What Is Personalized Marketing & How Can Local Brands Use It?

By Raubi Perilli

      Apr 9, 2021     Solutions    

Audiences are bombarded with marketing messages. Every day, they see hundreds of ads and brand mentions on TV and social media and in inboxes and text messages.

That is why personalized marketing is so important.  

Personalized, targeted messaging that speaks directly to audiences and refers to what they want and need has a better chance of cutting through the noise and driving prospects and customers to take action.

So, what is personalized marketing exactly, and how can you use it for your local brand?

What Is Personalized Marketing?

Personalized marketing is the strategy of tailoring marketing messages so they are unique for each person. It creates targeted messages for customers so one person might see different messaging than other customers.  

While that may seem overwhelming (how can you create unique messaging for every single person who sees your marketing messages?), it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Using digital tools and data, any brand -- big or small -- can set up personalized marketing initiatives.  

This post will show you how.

Examples of Personalized Marketing

To better understand personalized marketing, it helps to imagine some examples. You can use personalization in marketing to:  

  • Send an email that addresses a reader by name
  • Send a text message to a customer who hasn’t visited in a while
  • Show an ad for a product that a prospect viewed on your site but didn’t buy
  • Present a customer service tab in an app once a customer makes a purchase
  • Show recommended products to a customer after they make a purchase
  • Send coupons to a customer for a product or service they have purchased in the past

Personalized marketing uses what you know about a prospect or customer to create targeted messaging.

Rather than sharing general ads and promotions for your products and services, you determine what the prospect might be most interested in, and then showcase those offerings and content.

How Can Local Brands Use Personalized Marketing

On the surface, personalized marketing seems like something reserved for mega-brands with huge budgets and resources. But even small and local brands can put personalized marketing to work for their business.

#1) Collect basic customer data.

It all starts with customer data. If you don’t know who your customers are and how they engage with your business, it is going to be very difficult to share personalized messages with them.  

To use personalized marketing, you need to have a customer relationship management (CRM) or point-of-sale (POS) system that, at the bare minimum, collects:  

  • Customer name
  • Customer email address and/or phone number
  • Customer purchases

With just three pieces of information, you can start to engage in personalized marketing.  

For example, a restaurant could send an email using the customer’s first name and share a coupon for a food item they recently purchased.  

If you don’t already have a CRM, POS, or other customer data platform, it’s time to set one up.  

Related: What’s a Customer Data Platform? And Why You Need to Use One

#2) Give customers a reason to share their contact information.

It’s not enough to have a system to collect customer data. You also need an effective way to funnel prospects and existing customers into your system. You need to give customers an incentive for sharing their information.  

Prospects and customers will be far more willing to pass over their contact information if they see that there is something in for them. To encourage people to sign up, you need to give them value in exchange for their email address and phone number.  

Encourage customers and prospects to sign up by:  

  • Setting up a customer loyalty program.
  • Giving an immediate discount or code.
  • Providing an app that customers can log into.
  • Prompting customers to create an account when they order online.
  • Training your team to ask for phone numbers or email addresses at check-out.

Learn More: 7 Simple Ways to Collect Customer Contact Information

#3) Track customer data on your digital platforms.

Data to help you create more personalized marketing doesn’t always come directly from customers. It can also come from your website and social media accounts.

Using pixel codes from Google and social media sites, you can begin to tag people who visit your social profiles and website. The benefit of this data is that you can identify prospects interested in your brand and reach out to them again.  

For example, a local hair salon could identify people who visited their website and looked at a page for wedding hairstyles and then target those audiences with an ad for a wedding hair consultation.

#4) Create campaigns based on your data.

Finally, once you start to collect customer information, you can begin to launch personalized marketing campaigns based on who your customers are and how they engage with your brand.  

A few marketing tactics that can use personalized marketing include: 

  • Email marketing. Send emails that refer to customers by name and share messaging and offerings that are most relevant to their past purchases.
  • Text marketing. Send targeted text messages that share deals and information most relevant to the customer's purchase history and brand engagement.
  • Retargeted ads. Present prospects with ads based on the content they have already engaged with on your website or social pages.
  • Personalize user interfaces. Adjust messaging on apps and websites based on actions customers or users have already taken.

When designing personalized marketing tactics, look at how you can segment your audience. Segmenting your audience is the process of breaking up your audience into smaller, more defined buckets. For example, if you have a multi-location business, you can split your customer base up into segments based on which location they visit most.  

To create effective personalized marketing campaigns, define your customer segments and then create messaging that resonates specifically with those audiences.

Related: Launching Marketing Campaigns: Everything You Need to Launch a Successful Promotion

Start Using Personalization In Your Local Marketing

Personalized marketing might sound like a complicated marketing tactic reserved for big brands with even bigger budgets. But, personalized marketing is easier than ever thanks to tools and software designed to bring the power of personalization to brands big and small.

If you haven’t tried personalization in your marketing yet, find out how you can begin to collect customer data and set up strategic campaigns using MyArea Network's local marketing platform.