Personalised Content is No 1 for Conversions and Engagement

With most websites showing only a 2% conversion rate, personalisation has become the number one strategy marketers have to employ to attract, convert and retain customers.

Many marketers still look to clicks, posts, views, downloads, shares and visits on their digital properties as the most important measures of online marketing success.

But a report published In Feburary 2016 by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council titled: Making Personalization Possible shows that acquisition, retention and revenue growth have replaced these standard web or app usage metrics and are now the real benchmarks of customer engagement and conversion success.

So it's clear chasing website traffic and acquiring fans is futile unless marketers start to engage with the audience they're working so hard to attract and convert them to loyal followers, subscribers and buyers.

Engagement, conversion and loyalty in a cluttered, competitive environment has come to rely on one critical (but difficult to achieve) tactic: personalisation.

Personalisation and data

How to personalise? As a rough guide, to convert users to becoming customers, you use data to figure out who and where they are then create relevant, personalised content that they will engage with. The last step is to deliver this content to them, at the right time, via the user's preferred channel - be it mobile or instant messaging apps, web site, social media, email marketing, online business networks or video portals.

For instance, gather data such as purchase metrics, location, referral source, search query, number of visits, content consumed and device and combine that with digital and social media interactions to create personas - or verticals that can be further segmented - based on geography, purchases, demographics, etc. to create promotional offers for one-to-one consumer engagement.

Gary Dolsen, Vice President of Digital Experience Software for IBM Systems who sponsored the CMO Council study, says the combined forces of cloud, mobile and social engagement is revolutionising every interaction businesses and brands have with their diverse audiences.

He says "When marketers create a personalised and tailored interaction for a specific audience on the right platform, businesses and brands will create emotional engagements, which will grow relationships and encourage loyalty while influencing behaviour or purchase decisions.”

Personalisation offers a myriad benefits to a business, of which conversion is the most importan

Take a look at this comparison by Marketing Charts via Conversant that lists the benefits of personalisation.

Benefits of personalisation

Need more convincing to personalise?

Big data analytics helps businesses:

  • Loyalty360 showed that because millennials are more ‘experience-loyal’ than ‘brand-loyal,’ consumer engagement is quickly becoming a far more influential factor in building positive brand perception.
  • Neosperience found 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
  • ocialmediatoday says 71% of customers who experience positive social interaction with brands are likely to recommend them to others, while only 19% of customers who don’t receive any response from brands would do it.
  • Marketing Charts showed digital technologies influenced around 49% of in-store sales
  • Loyalty360 showed fully engaged customers are 37% more likely to be loyal to banking brands
  • A 2013 Monetate/eConsultancy Study found that in-house marketers who personalise their web experiences see an average 19% increase in sales.
  • According to Janrain, nearly 74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests
  • Yet, despite the fact that marketers polled by the CMO Council rate personalised content as the number one way to increase engagement and response rates, research by Demand Metric and Seismic published in March this year showed that few are doing it.

    59% of marketers said the reason why they don't personalise content is because they lack the technology that will allow them to do this at scale.

    Reasons US Marketers don't personalise content, March 2016. Source: Content Personalization Benchmark Study Report - March 2016

    Reasons for not personalising

    Examples of companies that personalise

    Starbucks writes customers' name on their drink and personalise their mobile app and rewards programme.

    L’Oréal Paris' app Makeup Genius offers five beauty diagnostic tools to help customers find the ideal product. At the same time, L'Oreal is capturing data about the users that enables them to personalise offers

    Under Armour's MapMyFitness that tracks users' every run, walk, hike, or gym session and MyFitnessPal, a food diary and nutrition tracker, have thousands of users that provide the fitness apparel brand with reams of data about their customers and helps them personalise their offerings for each customer.

    The North Face pushes offers to Shop Alerts subscribers (they have 10 million active users) via beacon technology if they walk by the store. Users can sign up for the two-way communication at the store, on The North Face website or via text message or even Facebook.

    What to watch out for

    By personalising content there's a fine line between your message being engaging, tolerated or intrusive. Too much and the user will delete or block you, too little and your message may be lost in the din. The goals are to be relevant and to save the user time and effort.

    Avoid being overly familiar with your messages - you don't have a relationship with the person (yet), and rather err on the side of adopting a polite tone.

    Be careful with users' personal data. The Value of Our Digital Identity by The Boston Consulting Group showed that "two-thirds of digital identity’s total value potential stands to be lost if stakeholders fail to establish a trusted flow of personal data."

    Ready to personalise?

    Website personalisation calls for high levels of development skill, generally not found among marketers or business managers. If you're looking for concrete steps on how to personalise for lead-generating web engagement, contact Indivirtual today and we'll help you on this vital journey.