Getting Personal: How to Leverage Data to Connect with Your Customer
Following the peak retail period of 2023/24 with Black Friday Cyber Monday, Christmas Gifting, the Holiday Period, and then End of Season Sales in January, brands often experience a decline in customer engagement with marketing material as customers become fatigued and overwhelmed with the saturation of messaging from retailers.
One way to gain back engagement following this period is to re-focus on personalisation and leveraging the data and insights gathered over this busy period to provide your customers with the most relevant and engaging customer experience in return.
Better use of analytics can help make your comms channels feel unique to each person who engages with them, where paying attention to key metrics such as clicks, time on site, abandoned shopping carts, or purchase history can allow you to customise your approach for different customer types, at different stages of their purchasing journey. Focusing on your connection with your audiences makes them more likely to engage with your channels and build loyalty towards your brand, leading to greater customer retention.
Here are 6 key ways to incorporate personalisation into your marketing strategy.
Nurture the Journey
Personalisation is about crafting a tailored experience for your customer and delivering content that resonates based on their individual preferences, actions, and unique characteristics. Map out the customer journey and ensure you deliver the right content at the right time. Incorporate an omnichannel approach and connect with customers across multiple touchpoints, including advertising, email & SMS marketing and your organic channels. Consider how they move through the purchase journey and tailor your messaging to be more personal as they move throughout a conversion, and don’t forget to look after them post-purchase as well. This can look like having a variety of different messaging at each stage of the advertising funnel so that users see different content depending on what stage they are at or having multiple automated email flows with personalised content such as a “Welcome Flow”, “Abandoned Cart Flow, “Post-Purchase Flow”, and so forth.
Utilise Dynamic Content
Dynamic content can come in the form of text, images, CTAs, and landing pages, where the variables can cater to the user’s data, preferences, and previous interactions. Consider customising your website or app depending on where your customer is browsing, and provide them with content most relevant to their location and preferences.
Dynamic product recommendations are designed to cater to a user’s previous buying/browsing patterns and preferences, where these curated recommendations create a sense of familiarity that resonates with your customers and give them that extra nudge or reminder to make the purchase. This is most commonly done by featuring items a user has previously expressed interest in via viewing the product or adding to their shopping cart. This can also be done in the final stages of purchasing, suggesting product recommendations at checkout in order to increase your average order value.
Targeted Product Recommendations
You could tap into this further the more you know about your customer, with specifically chosen product recommendations. For example, if you’re a hair & beauty retailer, you could showcase products tailored to a customer’s specific needs, including their hair type, skin type, gender, or colour preferences, suggesting products based on what they have previously purchased or information they have provided. This information can also be gathered through product recommendation quizzes, where customers can let you know exactly what it is they are looking to shop for, and brands can offer a filtered view of their product range based on the answers provided.
Segment Your Audiences
Segmentation lets you split your audience into groups based on demographic or geographic information, or their engagement and purchasing behaviours (when they last made a purchase & how often they buy), product interests, and spending levels. Brands shouldn’t be afraid to exclude those to whom the message isn’t relevant to - personalisation is all about the strategic choice to do or not do something based on the customer. If a number of people are still subscribed to your database yet aren't engaging with your campaigns, it may be better to exclude them from your regular newsletters, and instead, reserve sends for them for key events such as new season launches.
On the other hand, rewarding your loyal customers with special offers or invitations exclusive to them can help deepen your connection and further customer retention. Ensuring your message is going to the right people leads to more effective campaigns and an overall improvement in performance, rather than a ‘batch and blast’ approach sending every message to all those on your newsletter list.
Stay in Touch
Let your customers know that their interest has been heard. While a certain product on your website might not be immediately available for purchase, stay in touch with your customers to keep them engaged. Incorporate a ‘Back In Stock’ function or allow customers to sign up to be notified via Email or Text for a product that is on pre-order.
Know When to Give Space
Customers who have been less engaged with your campaigns may need a break. Allow your customer to adjust their email/SMS preferences. Consider how frequently they see advertising and look to adjust your targeting based on who has been engaging with adverts within a particular time window. Also, consider doing a customer survey occasionally so your audience can let you know what more they would like to see from your channels.
Keeping content as relevant as possible to each user allows you to make the most of your marketing outputs and extend your customer's lifecycle. Run A/B tests when trialling different ways of incorporating the above strategies to ensure they are effective, and continue to learn more about your customers over time.