The last time I logged into my Facebook account, I noticed an ad for a charity and that five of my friends had donated to that charity. Then I went to one of my favorite ecommerce sites that showed me products it knew I was interested in. Everywhere I go on the web, I find more things that are of interest to me – and that’s not because I am any better at searching than I was a few months ago.
What’s happening is the evolution of personalization. As a marketer, I know that the more targeted and personal I can get with my messaging, the better able I am to convert prospects into customers.
In ThoughtLead’s latest Future of Marketing series, 60 speakers (including HubSpot's own Mike Volpe) spoke for 60 minutes about the personalization revolution. These weren’t just marketers speaking. The roster included industry analysts, leading technologists, CEOs, authors, and bloggers.
If you have 60 minutes to spare, I highly recommend reading the transcript or listening to the audio recording. If you don’t have that much time but want to scan through the main points from each of the speakers, I’ve condensed their thoughts about personalization in the list below.
How Personalization is Changing Marketing
1. Customization is not personalization. Customization is explicit, but personalization is implicit.
2. There is a growing willingness to trade in privacy to get a personalized experience.
3. IP recognition software will provide an experience that is dynamically constructed for individual users.
4 . You can achieve intent-drive personalization by understanding engagement and what people engage with on your site.
5. Never forget that the key to great marketing is having an in-depth understanding of users. No matter how much technology changes, that never does.
6. Personalization is the next wave of the communal public user experience.
7. Delivering personalized messages to specific audiences at the right time is the holy grail of marketing.
8. The future is in making websites, products, or experiences personal in a deeply meaningful way.
9. The personalization of search results offers an opportunity to increase your visibility for really relevant searches.
10. The social, gesture, and location aspects of personalization are the key elements driving online advertising.
11. The potential to engage customers contextually based on a need and serve that in real time will drive mobile devices as they become payment vehicles.
12. The advent of newer technologies, social networking, and database profiling offers the ability to help people find what they need and serve them what they desire.
13. Personalization has moved beyond segmentation to algorithmically-driven content.
14. People want to share what they do and information about themselves if you give them the chance to do it.
15. Personalization is about leveraging what you can from individuals when they come to your inbound customer touch-points.
16. Don’t think about different groups you want to market to. Think about the power of one and how to reach that person in the most customized and creative way.
17. There are three vectors of personalization: real time, what is hot, and local.
18. Use personalization and customization of landing pages to drive better conversion rates.
19. The three step approach to personalization is: listen, educate, engage.
20. Think in terms of customer-centric recommendation engines rather than company-centric selling engines.
21. There is a growing need for social media managers to rationalize what they are doing.
22. The future of personalization will reward publishers that provide better content.
23. Personalization is about creating a natural process of conversation between companies and customers.
24. Use personalization to give customers a great experience.
25. Personalization is not just an opportunity but is a part of a set of broad, very profound societal changes where there is a trade-off between privacy and personalization.
26. The three keys to balancing personalization and privacy are company transparency, consumer choice, and being accountable to those choices.
27. With personalized ads, the goal is to reach the highest point of relevance for the lowest sense of intrusion.
28. For personalization to work, you want to gain your customer’s trust and not abuse it.
29. Engage your customers and prospects without secrecy.
30. Use the available technology to make sure you touch your customers in the right way at the right time with the right information.
31. A development in online privacy to keep an eye on is the possibility of a ‘do no track’ list, which is an idea being discussed by the FTC.
32. Privacy is not the issue. It’s about the value proposition we give to consumers.
33. The key to personalization is not algorithms or automation. The key is to work your butt off. To personalize, you need to put in the effort.
34. Worry less about technology and focus on human emotions and what turns people on.
35. Go beyond what your product can do for you customers and focus on what your product says about them.
36. The three Ms to successful personalization: motivation, message and media.
37. To get a shot at your customers’ pocketbooks, first capture their imagination by getting them into a dialogue.
38. Personalization convinces consumers that they are buying things thinking it’s their idea when, in fact, it’s not.
39. Marketers can get too focused on the details and forget to focus on the most important aspect: relevancy.
40. Filling your channel with content is going to personalize that relationship between the brand and the consumer.
41. Personalization comes to life by delivering relevant and compelling experiences to your end user.
42. Business is personal. It takes time to build trust but less to establish likeability, which is the first step towards long-term partnerships.
43. The challenge is to create an emotional and psychological contract with your customers that separates you from everybody else.
44. Get rid of the scripts. Create a Personal Emotional Connection (PEC) by encouraging reps to be themselves and have their personalities connect with customers' personalities.
45. Treat your customers like VIPs at every touch-point.
46. Customers now expect your business to use their personalized information to offer better service.
47. Get personal with your prospects and customers, but don’t get creepy by using all the information you have when communicating with your customers.
48. Personalized marketing is not just for customers and prospects. It can affect change within an organization.
49. Personalize to the why of the intent to increase the value of the customer experience.
50. One-to-one marketing is all about personalization; less mass communication and more mass customization.
51. In face-to-face marketing, body language is the key. In online marketing, the key is taking note of the digital body language of your web visitors and customers.
52. Mass personal relevance allows you to target individual offers tailored by data and driven by customer input.
53. With customer behavior changed by the recent economic downturn, more is now dependent on how a retailer or brand can communicate their relevancy to the customer.
54. Personalization is about engaging customers using technology in ways that mimic how we would do it if we were face to face.
55. For mobile, location-based marketing and location-based services are going to be very important for companies trying to reach consumers.
56. After search box and site navigation, product recommendations are the third key method that consumers use to navigate a retail site.
57. The trend is for consumers to click on relevant ads only, and personalization platforms are helping to drive this trend.
58. We’ve moved from an opt-in, permission-based and customized address fields in personalization to online relevant conversations that engage and excite.
59. The long-term effect of personalization where everyone becomes their own brand is that personal expertise will be an asset that can be traded for currency.
60. The company of the future takes all of its disparate information and unifies it because that is what everything else is based on.
What would you add to this list?
Image credit: Torley