We’ve all been on the receiving end of a poorly targeted ad campaign. Maybe you’re a 25-year-old who has received multiple offers to join a retiree organization. Or a 30-year-old single man with no children whose mailbox was bombarded with diaper coupons. It’s annoying, if mildly amusing.
It’s also becoming a thing of the past. As digital platforms proliferate and marketing becomes more data-driven, campaigns are increasingly personalized. Consumers now expect to be addressed by their correct names and to receive offers based on accurate information. In short, they expect personalization.
Savvy retailers like Amazon have moved beyond basic personalization to take into account past purchasing history, with spectacular results from a revenue standpoint. So what is the next frontier beyond personalization? Hyper-personalization is poised to change everything again.
In its simplest terms, hyper-personalization is a campaign strategy that addresses not only who the consumer is but what they are interested in at the present moment. It is an incredibly effective strategy that can drive sales up to 50% higher, according to at least one study.
Hyper-personalization takes into account data related to on-website and in-app activities as well as social media. It incorporates basic personalization data as well as broader information, including geographical regions and even time of day. Here’s how to move toward hyper-personalization:
- Gather your data in a central repository: Use your current records to create a repository for basic information, including names, addresses, regions and buying history. Add browsing activity, data analysis and social listening information (which can include remarks, profiles, etc.). Consider posting a sign-up widget on your website to gather information from new customers and update existing customer information, and add that data too.
- Conduct a basic segmentation: Divide customer data to more accurately target potential buyers, starting with age and gender segmentation since those categories are frequently useful for product or service personalization purposes. Assess purchasing history for further segmentation, considering, for example, customer receptiveness to luxury items vs. budget consciousness to drill down further.
- Implement more personalized campaigns: Use your information on age, interests and gender to ramp up personalization, and then introduce data on customers’ web and app activities into the mix, going beyond buying history. Keep in mind how major retailers like Amazon and Best Buy drive sales by sending notices about items left in online shopping carts and offers on products purchased by people with similar interests.
- Use marketing software to handle the data: Fortunately, marketers don’t have to spend hours parsing gigantic datasets these days — marketing software can shoulder much of the load. Today’s software is also capable of drilling down to granular details to optimize ecommerce, provide a consistent experience across channels and serve up content tailored for each individual consumer.
- Add contextual data: The ultimate objective of hyper-personalization is to target customers based on what they are interested in now, which requires context. If you sell fans and an area you serve is experiencing a heat wave, targeting those specific customers is a hyper-personalized campaign. Do you sell doughnuts? It’s a good idea to target morning commuters, taking time zones into account.
Personalized campaigns are a huge improvement over the old “spray and pray” method, which involved sending out messages indiscriminately to many people in the hope of reaching a few who might be spurred to action. But personalization has quickly become an old standard in the marketers’ toolbox.
Marketers who seek a significant competitive edge will need to revise their strategy, moving beyond mere personalization to hyper-personalize their marketing campaigns. These five steps, which likely include techniques you’re already using and data that is currently available, can help you move toward hyper-personalization…and higher sales.
Sandra Peterson is VP of Marketing at Absolutdata. Sandra brings extensive global B2B and B2C marketing expertise from leading brands like Apple, Palm, Adobe, and Nvidia. With 20 years of Silicon Valley experience, Sandra has applied her passion for new marketing technologies to a variety of industries including mobile, cloud-based software services, consumer electronics, etail and retail and the big data and analytics services space. Her international experience and deep understanding of marketing communication map well with our worldwide reach.