Want to capture more conversions and engage more leads? You'll want to get personal. But how can marketers make this personalized approach work for their brands?According to The State of Personalization Report 2021 by Twilio, businesses are struggling to make the best use of this new paradigm: While 85% of companies believe they’re offering personalized experiences, just 60% of consumers agree. To help your brand bridge the gap, we’ve analyzed the report to discover just how personalization is changing marketing — and what it means for your business.

Learn how to run more impactful, measurable marketing campaigns.

60 Ways Personalization is Changing Marketing

  1. Customization is not personalization. Customization is explicit, while personalization is implicit.
  2. There is a growing willingness among consumers to trade information for a personalized experience.
  3. IP recognition software will provide an experience that is dynamically constructed for individual users.
  4. You can achieve intent-driven personalization by understanding what people engage with on your site.
  5. Never forget that no matter how much technology changes, the key to great marketing is having an in-depth understanding of users.
  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 of marketing 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 the 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 pillars 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 pivot their strategies to connect with consumers.
  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, accountability for 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 violating their privacy rights.
  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. GDPR is changing the way marketers can track and target consumers with personalized ads.
  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 your 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 the 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. To increase the value of the customer experience, remember to answer the question "why" and personalize the experience around that answer.
  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, sales are now dependent on how a retailer or brand can communicate its relevance 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 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.

As personalization becomes commonplace, what shifts can marketing teams expect in customer and conversion outcomes? Here are eight ways this new paradigm is changing the game.

1. Omnichannel is Obligatory

The Twilio survey notes that just 25% of businesses are effectively implementing omnichannel marketing strategies. With consumers now actively engaging across multiple channels — 82% primarily engage via smartphones, while 63% use computers — effective personalization depends on an omnichannel approach that meets consumers where they are, not where brands expect them to be.

2. Privacy is Paramount

While three-quarters of customers surveyed said they’d never had an “invasive” experience with brand personalization, 64% of those who encountered this issue pointed to the problem of brands having information about them they didn’t knowingly or willingly provide. In a marketplace where personalization is king, privacy is paramount.

3. Strategic Investment is Essential

It’s easy to overspend on personalization efforts — after all, the more brands learn about their customers, the better, right? Not always.

Here’s why: Not every approach pays the same dividends. While massive investment in social media marketing might help drive interest, companies will quickly lose customers if websites can’t deliver the same level of personalization. The result? Start where the customers are by personalizing your mobile and desktop websites and work outward from there.

4. Context is Critical

Customers want personalization to change based on the context of their interaction with your brand. In practice, this means that how they connect and what they’re looking for should inform the nature of personalization.

For example, a prospective customer that clicks on a product ad from your social media site wants specific information about the item in question, how they can order it, and how long it will take to arrive. Those clicking through to your website from a search engine, meanwhile, are often looking for more generalized context about what you do, where you’re located, and what you can offer.

5. Boundaries are Beneficial

Not all personalization performs as intended. As noted by Accenture, consumers called geo-based texts or notifications on their mobile triggered by their proximity to retail locations “creepy” — which isn’t a word you want to hear from potential buyers. As a result, it’s critical to conduct market research and determine where your customers draw the line.

6. Anonymity is Actionable

In some cases, anonymity is the path to personalization. Here’s why: While customers are often hesitant to provide personal information to brands if it’s used to create identifiable profiles of them within company databases, they’re typically willing to share personal data if companies promise anonymity. This anonymous data, meanwhile, is a great source of overall market trends that can help inform personalization strategies at scale.

7. Apologies are Effective

About 45% of consumers say the “coolest” personalization effort they’ve seen is when companies apologize for poor shopping experiences. This is the other side of personalization-based marketing: While most efforts focus on gaining customers, this approach focuses on keeping them. Combined with action — such as discounts, free shipping, or other benefits — apologies are an effective way to retain consumer loyalty.

8. People are the Priority

When it comes to personalization, people are the priority. Customers not only want to be treated like people through the personalization of recommendations and service but also want to see the humanity behind your brand. As a result, it’s worth personalizing your web pages, social sites, and marketing efforts to showcase the human side of your story and help drive the creation of a shared customer/company narrative.

This Time, It’s Personal

The volume and variety of customer data now available — from personal preferences to transaction histories and social media interactions — lays the groundwork for effective personalization.

However, teams must do more than simply capture data; they must combine and curate this information to create value-driven campaigns that speak directly to user interests. It’s no easy task, but the rewards are substantive. From improved engagement to increased customer loyalty and reliable conversions, fundamental change is happening to familiar marketing processes — and this time, it’s personal.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2011 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

New Call-to-action

 New Call-to-action

Originally published Dec 3, 2021 7:00:00 AM, updated December 03 2021

Topics:

Personalization in Marketing