As marketers, it feels like we can never keep up with our customers. We may learn something about our audience or what resonates with them and by the time we’ve fully understood it and implemented it, they’ve changed. Changing behaviors can sometimes be frustrating. I mean, can’t they just stay put for a bit?
But that’s life. Digital marketing must keep up with changing customers and evolving market dynamics quickly. Luckily, marketers have access to marketing technology and tools that can help us adapt quickly and flexibly to the changing times.
Through marketing automation and personalization, marketers can keep up with our audiences.
Rely on a marketing database for easy learning
“Marketing database” gets thrown around a lot in the marketing world. But what exactly is a marketing database and how can we enact change through it? How do we choose the best one?
A marketing database, sometimes referred to as a customer database (or a data lake or data pool or data “fill in the blank”), refers to a centralized source of your prospects’ and customers’ information. This stores their contact information, their demographics, and their interests. The best marketing databases store billions of data points that form a vision of who each customer is. They accomplish this through aggregating behavioral, firmographic, market, and psychographic data into one marketing services system.
Utilize data for superior personalization
Personalization is another one of those terms that seeps into everyday life as a marketer. But concrete suggestions and strategies for delivering personalization aren’t always easy to find.
The first thing to know is that personalization is not a light switch. We can’t push a button and suddenly our core audience is receiving personalized communications and experiences. My advice? Brands must stage the personalization they offer, including:
- Personalize customer communications. Determine the offer or value prop you’re looking to promote. Customer communications can be personalized in a process that builds upon itself. First, you know their contact info and maybe one small piece of the puzzle. As you learn more about them — their interactions with your website, purchases, social media— you’ll understand how to better target them.
- Personalization requires clean data. Data hygiene is the lifeblood of your personalization efforts. Marketing personalization stems from good data: the right contact info, the right interests, and the right purchases. Bad data will lead to unsatisfactory personalization: the wrong messages will go to the wrong people.
- Be multichannel. Running an engagement strategy across mobile, web, app, social, TV, in-store, and email (whatever makes sense given your media mix and budget)—as well as deriving multichannel analytics—is crucial to the foundation of your marketing campaigns. Utilize every channel for the rich and robust customer data that can be extracted and analyzed. Extend beyond email to meet your customers where they are.
Make it real-time
Consumer behavior will never stop evolving. This is where marketing platforms can excel, and the best ones will utilize real-time personalization. Advanced algorithms built into the platform will personalize each customer experience as it’s happening. As a customer surfs your app, browses your website, or scrolls through any of your other platforms, algorithms can decipher what it is the customer is looking to accomplish and offer personalized recommendations in that very moment.
Customer behavior isn’t the only thing changing, customers themselves also change all the time. While historical data is necessary and effective, it doesn’t always account for the customer’s current life. Soon-to-be parents won’t always be shopping for a crib. People move to new cities. We change our hobbies or passions. As life circumstances change, what we buy changes too. With real-time personalization, marketers can create messaging and content for the moment.
To learn more about how Acoustic’s marketing automation platform can support personalization, check out this guide: Increase the value of every customer interaction with real-time personalization.