shorten the sales cycle. It allows marketers to combine customer data, such as demographics, interests, and location, along with browsing and purchase history to gather rich identity data that can be utilized to personalize their marketing campaigns.
When marketing teams are able to get hold of this rich data, they can influence a lead and react appropriately. This, coupled with the right CRM tool, allows you to keep customer data updated so that you can make better decisions to enable more personalized experiences for your customers.
3. Define the content for each stage of the customer journey
Since customers have endless options to get the services or products they require, it’s important for brands to keep them engaged throughout the entirety of the buyer journey.
So, how do you ensure that the buyer’s journey is engaging enough for them to stick around till the end?
With personalized content relevant to each stage of the journey.
When you define content for every part of the buyer journey, you can not only provide the right resources to nudge the customer in the right direction, but you can also be a lot more promotional with your content.
As a result, you can concentrate on developing targeted and personalized content that puts the customer or prospect at the center.
What’s more, by developing exceedingly personalized content for each stage, you can steadily influence their decisions to move on to the next stage, ultimately providing enough resources to convince them to finally make the purchase.
4. Build customer-centric landing pages
Any user visiting your website does so with varying intents and purposes and could lie anywhere on the spectrum of “just browsing” to “ready-to-purchase”.
As such, your landing pages should dynamically address the different needs of these customers by personalizing product descriptions to visitors based on their intent.
From a marketing standpoint, the biggest benefit that such customer-centric landing pages have is the relationship that they help you build with the visitor.
As a consequence, your visitors invariably start trusting you. You can then capitalize on this trust to assess their on-site behavior and even interact with them directly to base further personalization on various traits, such as user location, page content, referring websites, and previous user actions on your website.
With the help of these, you can then create customer-centric landing pages with personalized content to offer visitors a warm welcome. Holiday Builders is a great example of this. It appeals to a customer by referring to them by their name and prompting them to continue reading with the promise of offering exclusive incentives.
Apart from these, you can also create a personalized landing page based on user actions and recommendations for them. For instance, when told by a user that they prefer marketing news while signing up for their newsletter, you can create a custom landing page with good ideas on what the user might like next. You’ll find countless examples of this.
5. Produce content that your prospects would read
Did you know that major brands like KISSmetrics, Moz, and HubSpot traffic are derived primarily from their in-depth original content?
This goes to show the huge demand and value for content types. However, creating content that your users want to read is easier said than done. In fact, most content marketers find that challenging.
In order to do so, you must have a detailed understanding of your target audience so that you can create buyer personas around it to help you develop your editorial calendar. By knowing the pain points and needs of your target audience, you can build this buyer persona to address them with targeted content.
You can collect this information with the help of polls and surveys and then share the insights acquired from it with other customers. After all, customers are interested in seeing what like-minded people are doing.
You can also engage in social media listening to monitor what customers are saying about your products and gather context on competitors through unfiltered feedback. Also, ensure to use the insights you gain from this by structuring your content around the benefits you can provide to customers.
Health-science brand – Colorescience utilizes this tactic by clearly describing the benefits its customers can get from using its products. Colorescience also cleverly employs emotive phrases like ‘feel different’ and ‘universally flattering’ to accentuate the benefits of its products by appealing to its customers’ psyche.
6. Use customer reviews and feedback
Building on the back of the tips mentioned above, personalization marketing often derives its most value by picking the brains of customers. While customer analytics data and their purchase behavior are indispensable, so is the evergreen customer review.
To begin with, you can consider some simple strategies to ascertain what your customers would prefer on an individual or community-wide level.
When you have this information, tasks such as creating custom landing pages will become infinitely easier. However, before you can do that, you need to collect that information.
How do you do so? Well, it’s actually pretty straightforward. You can collect information through:
- Email surveys: Whether you create an informal report or a formal email survey, you can solicit customer feedback and incentivize participation by offering discounts.
- Social questions: This involves posting Q&A(s) on your social media handles and then requesting customers to outline their favorite products or their expectations from you next.
- Quizzes: Creating interactive online quizzes are a great way to directly ask questions to your customers regarding their needs and more.
Businesses that don’t shy away from asking for feedback can inform their personalization marketing strategies more effectively.
The great majority of customers out there are more than willing to provide information to businesses if it will result in a more personalized experience for them.
It is no secret that personalization affects customer decisions.
In fact, it has been known to build customer loyalty as well. When done right, personalization marketing can enhance revenue by 15% according to McKinsey, decrease acquisition costs by half, and improve the effectiveness of your marketing expenditure by 30%.
Article originally appeared on Business2Community.
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