How Personal is Personalized Marketing?


How Personal is Personalized Marketing?

By Special Guest
Glen Caruso, CMO at UserIQ
  |  July 28, 2016

Studies show that marketers who deploy marketing automation campaigns are finding it much more challenging to garner customer engagement. Email drip campaign statistics alone are scary. Of the 75 emails that hit the average person’s inbox each day, more than 50 percent are promotional. In fact, the majority of those communications do not elicit any type of response at all. 

Companies believe that simply including the first name of a recipient in an email, website application, or digital ad is personalization. However, consumers disagree, as 53 percent report most brand messages not being relevant to them.

So before setting up your next marketing automation campaign, consider these four questions to help generate maximum success as a means to justify ROI.

Is your message deeply relevant to the receiver?

Thinking critically about both the message and the receiver is the first step to personalizing automated marketing campaigns. To better engage with today’s customer your business is probably collecting buyer data each day. Additionally,  third-party data that can be purchased and then melded with your first-party data is readily available, enriching knowledge of your unique customer segments. This insight makes it easier to perform a deep dive into your brand’s buying segments and can enlighten you to opportunities to reach and upsell more high-value prospects.

But where do you start collecting data? First, consider your customer’s job role and their known problems. People inherently respond to clear messaging that describes how your product or service will relieve their pain points. Second, keep in mind spend levels and the amount of interaction your customer is currently having with your brand, including with your advertising, email, website, or directly through your sales and customer success teams.

Today, customers and prospects expect marketing to be highly personalized to them and only them. Tailor your messaging to get specific customer segments to take notice and engage. As an example, why would a brand send a download announcement message to a user who has already downloaded it? It’s ineffective, a waste of dollars, and annoying, and it can equate to lost sales down the line.

Does your messaging convey how you will address the needs and challenges faced by the customer?

As a marketer, think of yourself as being in the pain management business. Remember to clearly illustrate your product’s benefits to the end user without talking about features and functionality.

When Microsoft (News - Alert) announced Windows 10 earlier this year, instead of leading with the message, “Download Microsoft Windows 10,” the company first considered how Windows 10 would provide a huge solution to its customers' daily woes. Subsequently, this drove customers to take action. Its chosen message instead? “Welcome to a faster, more secure, and user friendly way to do.” This clear statement addressed the needs and goals of their users in a less traditional, yet highly effective way.

Have you considered your website application as a marketing platform?

Along with email lists, websites are also considered an owned medium, and one that is largely overlooked as a marketing channel. In the age of email channel fatigue, exploit all of your owned media channels, especially your website, as this can be the most powerful messaging machine of all.

Placing brand messaging within your web application and having it automatically render during a specific customer’s journey can be extremely impactful. Customers explore your website looking for answers, so take advantage and message them where they are the most receptive to custom-crafted communication.

Is the message visually appealing?

On average, 40 percent of users spend zero to three seconds viewing ads and emails, a number that increases among mobile users. Furthermore, 65 percent of people are visual learners, so creating messages that are appealing to the eye is just as important as the verbiage itself. As you develop your brand’s creative layout and messaging, consider the following:

• Does the message imagery and verbiage reflect the look and feel of my trusted brand?

• Should I include a GIF or video in the email, ad or in-app callout message?

• How will the chosen colors, layout, font, and word count capture the reader’s attention?

Without question, personalized content is still king, especially when it comes to marketing automation success. However, brands must combine that personalized messaging with user behavior, channel diversity, and website messaging to achieve ideal success.

Glen Caruso is CMO at UserIQ (

Edited by Alicia Young
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