When people talk about the decline of "mom and pop" businesses in favor of the giant, national retailers, one of the things they bring up is that it's hard to find a store that you can walk into these days where the person behind the counter actually takes the time to learn your name. You can't walk into a national brand and expect someone to go "Hey, Phil - how did that new garden hose you bought last week work out for you? I've been thinking about you, and I thought you might like this other new product, too."
But the fact of the matter is that these days are not over - not by a long shot and especially not in the world of marketing. You absolutely can inject this much more intimate, fulfilling level of personalization into your marketing collateral - provided that you're willing to go the extra mile.
Personalization in Marketing: By the Numbers
If you ever wanted a clear cut example of why "going the extra mile" is an investment that pays off in more ways than one, look no further than the following statistics:
- According to a recent study from Digital Trends, an incredible seventy-three percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to help create more enriching, more relevant shopping experiences.
- According to a completely separate study from Infosys, eighty-six percent of consumers said that the level of personalization (or the lack thereof) absolutely plays a role in their purchasing decisions.
- If you think that personalization is only a game for digital and internet-centric businesses, think again: direct mail success rates are continuing to trend upwards because, you guessed it, people find actual mail that they can hold in their hand much more personal and rewarding than something that is easily ignored like an email.
It's About "Walking the Walk"
The major benefits of personalization in marketing extend far beyond just statistics like these, however. It all comes back to the values that your brand represents and the promise that you're making to each and every one of your customers. Simply put, it's one thing to say that you care about all of your customers - it's another thing entirely to do the types of things that turn this from catchphrase into irrefutable fact.
Put yourself in their shoes. If you get two pieces of marketing collateral in the mail - one of which is addressed "Dear Sir or Madame" and another that has your name and maybe even specific information about past purchases that you've made - which one are you going to put more faith in? Which one would you bet cares about you more? Which one would you believe has a vested interest in making your life better?
Your customers have made their opinion loud and clear - they don't just want you to sell to them. It isn't just enough to have a product or service that is objectively better than anyone else's. They want to be a part of something larger than a single purchase. They want something that they're not going to get anywhere else - a true relationship with the people they give their hard-earned money to. Personalization and going the extra mile are just among the many, many ways that you can now do that in the modern era.