How to prepare for the future of personalization in marketing
As our expectations for digital experiences grow, personalization becomes a key factor on how likely we are to return as customers. Nadine Smith, marketing strategist at Rawnet, delves into how marketers can keep pace with these shifting expectations – and claim a competitive advantage by getting ahead of them.
Personalization has become an increasingly important part of many digital campaigns. Generic ‘one size fits all’ marketing has become a thing of the past, replaced by tailor-made, unique experiences.
Rawnet on how personalization will impact future consumers
But the ability to scale throughout an entire business is still on the horizon for many companies. With new and improved technologies that focus on data and analytics, marketers will be able to achieve a more personal and human experience across many platforms, especially within the marketing and sales departments. Physical spaces are going down in numbers across many industries, and the first impression of a business now goes beyond the office or shop floor.
Personalization, however, is still an unfamiliar tool for many. When attempting to implement it into digital marketing, it’s important that marketers understand what personalization can bring. By comprehending the main shifts in personalization, including building the necessary skills and capabilities, marketers will be able to offer a highly-demanded service to both loyal and fresh customers. Looking forward to the coming years, marketers should expect personalization to continue to boom. Now is the time to prepare.
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Digitizing your space
Marketing departments have been able to offer a more personalized experience online, mainly through social media. Taking this one step further is where companies have come to a halt. With the pandemic shifting the market toward a digitally-led future, the responsibility of first impressions is now in the hands of marketers and their online platforms. Personalization needs to be offered throughout the customer journey and will be expected from start to finish. Sales and marketing departments will need to work closer with one another to personalize their response to potential customers. To help with this, artificial intelligence (AI) tools and other technologies will be rolled out.
Some companies are heading in the right direction, which will help them keep ahead of the competition. Marketers must look at how they can personalize practices throughout the customer journey.
Virtual experiences with a personal touch will be crucial. This includes online chat boxes, social media and other digital communication tools. AI and digital marketing can work together to generate leads and provide brands with the ability to offer personalized responses, rather than robot-like replies, which will avoid consumer disappointment. Being able to generate recommendations based on specific customer demands will encourage further engagement and build long-term loyalty.
By understanding and relating to customers, brands will be able to adapt their services to encourage trust and advocacy. Marketers will be responsible for making these changes in the customer journey around the brand. Machine learning (ML) is a tool that supports that. For example, recording the algorithms around the website will generate data to understand how the customer is navigating on the platform. Using this to analyze behavior will provide recommendations on where and how to personalize the site. Ultimately, this data can help marketers communicate with customers in a much more personal way.
The future of the customer journey
Each customer has their own journey with a business, and this all contributes to the overall success of the marketing in a business. Creating connections and touchpoints through the interaction with a brand leaves a big opportunity for next-level personalization. Expanding across digital channels to provide a more streamlined and human-like experience will result in a more positive decision-making journey. AI is growing and will continue to do so, but instead of waiting for the technology to recognize customer needs, why not start to analyze marketing efforts now? Using technology to bolster marketing will help to finally deliver personalization. Using the thoughts and emotions of actual people makes all the difference.
Personalization is becoming a more prominent capability for marketing and will become a key driver of the marketing department. The need to understand the demands of customers should be an ongoing exercise, so developing systems that work in the background to note these behavioral patterns can be a useful tool. Introducing regular outreach across business channels will need interaction and experimentation, but this will offer a human-like experience in the longer term. Having dedicated marketers who can build this in an organization, with the help of personalization tools, can support customers at the right time and in the right place. People want to speak to people, and although technology can offer this, it won’t always be accurate and personal.
Developing personalization in marketing is a journey itself. Customer demands continue to shift and there is an ever-growing expectation of real-time, one-to-one communication between the customer and business. Companies that have the correct tools and people ready to offer personalization will be at the forefront of successful marketing. To start, determining how to convert and retain new customers will be the key to offering a real and valuable experience. Personalization is becoming more attractive to potential customers. Implementing it today will offer a competitive advantage.
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