Online Marketing

How Small Online Retailers Can Personalize Their Marketing

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It has never been easier to tailor marketing messaging to different demographics, no matter what your company’s size. Savvy marketers know that there is a lot to be won by segmenting your customer base and personalizing your online marketing to them.  By doing so, retailers can create smaller groups with more commonalities to personalize their marketing plan further, without worrying about alienating part of their audience says, Michiel Schipperus, CEO & Managing Partner, Sana Commerce 

It’s easier than ever to tailor marketing messages to different demographics.  Even if a business operates in a niche are, they can still gain by personalizing online marketing using segments instead of repurposing the same messages for their entire customer base. By grouping customers on characteristics, retailers can create marketing segments: marketing subsets with more commonalities and personalize their marketing to them.

To achieve better, more effective marketing, merchants must do more than just create selections in the customer and prospect databases. They must also create personalized marketing content for each segment and set up this personalization in their marketing software. For a small or solo marketing team. this might seem like more work than it’s worth. If everyone on the list has shown an interest in the products, do they really need to go the extra mile to personalize?

Yes, personalization isn’t just a nice-to-have, it is what your customers expect. According to RR Donnelley, 79% of consumers say they are only likely to use a brand’s promotions if they’re tailored to previous interactions . A study by Evergage found that 88% of marketers experienced a measurable lift in business results thanks to personalization. The reason that personalization in marketing works is because it takes the needs of the audience into account, specifically the needs of the buyer at that time.

The buyer journey can be long and complex, particularly in B2B. B2B customers rarely make impulse buys, rather they research a product or service, comparison shop and maybe even negotiate the price. The customer has different information needs in every step of this journey. The same goes consumers, who may need to be reminded of how great those shoes are before they finally purchase. With effective marketing personalization, retailers can show leads and customers what they need to see and when they need to see, it in order to help them further along the path to purchase. But, to do this,  you need segments.

To get started with segmentation, the first thing markers need to ask themselves is: “What affects the way I want to communicate with my customers?”  This could be location, age, household income or even the weather.  In B2B, marketers want to consider both the company they’re selling to and the contact person they’re engaging and create segments based on data such as: industry, company size and the recipient’s position within the company. To market to them, they could use different messaging for different individual and their industries and promote different products entirely. For example, a CIO will be more interested in the technical specifications of your software than a marketing manager, for instance. 

Finally, consider segmenting on behavior. Behavioral segmentation could be something as simple as average order amount or haven’t placed an order for over three months. Segments like these let a merchant reward loyal (or especially lucrative) clients with special deals to increase loyalty and re-engage customers who might be at risk of forgetting about their business.  This is also very useful for prospects. By segmenting leads based on their position in the sales cycle, messages can be tailored to ensure the smoothest (and fastest) possible path to becoming a customer.

So, where does one start? First, analyze the data from the ERP and, for more advanced marketers, a CDP (customer data platform). Once the data is in hand, marketers should analyze basic demographics such as a customer’s location, sales statistics, log in and shopping cart (e.g when it was last modified, number of items etc.). From there, they can begin to create segments and kick off personalization in their email and online marketing and develop campaigns that will drive a higher ROI and lead to more sales.

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