What Do All Customers Have in Common? Nothing
It’s kind of ironic. Businesses were never able to see their individual customers’ personalities, needs, traits, and habits until big data came along. It somehow took massive quantities of data on many, many people to finally be able to connect with the individual customer! But through better marketing automation tools and improved data analytics, businesses can now deliver targeted, tailored, intimately personalized marketing messages to individuals.
Marketing, like all other industries, has undergone a distinct pattern of evolution. Before the industrial revolution and through the economic boom that followed the Great Depression, most businesses worked closely, one-on-one with their customers. Advertising was then very targeted — Sam at the hardware store knew that Bill needed 2-penny nails for his new barn. He ordered the nails and told him about them at church the next Sunday. Monday, Bill came in and purchased Sam’s nails, also placing his order for the other items he’d need the next few weeks.
As mass marketing became a thing (perhaps with the establishment of mail order businesses like the Sears & Roebuck Catalog), marketing to the individual melted into marketing for the masses. Marketing became like toddler painting — sling it all at the wall and see what sticks.
Big data analytics allows the marketer to follow a shopper across devices and channels and examine their behavior. Now the marketer once again knows the person, and can deliver targeted, personalized messaging that hasn’t been seen since the days of Sam’s corner hardware store on Main Street, USA. What should you know about targeting customers as individuals?
Map Your Customer Journeys Using Marketing Automation Tools
What searches bring customers to you? What content do they typically enter your site for? How do they progress through your web pages? These answers tell you who your customers are, and the answer is never the same for any two businesses. Some have customers who pop in, buy, and bail. Others (usually those with higher value products) have customers who gradually mull through content in various stages before making a purchase decision. Map your customer journey and find out what your customers are looking for and how they go about finding it.
Segmentation Isn’t Enough. Segment Again, Then Personalize
Naturally, you’re working with quite detailed and richly defined customer personas. Segment those. Then segment those again. Then personalize. Amazon is perhaps the best example of this. Rarely do Amazon’s customers get product recommendations that seem to come out of left field. Their product recommendations are spot-on and often unnervingly timely. Use marketing automation tools and smart data analytics to Amazon-ify your marketing efforts.
Develop & Deliver Targeted Content
Now that you know your customers and how they prefer to shop with you, it’s time to tailor content for them. Get rid of underperforming content. If a webpage has a high dropout rate, take the ax to it today. Build more of what your customers are engaging with. Use the data from your customer support and tech support teams to decide what content they need that you haven’t given them — such as video tutorials, checklists, price comparison sheets, details about product features, etc. Now, deliver the content before they even ask for it. Use marketing automation tools to trigger customers to engage with your content based on the stage of the marketing funnel/buying cycle they’re in.
You Can Do It & ReachForce Can Help
ReachForce SmartForms helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data collection and management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like landing pages better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce SmartForms can help you improve your lead generation efforts at your own pace.