The idea of digital marketing can seem pretty vague and broad when you first try to wrap your head around it. It isn’t, though, and it can reap big rewards if you approach it the right way. So, what is digital marketing? And how can you narrow it down in ways that will benefit your brand?

Digital marketing is basically marketing to customers online, so it can cover a lot of ground. It can be anything from online advertising and email marketing to content marketing and can live on a variety of platforms, from websites and blogs to social media and apps. Consumers can interact with digital marketing on all types of electronic devices, from desktop computers and laptops to tablets and cell phones.

It’s important to personalize your digital marketing strategy because there is a lot of competition out there. It’s important to reach the right target market in the right ways and to show customers that they’re valued, understood and appreciated. When you use information you’ve gathered about your customers to send them relevant messages about products or services they’re interested in, you’re cutting through the clutter by personalizing your digital marketing.

But digital marketing strategy personalization is more than metrics and targeting certain markets with specific platforms and messages. It’s also showing empathy for your customers and interacting with them on an individual, human level.

Benefits of Personalizing Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Personalizing your digital marketing strategy means a better ROI. It creates more qualified leads and better conversion rates.

Sending the right message to the right customer makes them feel recognized and that their needs and wants are acknowledged. And that can translate into brand loyalty and positive word of mouth.

Personalizing your digital marketing strategy increases brand loyalty. Have you ever thought about a particular brand, “They really get me”? If so, you’re probably one of their customers — and a very loyal one. A brand that understands exactly what a customer wants and consistently delivers it is one that earns brand loyalty in return.

It results in better customer engagement. When you’ve determined what your customers’ wants, needs and interests are, and you market to them based on that data, then they’re more likely to engage with your brand.

Personalizing your digital marketing strategy maximizes time, money and resources. It’s like pre-qualifying sales leads. It helps you to avoid wasting your efforts and marketing dollars on consumers who aren’t interested.

Personalization makes the sales cycle faster. That’s because it makes it easier and quicker to target the right consumers at the right time.

Ways You Can Personalize Your Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Get as much relevant information about your customers as possible. In order to personalize your digital marketing, you need to know who your customers are, their interests and what they want. Collect data that tells you, for example, about their buying habits or lifestyles. When you know the types of products or services they’ve bought in the past, you have data that can help you determine what they’ll want in the future.
  • Develop customer personas for your digital marketing strategy personalization. That way you can segment your lists by things like age, occupation and location and send the content that’s right for the persona.
  • Personalize your content. When you personalize content, you give the customer valuable information that’s relevant to their interests. It’s a nice extra that shows that you know and appreciate them and aren’t just out to convince them to buy your product 24/7.
  • Interact with customers in a natural way. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re interacting with a computer or that they’re just a number. Humanize the interaction, and keep the conversations natural and real yet respectful.
  • Engage with your customers. Ask them questions — and listen to them. You’ll gather the data you need to understand them and build or enhance your relationship with them.

What You Can Include When Personalizing Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Here are some ways in which you can discover how to personalize your digital marketing to reach your target market, as well as some tips and ideas on some popular strategies.

Data Analysis

Carefully analyze the data you collect so that you can properly segment your market. All the data in the world won’t help you if you don’t know how best to use it to define your market and its segments.

Testing

Once you’ve defined your targets, test your ideas to prove that you’re on the right track.

Keywords and Images

Use keywords and images that reflect your customer’s intent. If your customers don’t see or read what they’re searching for, they won’t be able to find you or your product.

Use Your Customer’s Name

There’s some debate in the digital marketing realm about this one. Some digital marketing experts say you that when you communicate with the customer, you should always use their name.

That means personalizing emails, addressing the customer by name and sending your emails from someone with a name, not just from an anonymous, generic title or the brand alone. However, others say that customers don’t like it and feel like it’s not genuine when companies use their names in digital marketing.

So should you, or shouldn’t you? It most likely depends on the circumstance and what you know about your customers. When it comes to customer service, you probably should. When it comes to a sales pitch, maybe not.

Rewards Programs and Contests

When digital marketers use contests and rewards programs to build and reward customer loyalty, they can also increase sales and brand image and awareness. The Starbucks loyalty rewards app is a great example of personalizing a digital marketing strategy, with more than 14 million members in the U.S.

Starbucks personalizes the program by giving members free drinks on their birthdays and making recommendations based on members’ ordering histories. As the Starbucks reward program’s membership has grown, so have the company’s net revenues.

Digital Marketing Personalization Don’ts

When you’re personalizing your digital marketing strategy, it’s important to remember that there are some things you should not include. Many of the things that you wouldn’t do in person are the same kinds of things you wouldn’t do in digital marketing personalization.

  • Don’t use personal info that’s not relevant or that might seem intrusive. Keep your customers’ privacy concerns in mind, especially when it comes to information gathered via AI. You don’t want customers to feel like you’re crossing a line with their personal information. Most customers don’t like it, for example, when you know what others in their household have bought or when you know what they’ve bought from a different company. Keep the customer feeling in control of their personal information.
  • Don’t ridicule a consumer’s previous choices or experiences. You might think you’re being edgy or clever, but your attempt could very easily fall flat, lose customers and hurt your brand image.
  • Don’t use outdated information, and don’t make assumptions. Say a customer just got divorced. Assuming that they’re now lonely and eager to jump into dating and use your dating app might not go over so well.
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