Consumers want personalized marketing—but how personal is it OK to get? The “Accenture Personalization Survey” sheds light on the best ways to give customers the personalized offers they want, without seeming like “Big Brother.” Here are secrets to making personalized marketing work.
- Work with what consumers are willing to give you. Consumers are fairly willing to share demographic information such as gender (65 percent), age (53 percent) and contact information (52 percent) with retailers. However, only 20 percent want to share their current location with retailers and only 14 percent are willing to share their browsing history.
- Get personal—but not too personal. Consumers like personalization that makes their lives easier. For instance, 51 percent like “one-click” checkout options online, and 48 percent are OK with getting online reminders to re-order items when they might be running out of something. However, they’re leery of personalization that gets too intrusive into their personal lives. For example, 42 percent don’t like the idea of getting recommendations based on their health issues, and 52 percent say they don’t want retailers to give them online feedback from their friends.
- Offer something in return for sharing personal information. Customers are savvy and demand some benefits from sharing their personal information. Access to exclusive deals (64 percent), automatic crediting for coupons and loyalty points (64 percent), a one-time discount (61 percent) and special offers (61 percent) are the most popular benefits among consumers surveyed.
- Understand generational differences. Segment your customers by generation and communicate with them in the way they prefer to get the best results from your personalization efforts. For example, while consumers overall say the best way to communicate with them is by email (82 percent), the second-most-effective way of sending offers to Millennials is by text messaging (52 percent) with social media close behind (43 percent). Baby Boomers don’t respond nearly as well to social media—just 15 percent want to receive offers there. In contrast, 38 percent like text message offers.
It’s also important to meet different generations’ expectations for personalization. Baby Boomers are especially demanding, with the strongest expectations for getting something in exchange for sharing their personal data. For example, 74 percent expect to get automatic credit for coupons and loyalty points, versus 58 percent percent of Millennials. Perhaps this is because Millennials are generally more comfortable with sharing their personal information. For example, over one-third (34 percent) of Millennials would share their sexual preference on social media compared to just 11 percent of Boomers.
- Know your venue. The type of personalization customers want most depends on where they’re shopping.
- In a physical store, consumers most want to receive automatic discounts at checkout for loyalty points or coupons (82 percent). Fifty-seven percent also want real-time promotions; however, since only 20 percent are willing to share their location with retailers, most of them won’t get those promotions. More doable: 54 percent would like to get suggestions for complementary items. In a brick-and-mortar store, this can be done in person by savvy salespeople.
- When shopping online, customers most want to receive a website optimized for their device (64 percent) and promotional offers for items they’re strongly considering (59 percent). You can use popup offers while consumers are shopping, or remarketing emails if consumers leave products in their shopping cart without buying.
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Maria Valdez Haubrich
Maria Valdez Haubrich is Chief Liaison Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.