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Tuesday, 23 February 2016 16:41

Getting Personal

Personalised marketing isn’t new. It’s been around as a theory since the turn of the millennium, but the practicalities of delivering it have been much slower to develop.

Now though, a decade and a half later, we find ourselves with the data mining techniques, printing capabilities and design nous to create a myriad of targeted, engaging and in some instances slightly creepy marketing materials.

Deloitte's 'made-to-order’ report on the rise of mass personalisation identifies the crucial point that if you’re going to get personal then you have to get it right because, as many leading industry figures are putting it, no one wants a stalker. Interestingly this report highlights the trend for personalised products and services as a whole, encompassing marketing and the final purchased item – showing that the thirst for targeted and customer specific experiences is far reaching and certainly here to stay.

What’s in a name?

The most recognisable personalisation campaign has to be ‘Share a Coke’ from Coca Cola, which saw frenzied buyers nose diving into palettes of coke hoping to find one with their name on it. Of course, this goes a whole lot further than sending personalised mail, encouraging customers to find their own name in the sea of Johns, Jacks and Joes, and even encouraging them to fork out hard earned money to have their less conventional name emblazoned on a bottle of tooth-rotting carbonated pop.

Whilst it may not have ticked all the boxes for your stereotypical personalised marketing campaign, it did highlight just how much we like things to be personalised; to feel like part of an exciting and bigger picture. After all, Nutella, Marmite and a whole host of other brands quickly followed suit and offered a similar personalised labelling experience to their customers too.

So, aside from the popularity of targeting marketing and Coca Cola showing the world how to do personalisation on a mass scale, what do more modest marketers need to know about personalising their marketing efforts?

Simple can be very effective

Introducing a customer’s name on the front of your printed comms, or on each tear out voucher, are great starting points for a company just starting out with personalised print marketing. Why is simple good? Because simple isn’t creepy – remember the golden rule about not wanting a stalker?

Special occasions

Sending a personalised birthday promotion to customers in the month of their big day is a popular marketing initiative which is easy to achieve with basic data capture information.

Matching products and complimentary services

If Mr Smith purchased a diamond engagement ring a few months ago and the matching pendant and earring set has just been launched, he will thank you for telling him a few weeks before Christmas. He won’t thank you for introducing him to your latest range of Christening gifts or porcelain figures.

Likewise, Miss Jones, the fashion conscious 20-year-old will thank you for sending her a personalised special offer for a discounted cut and blow dry, to keep her on-trend ‘ombre dip-dye hair do’ in top condition. She won’t thank you for telling her that ombre treatments are half price a week after she paid full whack for hers.

The point we’re labouring here is that matching products and services to customer profiles will not only save wastage on printed communications and postage, but it will enhance your customers’ brand experience, build brand loyalty and above all create and convert leads.

Data is king

If you don’t know much about data mining, you should check out our recent post on the topic, but in a nutshell, whipping your customer database into shape is the best way of ensuring your targeted mailers are, well, targeted.

Identifying trends and key demographics, creating customer profiles and streamlining unusable or outdated data will keep your marketing efforts lean and effective.

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