It’s crucial for marketers to treat their customers as individuals to tailor their brand’s messaging perfectly. Matthew Dunn, Managing Director, Targeting, at Experian Marketing Services UK offers tips provide tips on how marketers can collect data and the kinds of data they need to be able to personalise and segment down to each individuals within target groups.
In modern marketing, it is widely accepted that ‘spray and pray’ techniques are ineffective when trying to engage an audience. Marketing at everybody through mass communication, without due consideration of whether your targets will in fact be receptive to your message, has time and time again proven ineffective. Not only does this approach not provide the desired results, it can actively turn prospective customers away, as today’s consumers don’t just expect a relevant and targeted experience, they demand it.
In order to effectively tailor communication to these consumers, regardless of the channel, utilising customer profiling is an important first step. Profiling can be extremely useful in providing the ability to market a group of similar people. Profiling alone, however, lacks the capacity to be able to truly market to individuals. This is where ‘segments of one’ come into play. Customers need to be treated as individuals when it comes to accurately targeting them with marketing communications. The best way to improve customer experience is to be able to tailor this experience to each individual consumer’s preference.
To begin with, in order to treat customers in these individual segments, they have to be positioned as such. A large segment may include thousands of customers, but brands must continue to treat each segment as an individual. Though they may seem similar, there are a number of factors where consumers have completely differing tastes. Take their political empathy for example, or which sports team they support – these factors all depend on an original segmentation exercise, taking into account not only the amount of detail in the exercise, but also the factors which a given brand chose to differentiate on. It’s important, therefore, to ensure that the initial profiling process is as accurate as possible in order to produce segments which can be relied upon, and which outline the importance of the critical thinking behind each segment.
Though detailed segmentation provides a solid grounding to work from, in order to go beyond this it is important to be able to personalise or segment within each newly defined group. Principally, this requires a database encompassing all the data available about a given customer, a segment which includes the customer and an automated system to enable communications employing the segment information, as well as incorporating all of the data available about a consumer, to provide a fully tailored and personal experience.
There are so many more channels available to marketers than ever before, and this in return allows access to much more data about customers. Whether it’s from social media, email, direct mail, smartphone apps or even via text, each of these touch points provides the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the customer.
Consumers create vast amounts of data, more so than ever before. Every time an individual interacts with your brand there is an opportunity to gain more insight and create communications which resonate with them on a personal level. The key to utilising this data is ensuring that it is both carefully collected and accurately recorded.
Accurate segmentation, customer insight and dynamic cross-channel capability are all fundamental aspects when marketing to the segment of one. Only by implementing the right levels of technology and adequate expertise can brands gain the necessary insight into individuals and communicate with customers on their terms.
If brands can provide a relevant message via the right channel at the the right time, they can not only engage on a personalised level, but can cement advocacy and loyalty – the holy grail for any marketer.
By Matthew Dunn
Managing Director, Targeting
Experian Marketing Services UK
About the author:
Matthew Dunn is UK Managing Director of the Targeting business within Experian Marketing Services. He has been in the marketing services industry for the past 20 years. In that time, Matthew has headed up various teams and businesses that help companies across any industry segment to successfully use leading edge marketing solutions, data and analytics to deliver more relevant and targeted marketing of their brands, with the key aim of ensuring relevant engagement and in turn, increasing customer loyalty.