Subhakar (Stanley) Rao Surapaneni

Investor *Sales and Marketing Pioneer * Author* Technology Champion *Philanthropist * Leadership Mentor

3 key steps to get your personalization right in digital marketing.

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For serious digital marketers – Personalization is a subject not only close to their heart, but also to their marketing brains. Why? Because in real digital marketing world it is quite easy to see many campaigns failing short of its target as there is a complete disconnect between the marketing message and the prospects. So how do we bridge this gap? I think a great part of this problem can be solved, if we try to understand the exact meaning and true nature of the word “Personalization”, especially in the context of digital marketing.

In simple dictionary meaning, personalization means “to endow with human, personal or individual characteristics”. For example, when you address someone with his first name; you are personalizing him. But is personalizing with first name enough for a digital marketing campaign? Not really. Let me tell you why. In digital marketing, personalization is the process of sending customized marketing messages fine tuned to a prospect’s characteristics, preferences and transaction history. So first name personalization is just the first basic step. There are lots of other things which you need to cover before clicking the send button of any marketing message. Which brings us to the most important question: How a marketer can personalize his marketing message to improve conversion? The answer lies in three key steps:

1. Customer Research : to build the database with the right target audience
2. Online Analytics: to study the behavior of your target
3. Relationship Building : to engage the target with meaningful content and win their trust

Customer Research: In common parlance, customer research is finding out people who are most likely to buy the product or services that you are offering in the market. It’s building database your target audience. But today customers are complicated creature. And plus you will have competitors in the market who might just snatch the customers away from you. How do win their loyalty? Well, you must know exactly what they are looking for. And how do you know this? It’s through analytics.

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Online Analytics: Analytics gives you real insights of who your customers are, what are their likes and dislikes and how they behave online. Analytics helps you to decipher the valuable personal data of your customers and organize them into meaningful information for your personalization strategies. Because when you know the customer on a personal level, you can send personalized message to them.

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Relationship Building: We all know how much online research a customer does before he buys something. This means the buying process starts long before the actual sale. Just think for a while. From whom a customer would buy? Obviously from a brand whom he can trust. And whom he is going to trust most likely? He is going to trust the brand which sends him relevant and meaningful content. And that is where relationship blossoms – one of the key elements of personalization. Because a customer just loves to engage with a brand that provides him with information that he is looking for and help him to take a sale decision on personal level.

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Personalization requires a well-coordinated effort of the above three channels to succeed and it never works out in isolation. I have read oftentimes personalization is finding answer to the basic age old marketing problem: Understanding who your consumers are and giving them what they want. How true it is! Personalization is putting customers at the center of our marketing strategy and all our digital activities are geared up to serve him really well at the personal level

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