Why personalisation makes for powerful promotional marketing

personalised marketing doesn't limit the size and impact of a promotion. think bigger. much bigger.

In fact, it's a proven winner, and something that your consumers are after at every touchpoint. So we're taking a closer look at how personalisation can power your whole promotion - from first interaction to sale, and beyond.

“Very personalised promotions are an effective way to reward the loyalty of that valuable group; and increase spend through cross or up selling,” says Florian Baur, Vice President of Business Development at global retail specialists, Emnos.

"Complex algorithms can access billions of options and allocate coupons to each and every customer so they receive a range of rewards, activation and innovation coupons - all products you know they like; they will like; or they should try; and at the most appropriate discount price."

 And personalisation doesn't limit the size and impact of a promotion - it can be applied on a massive scale.

 One French retailer saw an ROI of up to 800%…

Baur tells how a French retailer used this approach to launch campaigns every two weeks with offers at an average 30% discount, targeting over two million customers with 130 million bespoke coupons featuring over 640 brands. The average redemption rate was 8.4% delivering an ROI of up to 800% and generating 2% in incremental sales. 

Customers want personalisation at every touchpoint

When done well, personalised marketing can clearly have a far greater impact than generic marketing. And consumer demand appears to be growing, and that isn't exclusive to online messages. 

According to a survey by Sodexo Employee and Consumer Engagement in 2017, 38% of people like it when companies use their data to better target advertising and marketing - rising to 49% in the South East of England.

But brands are still grappling with how to really smash their targeted marketing communications, whether via email, social media, video content or SMS…

Data holds the key

The answer lies in the clever use of data.

Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to gather valuable customer information, from demographic data to transaction histories, website behaviour to location.

And data mining isn’t just the preserve of the big boys - there are a wealth of affordable tools available. While Google Analytics provides all manner of data about website visitors, using numerous metrics and traffic sources. 

Each nugget of information helps brands to segment customers and build detailed personas, enabling them to better target promotions to specific groups using personalised landing pages, for example.

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Brands need to look beyond the name

Inserting a person’s name in an email communication is no longer enough.

Consumers want to be treated as valued customers, and feel understood by the brand.

This means delivering content that appeals and creating promotions that excite.

For on-pack promotions that drive people online, for example, it means offering tailored web and mobile experiences that show you know what makes them tick and you appreciate them giving up their time to engage with your brand.

For example, knowing whether someone entering your promotion is an existing customer or a lapsed customer, or whether they are new to your company, is key.

Brands can gather this data by posing a simple question when consumers land on the promotional website, directing them to the most relevant campaign page. This also provides valuable data for future communications.

Personalisation “drives trust and sales”

As Douglas Karr, CEO of marketing and business consulting firm DK New Media, told online marketing company, WordStream earlier this year:

“For marketing departments, personalisation is a strategy that increases relevance and engagement, which ultimately drives trust and sales. It’s a tremendous feedback loop from the customer, providing insight into their location, demographics and motivation for doing business with the company. That information is priceless to marketers – helping them improve offerings and speak clearly to their customers.” 

There are a tonne of opportunities to personalise the experience as customers engage with your brand.

For example, emails which invite consumers to enter competitions, take part in promotions or provide discounts can be tailored depending on their previous purchases or browsing history.

82% say personalisation leads to increased email open rates

An August 2016 study from The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM) revealed that among the UK marketers polled, 82% said personalisation led to increased email open rates, while 75% said clickthrough rates improved. 

This kind of customer information can inform messaging across any platform, whether SMS or social media, for example, and there is a wealth of data which can be used to personalise the experience.

Take these for example:

  • Location
    Knowing which areas consumers live in could help brands to tailor promotions to the local weather conditions, for example, or around key attractions in the area. An invite to take part in a promotion that promises to reward the consumer with a trip to a top local restaurant or upcoming event will gain far more traction than one which involves a lot of travel or an unfamiliar venue.
  • Motivation
    This information is key when designing and communicating a personalised promotion. Is the consumer motivated primarily by price or by value, by quality or by brand? Understanding this will enable the imagery and messaging to hit the spot.
  • Customer history
    Brands hold a wealth of accurate first party data in their CRM systems, detailing which products a customer has bought and how frequently, and what they searched for before making each purchase. Other information could include their delivery and payment preferences. Brands must think laterally about how to apply this information to make the communication truly resonate with the customer.
  • Timing 
    Knowing when certain customer segments have opened your brand’s communications in the past, and when they tend to communicate with you and make purchases, is gold dust. This can inform the optimum time to contact them with a promotion or offer, increasing their receptiveness.
  • Platform  
    Understanding a consumer’s preferred device - whether tablet, smartphone or laptop, for example - can help to inform how a company contacts them, and ensure that content is created to achieve the best user experience. 
  • Device
    Similarly, knowing which platforms customers tend to spend time on enables brands to better tailor communications and content, reaching different people in different ways. Are they Twitter lovers, for example, or pro SnapChatters or Facebookers? Or do they always interact with your brand via email?  


Be relevant and add value”

Personalisation in promotional marketing - from communications to prizes - can reap huge rewards. But brands need to get it right. The survey from Entice reveals that over 30% of people don’t like companies using their data for targeting because they find it invasive. 

As Sara Morley, Sales Director at software and consulting company, Ultimedia writes, successful personalisation is about being relevant and adding value - which means applying context to the data.

“If someone buys a new a vacuum cleaner online, the chances are they don’t need another one straight away. So emailing them endlessly with the latest deals on the latest sucking device is irrelevant and will probably irritate them to death.” 

It is all about context, says Morley, adding that, “After a few months, emails about bags and filters for the chosen vacuum cleaner, or even other cleaning items, might be just what the customer needs and be much more relevant to them.”

The key is not to use personalisation just because you can. It is about using it because it will make a positive difference.

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