In 2016, Personalized Marketing began to set itself apart as a way for marketers to connect better with their customers. Brands, products and services today all rely heavily on Content Marketing as a way to present trends, thoughts and ideas, and offerings to customers and leads in a way that is non intrusive. When it comes to content marketing, engagement is driven by the lead or customer and the marketer merely guides them in their journey of content discovery and exploration until they are ready to convert and pay for your product or service. Personalization is a plan now on the roadmaps of marketers around the world.

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Image: Marketing Land

Personalizing for Location

We’ve all seen those emails from brands, services and non-profits that start with our first name, making an appeal to us to participate in a sale or get involved in a cause. As nice and “personal” as this may seem – it isn’t always guaranteed to work. Geo-targeting or location-based targeting is different.

personalized marketing locationImage: Sephora

By making note of a location you can use local icons and legends, landmarks, weather reports and more to make an impression and endear yourself to your readers. This personalized marketing strategy works not just for email subject lines and content, but also for event based recommendations and local news.

 

Understanding Interests

 

Some of the best emails I’ve received have spoken about my interests or used phrases that are trending which I may be interested in. Not every brand can be expected to personalize for their customers’ interests from the get go. What they can do however, is find out more about every customer that is willing to share, mainly to understand them better and provide more context in the content they share.

personalized marketingImage: Joe’s Jeans

Understanding your customers’ interests helps you segment them efficiently, create dynamic content in your emails, in-app and push messages and create personalized marketing content that customers love to receive rather than irrelevant updates, offers, and information.

 

Politics and Ideologies

No matter how open minded we say we are, human beings are eventually clan ish and clutch fiercely to their political beliefs and ideological leanings. These ideologies affect our behaviour, interests, purchasing patterns and a whole lot more, whether we are aware of them or not. Newspapers are a form of content distribution that are often accused of being partisan to certain political leanings, but even they do not always have the power to convert a reader’s beliefs. So if you can’t beat ‘em, Join ‘em? Companies such as facebook use this to their advantage, news feeds reflect an individual’s ideologies over time by the content he or she clicks on.

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Source: Science Magazine. “Fig. 3 (A) Illustration of how algorithmic ranking and individual choice affects the proportion of ideologically cross-cutting content that individuals encounter. Gray circles illustrate the content present at each stage in the media exposure process. (B) Average ideological diversity of content (i) shared by random others (random), (ii) shared by friends (potential from network), (iii) actually appeared in users’ News Feeds (exposed), (iv) users clicked on (selected).” – HuffPo

This is one of the ingredients to the secret sticky sauce that facebook customers can’t get enough of. We see more of what we like and believe in, and we engage with it. As marketers, understanding what customers believe in, hope for, and dream about can be a powerful way to gain their trust and attention. Machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms will make personalized marketing at scale a bigger reality in the years to come.

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