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Thoughts That Have Been Brewing on the Value of Personalization

Debora Haskel

If you know me at all, you know I love to connect the dots. In the past few days, I’ve been working on my session for next month’s thINK conference, a client asked us to help prove the value of personalization, and I was the beneficiary of a loyalty program thank-you gift that ignored the basics of using personalization to promote customer engagement. And it’s back to school time, which means we’ve been updating our Education Center content to address the evolving needs of the marketplace.

Connecting those dots means I’ve been thinking about personalization on many levels – from basic to advanced. Our Personalization course makes great use of the InfoTrends Growth Survey to prove that consumers notice a broad range of personalization techniques. That means a marketer whose approach to personalization begins and ends with “Dear John” is not taking advantage of opportunities to use personalization to forge a stronger customer relationship.

According to InfoTrends, consumers notice everything from images that reflect their interests to coupons and special savings on products they recently purchased. They also notice information that is directly relevant to them and service offerings based on age, gender, geography, etc. More than half (55%) of the survey population said the personalization or customization of a direct mail piece makes it more likely they will open it.

One of the service bureaus interviewed for the InfoTrends study reminds us that the value of personalization doesn’t end with getting the mailpiece opened. They cited a welcome kit program that uses more than 600 versions on any given day and said, “When you personalize this much, the responses you get back and analytics are very powerful.”

The power of personalization is enhanced by clean data, design that effectively showcases personalized offers, analytics to develop and refine the offers, and integration of distinct data sources. One marketing director in the survey stated, “Data-driven campaigns influence response rates up to 4-5% by eliminating inconsistencies in the system.”

The Value of Personalization Becomes Clear When It’s Done Wrong

I started this post with the phrase, “if you know me at all.” If you do, you know I prefer Dunkin Donuts to Starbucks coffee, but I won’t say no to Starbucks. A colleague who does not drink coffee but visits Starbucks daily for a chai latte, received the Starbucks “Get Excited” package featured here. As Jon dryly remarks in the video, “Step one for me would be to buy a K-Cup brewer.” My colleague’s tepid reaction to the package was, “Why did they send this to me when they know I don’t drink coffee?” I was surprised that a high-value loyalty package would be addressed to the loyalty club member and “or current resident,” which seems to diminish the value of being a loyal customer. I happily used the two K-Cups in the package but gave Starbucks a D for modeling and analytics.

If you need help connecting the personalization dots, contact me or your IWCO Direct account team. Perhaps we can talk over a cup of coffee.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2016/09/13/value-of-personalization/
Debora Haskel

Author

Debora Haskel

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications. Graduate of Syracuse University. Member of the Forbes Communications Council. Bringing the “there’s no such thing as good enough” philosophy to IWCO Direct since 2000. Single Source Award winner while at Banta, antique auction aficionado, and New York Yankees supporter since age 4.

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