The importance of the individual

Thanks to advances in technology, it’s now easier and more cost-effective than ever for organisations to get their message in front of a vast audience. Consider channels such as email, social and display, for example, where campaigns typically entail far fewer overheads than those for more traditional channels such as TV and print media.

However, as marketing to the masses becomes increasingly accessible, the very idea of ‘mass marketing’ is dying – a sentiment echoed by by everyone from Seth Godin to Forbes Magazine. This shift is also being driven by technological advances, as audience expectations grow in line with digital capabilities and, consequently, demand for relevant, valuable and – importantly – individual experiences increases.

As a result, marketers are now racing to deliver what’s required, with a recent Econsultancy survey revealing that “targeting and personalisation” is the top digital priority for marketers in 2016. Additionally, when asked “Where does your organisation/do your clients place the highest emphasis in terms of improving the customer experience?” 26% of respondents said “Making our experience as personalised and relevant as possible”.

So, how do you ensure your own strategy isn’t another victim of the ‘death of mass marketing’? Let’s explore some of the options available…

Data, data everywhere

One of the first things you’ll need to get to grips with (and indeed, one of the key advances driving marketing’s move toward the individual) is data. Today’s marketers can capture information about virtually every interaction a user has with their brand – information that can then be leveraged to tailor the experience they deliver for maximum relevance and impact.

It’s critically important to start with a strong foundation though, so make sure you take the time to define an effective data management strategy at the outset. Consider how information will be captured, processed, analysed and applied in real-time, as well as any supporting technology you might require such as sophisticated analytics and content delivery platforms. (You can find more advice to help you get started with your strategy in our big data white paper.)

Applying insight

With your data management strategy in place, there are a whole host of ways to apply the insight you uncover. For example:

  • As more and more devices come with internet connectivity as standard, it’s important that your content and services respond to the requirements and constraints of the specific technology being used. Don’t forget too that user motivations and behaviours often differ between devices, and will need to be taken into consideration.
  • Functionality such as member login areas, subscription services and gated content provides the opportunity to capture explicit data about a user’s demographic profile and preferences. This can then be used to personalise any future communications and content they receive, and even the products, services and deals they’re presented with.
  • By joining up all your various platforms and channels – using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, for example – you can also capture information about a user’s past interactions with your brand. Not only does this allow you to tailor your messaging to extend and enhance the relationship, but you can even start to build up an idea of their likely interests and motivations – matching these to common ‘personas’ in order to anticipate their future requirements, and provide the appropriate response.

Ready to roll?

It’s clear that digital technologies have opened up numerous possibilities for organisations seeking to connect with users – combining the reach of mass marketing channels with the personalised approach of a much earlier age. And while building a strategy that targets the individual can be more complex and time-intensive than traditional ‘batch-and-blast’ methods, the benefits on offer – such as greater levels of engagement, higher conversion rates, and improved customer loyalty – shouldn’t be ignored.

If you want to give your digital strategy the personal touch, get in touch with a member of our team, and to find out more about the opportunities available to tailor your messaging, download our Content Age white paper today.