Three Steps to More Effective Personalization

By Bruce Browning | OlleyMay

It’s happened to all of us: We hear a song on the radio that reminds us of another one we want to hear – so we go to iTunes to grab it, and the radio station loses our attention.

The consumer is in charge these days – even of the airwaves – and companies like Pandora Radio are scrambling to serve them better.

As its founder Tim Westergren puts it in a recent interview with Direct Marketing News, radio has reached a turning point: “At the core of that transformation is personalization. We’re migrating from a signal that’s broadcast to unicast, where people can create their own stations.”

Westergren understands that consumers want personalized products and services – and if they can’t get them through one source, they’ll just go to another.

So if you aren’t personalizing your marketing to the max, it’s time to get serious. Here are three steps to take to better personalize your customer outreach:

Collect more detailed customer information. Offer preferred customer discounts, private sales, or (for B2B companies) insider information to get prospects to give you their email addresses, ZIP Codes, expressed preferences, or other personal identifiers like age, gender, title, even birthdays.

Segment that information. Segment your customer data based on actionable factors like location, age group, buying power, product focus, contact preferences, even the tried-and-true recency, frequency, monetary (RFM) rankings.

Target. Now use your detailed information to better target your outreach. Do you want to send seasonal emails? Target products to preferences? Reward best customers? Send triggered birthday emails? Create social forums for specific groups?

Yes, this process takes work. But trust me: If you aren’t targeting your outreach to your unique customers, someone else will – and you’ll be in for quite a battle to win them back.