Personalization, Demystified: How To Be ‘Spot On,’ Not ‘Creepy’

CMO.com: Personalization, Demystified: How To Be ‘Spot On,’ Not ‘Creepy’.

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Why is it that the notion of personalization still eludes even savvy marketers and brands?
  • Personalization is outreach and digital alignment tied to recent interactions.
  • Cull more data, refine, personalize even more, then rinse and repeat.

Build Personas, Know Your Customers

Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.

Five Steps to Build a Persona

Step 1: Define their current situation

  • What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
  • What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
  • What problems are limiting their success?

Step 2: Define their demographics

  • Job title
  • Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increating change within the company, etc.
  • Company size and revenues
  • Industry

Step 3: Identify their attributes

  • Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
  • Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
  • Threats – what could derail the deal?
  • Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
  • Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?

Step 4: Understand their preferences

  • Where do they spend time online? Offline?
  • How do they participate with social media? Do they?
  • What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?

Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement

  • I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].

Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:

Use Business Intelligence Portals:

  • Search by industry, size, title.
  • Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
  • Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
  • Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
  • BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.

Talk to Salespeople:

  • What areas of the business are they focused on?
  • Who are they speaking with?
  • How do prospects frame the problem?
  • Who else do they have to convince?

Talk to Customers:

  • What problem did we solve?
  • What else did that enable?
  • Why did they choose us?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?

Knowing your audience and having a personalized business plan is a foolproof formula to create new business leads, and strengthen old ones.  If you know what companies need or want, and develop a marketing plan tailored for them, you will be more desirable to them than a marketing company that has not done their homework.

Infographic: Buyer Persona Process

Persona

When to Rebalance Marketing

With the demands and expectations that businesses have of marketing on the rise, marketers may find their efforts out of balance with business goals. Now more than ever, marketers must be on alert and be aware of the three operating scenarios, ubiquitous in marketing, to prevent falling out of balance.

3 Operating Scenarios in Marketing:

Balanced Marketing – Marketing is balanced when people and teams are focused at every stage of the marketing closed loop process.

Tactical & Reactive – In a tactical and reactive marketing organization people a lot of work is being done without much planning and very little thought put into deliverables.

Analytical and Strategic – Over analysis leads to marketing paralysis – A lot of talking and planning without any action.

If your team is ideating, planning, building, running, observing, analyzing, reporting and repeating their programs and campaigns – marketing is balanced.

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7 Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers

By Karen Weber

Axonn Media’s marketing director Karen Webber spoke at the Figaro Digital Conference as part of the Digital 21 series in April 2014 on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers. 

The operative word in Karen’s title is “Effective”. This is Worth sharing, so please pass it on.

Top 10 Sales Scenes

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Our Top 10 Choices:

#10 Boiler Room – Selling the job to potential new hires

#9 Good Will Hunting – Sold on why not to work for the NSA

#8 Ironman – Pitching the Department of Defense a new weapons system

#7 Boiler Room – Teaching a cold caller how to cold call

Jerry Maguire – Jerry does what it takes to sign a player

#5 Boiler Room – Leads matter to closers

#4 Boiler Room – Always be closing

#3 Mad Men – Don Draper at his best

#2 Wolf of Wall Street – How to cold call

#1 Glengary Glen Ross – Coffee’s for closers

Personas – Know Your Customers

Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.

Five Steps to Building a B2B Buyer Persona

Step 1: Define their current situation

  • What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
  • What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
  • What problems are limiting their success?

Step 2: Define their demographics

  • Job title
  • Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increating change within the company, etc.
  • Company size and revenues
  • Industry

Step 3: Identify their attributes

  • Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
  • Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
  • Threats – what could derail the deal?
  • Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
  • Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?

Step 4: Understand their preferences

  • Where do they spend time online? Offline?
  • How do they participate with social media? Do they?
  • What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?

Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement

  • I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].

 

Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:

Use Business Intelligence Portals:

  • Search by industry, size, title.
  • Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
  • Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
  • Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
  • BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.

Talk to Salespeople:

  • What areas of the business are they focused on?
  • Who are they speaking with?
  • How do prospects frame the problem?
  • Who else do they have to convince?

Talk to Customers:

  • What problem did we solve?
  • What else did that enable?
  • Why did they choose us?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?

50 Mobile Marketing Tips

Mobile Marketing is a highly effective, low cost channel through which companies can interact and engage with their customers. To be effective and successful in this channel, marketers must be up to date and well versed in current best practices in Mobile Marketing. We highly recommend joining the Mobile Marketing Association. For more information on mobile marketing visit the MMA via Mobile Marketing Association.  Below are our top 50 tips for marketers launching a mobile marketing campaign.

  1. Make sure your website mobile enabled.
  2. Honor permission. Don’t alienate your audience by sending unsolicited SMS.
  3. Link to a mobile site to enable additional interaction.
  4. Encourage customers to associate your short-long code with your company in their contact list. People are more apt to open a text from a company as opposed to a short code – 85324.
  5. Reduce call center volume and costs with mobile alerts.
  6. Always include a call to action.
  7. Use targeted messaging to reactivate customers or reengage with users who downloaded your app, but haven’t been back.
  8. Promote SMS campaigns in stores, online and across your website to maximize exposure.
  9. Integrate SMS and Email campaigns to deliver the right message through the right channel at the right time.
  10. Establish an opt-in policy and honor the expectations you set with your customers.
  11. Use SMS to gather insight from large groups of people.
  12. SMS is extremely effective for customer acquisition, retention and expansion.
  13. Build a mobile app with a solid push strategy that’s integrated with other channels through which you go to market
  14. Use SMS to gather new email addresses for your email marketing efforts
  15. Personalize and segmented your SMS campaigns just like email, think beyond batch blast one off campaigns.
  16. If you’re new to SMS marketing, shared short codes are a great place to start, as they are cheaper and quicker to implement.
  17. Private short codes should only be used by brands looking to own every keyword necessary for a campaign
  18. Vanity short codes can be utilized to enhance branding efforts for a specific campaign
  19. Multiple short codes are necessary for International SMS campaigns.
  20. Push messages are essentially free for the recipient – they aren’t billed on a per message fee like on SMS.
  21. When selecting a keyword for an SMS campaign, the minimum length is 4 characters (i.e. GOTO, JOIN or SALE).
  22. Honor contact preferences. Some of your customers may prefer to receive certain messages via SMS and others via other channels. You won’t know unless you ask.
  23. Try to follow Twitter’s 140 character limit rule – advisable and not mandatory.
  24. Before launching a SMS campaign, review the current best practices, regulations developed by the Mobile Marketing Association.
  25. Get Local – Help your customers feel connected by personalizing the messages, including tailoring them to a specific area or location.
  26. Keep It Simple – When sending messages, use simple plain language with well-known texting shortcuts to avoid ambiguity.
  27. Interact with your customers and provide advice and tips. In return, you gain valuable feedback and increase customer loyalty.
  28. Make offers time sensitive to increase the engagement of your SMS notifications.
  29. Train your staff to look for the “from” number. If it’s not your short code, make sure they’re a subscriber..
  30. If you’re sending SMS messages internationally, work with a mobile expert to determine a short-long code strategy.
  31. If you’re sending time sensitive emails, SMS should be considered as a much more effective channel for delivery..
  32. The process to transfer or acquire a private short code can take up to 12 weeks. Consider this when planning your SMS messaging campaigns..
  33. Offer instant awards, prizes or gratitude. Don’t make your customers wait to spend money with your company.
  34. Content matters. Be relevant to your audiences.
  35. Less is more in SMS marketing.
  36. If your SMS is 140 characters, see if you can make it 100 characters or even less.
  37. Surprise your customers. Show them you remember them by personalizing the message.
  38. Stop telling your SMS customers what you have, just tell them the benefits – what’s in it for them.
  39. Deliver SMS coupons to increase redemption rates, as people always have their phones with them all the time now.
  40. Be clear and let your customers know what action you want them to take – what, how, when and who. Be direct. Be precise. Be timely.
  41. Don’t forget to integrate mobile with social media channels.
  42. Think beyond simple outbound messages and leverage SMS to gain more information about your customers.
  43. Obtain opt-in approval before sending SMS messages. Email opt-in does not equal an SMS opt-in.
  44. Consider requesting a mobile number on your email opt-in forms but do so only if there’s a well-stated benefit to the consumer.
  45. Companies can expect response times to a text message to be within minutes.
  46. With SMS being such an immediate channel, it’s important to test your campaign before going live.
  47. Push notifications can drive in App purchases and increase App usage.
  48. Gain trust through a clear and concise opt-in process. Let your consumers know when and what they’ll be receiving. Make your privacy policy clearly visible and easy to understand.
  49. Consider mobile in combination with other channels and post across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and any social medium your customers use.
  50. Before asking if a user wants to opt-in to receive your messages, tell them what the benefit of opting in would be.