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Given the prevalence of marketing and advertising in the everyday lives of consumers, personalization is more important than ever. Consumers have become so numb to "one for all" messaging platforms that when a brand stands out by offering custom content, consumers take note.

A recent study from The Content Council found that 90% of shoppers find custom content useful, and 61% admit they are more likely to make a purchase if a brand's marketing content is personalized. However, this concept is not necessarily a new one... Brands all over the world are using strategies to increase omnichannel personalization efforts, particularly with email marketing.

Understanding personalization

A common approach to personalize communications is to create profiles that group customers based on their demographic characteristics. That strategy is a step in the right direction, but marketers can take it even further by developing customer personas.

Personas differ from profiles in that they incorporate more customer attributes to discriminate and segregate the customers into "tribal markets." In addition to basic demographics, customer personas also include factors like emotions, lifecycles, behavioral motivators, and purchase patterns.

To build accurate consumer personas, marketers first need to look at real data about current customers and pinpoint characteristics that differentiate and segregate the base into unique and mutually exclusive audience segments. Those need to go beyond age, gender, and geography.

The statistical analysis used to create customer personas looks at patterns that help define customer segment personalities, including how often they purchase, the products they purchase, and the channels they purchase from. (Those are but a few of the variables used to define these tribal market groups.)

Marketers then should consider third-party market research. What are analysts predicting for the future of your industry? Are there changing customer values you should keep in mind?

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image of Gary Ostrager

Gary Ostrager is vice-president of Analytics and Insights of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, an Infogroup company and multichannel marketing solutions provider.

LinkedIn: Gary Ostrager