If you’re building a comprehensive marketing strategy for your business, you’ve probably heard about the importance of marketing customization and customization. More than just an afterthought or tool, tailored marketing is essential to any outreach effort. Without it, your campaigns will never perform optimally. Custom marketing allows you to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, every time. But what are the advantages of customization in marketing?
What is Marketing Customization?
Oxford dictionary defines customized marketing as “The means by which marketers can customize products and services for individual customers.”
In other words, customized marketing is about using your resources to better tailor your marketing messaging to the individual instead of the group.
But how did personalization in marketing become a priority for businesses? How did marketing methodology reach the point where individuals can be targeted based on their specific preferences?
Customized Marketing Isn’t New.
People have been attempting to tailor their marketing efforts to meet the needs of individuals for centuries. Of course, varying levels of bandwidth and success have existed throughout the ages. Still, for the most part, business owners have always tried to make their pitches as specific as possible.
However, during the “mass marketing” era of the U.S. economy from the 1880s to the 1920s, it became very difficult to market to individuals. As the economy became more centralized and fewer people shopped at local mom-and-pop retailers, the mass production of goods appealed to the lowest common denominator. Of course, bland, broad marketing campaigns accompanied the offerings.
Over time, catering to certain audiences became more feasible and practical as the market increased. Marketers became more and more specific with their offerings. Now, sites can target ads to specific individuals based on their tastes, preferences, demographics, and more.
So, what does that mean for your business’s marketing customization efforts? Moreover, how can you add more personalization to your marketing efforts?
Customize Your Marketing.
You can’t just run head-first into marketing customization. It needs to be carefully planned. Before advancing your marketing customization efforts, you must determine how to separate your audience.
Are you going to segment your mailing and email lists? How will you segment them? How will you gather the information you need for segmentation?
Or maybe you want to set up an ad that targets specific demographics. You’ll need to decide what copy you’ll use, whom you want to target, what platform you want to use, and more.
Once you have a plan together, keep it up to date and optimized using the latest relevant data. For example, if one of your segments didn’t respond to the copy from your latest email but responded to the previous one, then do some digging to find out what resonated. Once you figure that out, you can better tailor your content. From that point on, it’s just about consistency and follow-through.
Content Marketing and Personalization Work Together.
Marketing customization applies to various strategies, including email marketing, Google ads, and online advertising. However, we will focus on personalization when it comes to content marketing.
The Oxford Dictionary defines content marketing as “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
In other words, content marketing involves creating valuable content (through storytelling) that boosts your brand by adding value outside your products and services. This can come in the form of improved SEO, conversion rates, customer relationships, differentiation from the competition, and more.
As a newsletter company, this type of marketing is our bread and butter. We create various content types that help business owners to connect with their audiences instead of merely providing them with goods and services. Sometimes, this content is educational; sometimes, it’s entertaining; sometimes, it’s both. We also encourage our clients to share personal stories with their readers. This helps them to form more direct personal connections with their readers that translate into long-term loyalty.
So, what does content marketing have to do with marketing customization?
Personalization is one of the greatest tools when building relationships through content. When it comes to newsletters, it means segmenting lists to target different audiences with relevant content. For social media content, that might mean setting up private groups based on their demographics so you can deliver tailored content directly to your readers. Whatever the means of distribution, personalization adds an element of specificity to your content that will ensure it is relevant and, by extension, actionable.
Think about it this way: Let’s say you’re making video content for the different niches you service. When you put the links in your monthly eBlast, will you send them out indiscriminately? Or will you make sure clients receive videos relevant to their niches?
Or suppose you run a travel blog and write an article about the best hotels in Sydney, Australia. Will you notify everyone in your audience of the blog, or will you just send it to individuals who have expressed an interest in traveling to Australia?
Personalization makes people feel heard and cared about. Without it, you’re just appealing to the lowest common denominator through your content. That broadness means people will likely receive materials that don’t apply to them. At best, your audience won’t respond to your communications with as much enthusiasm as they could, and at worst, they could tune you out.
Speaking of tailoring your content, what are the advantages of customization in marketing?
We’re glad you asked because there is quite a list — starting with forming stronger connections with your readers.
Form Stronger Connections.
One of the biggest advantages of customization in marketing is the ability to form stronger connections with your audience.
That’s because, on some level, everybody wants to feel special. By personalizing your content to meet the needs of groups and individuals, you are showing you care about the desires of your audience. It also shows you listen when they tell you something. Over time, this can translate into meaningful relationships with your readers.
For example, imagine you run a comic book shop. You send out a monthly email newsletter and promotional emails based on what customers have expressed interest in. You have specific blogs linked in your newsletters for Marvel fans, D.C. fans, Archie fans, indie comic fans, and more.
You have a customer named D.J. who loves Archie comics. So, you put them in the Archie segment of your list. Throughout the year, they received Archie-related content through your newsletter, notifications about which Archie comics are currently on sale, and birthday coupons for Archie comics. Even if D.J. frequents other comic book stores, your content and specialized offerings will help form a more durable business relationship with them over time.
That’s the power of personalization. Had you not offered personalized content, your marketing would not have been nearly as effective.
Improve Your Business’s Overall Perceived Value.
Your business certainly has value due to the goods and services it provides. However, personalized content marketing improves your perceived value in the form of expertise.
For example, imagine you run a dental practice. You send out a monthly newsletter full of educational and entertaining content. You also include a small tip for natural teeth whitening in every issue. One of your clients, Phil, is on your list and reads your articles monthly. Over time, Phil begins to value your expertise more and eventually sees you as an industry leader and an invaluable source of information.
Being seen as an expert is worth its weight in gold. Your audience will see you as a source of valuable information. They may share your content with more people and, by extension, get you more referrals.
Stay Top of Mind With Your Audience.
You will keep your business top of mind by consistently providing your audience with personalized, relevant marketing content. It can also help solidify your brand’s name recognition among clients and prospects.
Let’s say you’re a realtor and have an effective social media strategy where you consistently post (and cross-post) valuable content that gets high engagement levels. One of your prior clients, Taylor, follows your page and sees your content several times a week. This keeps your brand top of mind for them, and when their uncle wants to sell his house, Taylor remembers you and recommends your services.
Without consistent content distribution, Taylor may have forgotten about your business. That may sound extreme, but with different businesses competing for customer attention, it happens more often than you think. That’s why keeping in touch and providing your readers with value beyond your services is essential.
Increase Overall Metrics.
Supplementing a general marketing campaign with content is a surefire way to boost your overall metrics. Whether it’s retention, reactivations, or referrals — reaching out with content is one of the best ways to keep your audience engaged.
For example, let’s say you’re a veterinarian. You send a monthly newsletter to all your current and former clients full of entertaining information and relevant tips. One of your former clients, Avery, used your services before their beloved cat passed away. However, they still read and engage with your newsletter because they find the content entertaining. When they adopt a new kitten six years later, they decide to use your services again.
Avery likely would not have remembered your brand without the consistent communication provided by your newsletter. Your content boosted your reactivation numbers — and likely boosted other metrics. We have seen clients reap unprecedented referral and retention rates as a result of their content, boosting their overall profits.
Get People Talking.
People tend to remember the things that interest them most. So, you keep your audience engaged by ensuring you tailor your content to be as interesting as possible to different segments within your list.
Suppose you’re a baker and send out a monthly recipe walk-through video to your reader via email. One of your regular customers, Lindsey, loves your videos and shares them with their friends and family. Many of them try out your recipes and discuss them with each other. Several visit your bakery after watching your videos and become regular customers.
Engagement is one of the biggest advantages of customization in marketing. It gives your viewers a reason to talk about your brand and get excited even while they are not actively engaging with your business.
We hope this guide was helpful to you wherever you are in your content marketing journey. If you want to learn more about how to make the most of your content marketing strategy, fill out the form below to download our free Content Marketing Guide.