by Tony Vidler
Everyone wants “it” to be about them.
Therein is the answer to “how to make marketing more effective today“…it has to be about them, and more importantly, it has to be personalised TO them. “Them” of course is whoever it is we are trying to appeal to and get to do new business with us. That includes existing clients as much as it does brand new prospects
If we are honest we have no excuse not to personalise the majority of our marketing efforts. We have the technology; we have the data (or can find it easily enough); and target market prospects are getting easier to identify and find by the day (assuming we actually know who our target market is). Pulling the data together and using technology to merge it or integrate it so that personalised communication for a particular individual is achieved is not beyond our means.
Usually we don’t make the extra effort to personalise communications because “we are busy”, or “it is too much effort”. I urge people to run the numbers on the exercise though: how much do we spend on mass communication or impersonal advertising and what do we expect (realistically) to get by way of return on that effort? Then; if we personalised the messaging – even to less people – how much extra effort or cost does that incur and what is the expected return?
Generally highly targeted and personalised messaging will achieve a far greater cut through the clutter and obtain higher levels of initial engagement. It must be said that even highly personalised rubbish message will be trash-canned, so the message still needs to tick all the boxes in terms of being interesting, relevant and have a clear benefit for the recipient. Assuming that it does though, then personalised messaging will achieve better returns than mass marketing techniques.
If we overlay that return with the anticipated lifetime value of any client we do obtain then the ROI usually goes through the roof.
Is it worth the effort?
If anything, I’d suggest that the lack of personalisation is an even greater turn-off (or barrier to engagement) today than it was 5 years ago. Back in time consumers didn’t really expect us to be able to do distinct personalisation in many respects….it just wasn’t the way things were so mass marketing just looked the same as all other marketing, and was just about as effective. However, consumers use the same technology we do. They know the capabilities….they know that with just a few minutes of effort and a few clicks of a muse we can check out their LinkedIn profile, google them and find out if they have been in the news. We can find out loads of useful and engaging information about most prospects fairly easily. And if we are going to try and convince people to listen to our message then they expect us to give them the courtesy of us having established firstly that it might actually be relevant to them, and specifically aimed at them individually.
Anything less is considered junk by most consumers. It is highly likely that their expectations of the degree of personalisation and individual relevance in messaging will only increase in the future.
As far as our marketing is concerned today we need to consider how we can continually improve the level of customisation that goes into messages. That requires us to be better at capturing and storing customer & prospect data efficiently and then integrating it with our marketing efforts rapidly.
We are now in the era of “personalise or perish” when it comes to getting our message out to those whom we wish to do business with.
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