Edging Personalized Marketing to The Death Row

Personalized marketing which is a one-to-one marketing, or individual marketing is a marketing strategy by which companies capitalize on data analysis and digital technology to deliver individualized messages and product offerings to current or prospective customers. Without the opportunity to access data, personalized marketing is dead on arrival.

Based on the ease by the social media to access data, the Statista reported that investments in social advertising worldwide are forecast to grow from around 32 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 to approximately 48 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. That was, however, before the “tsunami.”

Recent happenings globally have given a contrary indicator. The Cambridge Analytica data leak and Russian-produced fake news that undermined the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election have seriously caused people a lot of concern. And guess what? People started deleting their accounts.

A recent report by Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC), says that 40 percent of those surveyed had deleted at least one social media account in the past year because of privacy concerns and 62 percent wanted more regulation of such platforms. This by any standard is an ill wind.

How does this affect your personalized marketing campaigns?

  1. Inability to make better recommendations

Learning about your customer’s buying habits is not a bad thing, but you need to have the requisite information about them. Where else could you have got this from expect by accessing their data?

Retail sites such as Amazon and eBay use this perfectly to offer more relevant product recommendations for their customers. According to Forbes, 44% of customers buy from product recommendations they see on Amazon They also occasionally send emails with recommended product catalogs.

Amazon ensures you don’t need to ask friends or search the internet about which books you should read next. They are able to give you better suggestions based on your own behavior that was culled through accessing your data.

A lot of organizations are going it the Amazon’s way, but the truth is that the “party” may soon be over. It’s only when your data is there for the picking that anybody can play such pranks on you. If you follow suit in the deletion galore, personalized marketing will surely feel the “pains.”

  1. Content is based on your ingenuity

Brands have used personalization to stand out from the crowd by creating better and unique content that leaves a special memory for their customers. They were able to do this successfully since they had access to their data.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Coca-Cola used personalization to launch its Share A Coke campaign, which involved printing common names on Coke bottles to attract more millennials. The campaign helped the company grow sales for the first time in 10 years.

When you don’t have access to people’s data, you will be left solely on your ingenuity to create contents that will appeal to the consumers. In such situations, it will be extremely difficult to personalize your content.

Any brand that rides high with this condition must be packed full with technocrats and it can no longer be an all comers affair. However you do it, it won’t be easy to embark on personalization marketing.

  1. Inability to target specific audiences

The most important thing you derive from personalized marketing is the ability it gives you to reach specific audiences. Once you are able to collect user data from list segments, surveys, or studies you can create more effective email campaigns targeting audiences based on their interests or buying habits.

However, now that users are deleting their accounts on the social media, which over the years has been an easy means of acquiring the data, personalized marketing may be in a dicey situation. Brands may find it a bit difficult to continue personalization marketing campaigns.

The other side of the coin is that all hope is not lost for brands. Consumers are willing to share their data if they get something in return. Accenture recently found that 83 percent of consumers will share their data in exchange for a personalized experience.

The overriding condition is that brands must be seen to be transparent about how the data is used and that customers retain control of the information. Brands need to show that they respect the customer’s wishes and actively participate in a two-way value exchange.

The Blockchain technology is also gearing to come to the rescue of both brands and consumers. BitClave, a blockchain platform has been able to do a yeoman’s job here. They have fashioned out a way through which users add their personal data on the platform in exchange for tokens.

This platform envisions a situation where people use their free search engine for everyday activities, and businesses that want to target these users with ads have to compensate them, creating a situation where everyone in the industry is satisfied.

The age of passive consent is disappearing. Consumers have started to pay closer attention to which brands have their data and how they are being utilized. Brands who use data to crystallize their understanding of customer preferences, and to personalize interactions, will be rewarded with higher loyalty and increased revenue. This may be the saving grace for personalized marketing.

Photo Credit: perzonseo Flickr via Compfight cc



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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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