Subhakar Rao Surapaneni

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

Make your Customer Feel Special: Brand Personalization Matters and The Ways it Work.

The first thing about personalization is: it’s not only about making them feel special. At least, not consciously! Your customers need a small bit of acknowledgement in exchange of their presence from time to time. But that’s not all! Entertaining and inspiring them also form an integral part of your brand personalization strategy.

How Businesses Utilize Customer Curiosity in Brand Personalization

There is a reason why Christmas, or broadly the winter holiday season, is considered as one of the best time to launch personalized brand campaigns. Even hard-core business messages can be wrapped in the theme of fun and joy and gain high appreciation.

InContact took a similar approach to leverage the holiday rush through their Christmas emails couple of years back.

It was a simple HTML email template, with a CTA that said “draw a snowman!” Clicking it would take them to a blank canvas. Afterwards, the readers would be asked to draw a key in the snowman’s hand to unlock the Christmas greeting inside a wrapped gift box. Fun game! The campaign gained a lot of traction and resulted in long-term positive engagement. The simple personalization of getting their Christmas card from their own hand-drawn snowman was the master trick on InContact’s side.

Google also has adopted the trend of seasonal interactive games in their doodle area (like a music maker on World Music Day). Personalization can be as simple as addressing your list acquaintances as friends – by their first name. You don’t need deep pockets to convey an inspiring message.

Lesson to note: Customers are willing to appreciate a good idea. Provided, the following criteria are met:

  • The idea is simple (or at least comprehensible)
  • Your customers feel they have a part to play in it
  • It’s good if it helps in their day-to-day activities (like a simple marketing tool)

5 Low-Key Campaign Hacks to Know Your Customers for Better Brand Personalization

Personalization starts with knowing your intended recipients. With big data optimization, taking note of your prospects’ buying behaviors has become easier. But if you want to give your customers the brand experience they want, you have to simply ask. And there is no better way than a survey to do so.

We added to our holiday campaigns, and it worked wonders. Here are 5 simple hacks you can try too.

  1. SMS Survey

Create an innovative channel for your survey to get better results. More than 80% of our recipients are anyway going to open their mails in mobile. So I tried the format which is more suited for their devices. SMS campaigns acted as good fillers to our email greetings too. They come cheap and don’t require much customization. Just add a shortened URL to your standard holiday text campaign template.

  1. Small, Relevant Tokens of Appreciation

It’s the little things that show care. What matters is how you present it. A warm cup of coffee in the winter is as relevant a gift as it can be. Add a heartfelt line to your Starbucks coupon. Something like ‘Spread the warmth with a cup of coffee’. This simple value-addition excelled as a great welcome to our holiday campaign, and the open rates were great.

  1. Dynamic Landing Pages

Not all of my readers will be available on all their devices during holiday brakes. So I tried reaching all of the devices simultaneously. Reduce your efforts in creating isolated personalized versions for the same campaign landing page. Applying dynamic and responsive landing pages breaks the compatibility barrier, and maximizes campaign readership. The seamless experience opens the door for long-term engagement also. Now my prospects can start off from where they left even long after the holiday season is over.

  1. Automated Campaign Management

Campaign automation tools are expensive. But hiring one on a short-term basis can be worth the cost, especially during the holiday month. Automation costs from our in-house tool for this particular set of campaigns overshot than what we would’ve spent if we hired one. Automation tools integrate your CRM lists, schedules your campaigns with least or no human intervention, and provides detailed performance reports for you to follow up.

  1. Social Media List Segmentation

The norm is to flood social media pages with overwhelming activity during the holiday season. But the same tactic would not have worked with our list of niche B2B target groups. Professional networking sites like LinkedIn scrutinize high number of posts from individual profiles, leading to account blockage. B2B lists have to be targeted by most active social media profiles. Get your social profile field appended before launching your campaign.

Personalization will be one of the key turning points in the marketing arena of 2018. While everyone is trying to sell what they have, be the one who promotes what they want.

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