From the very moment they wake up in the morning until their heads hit the pillow again each night, today’s consumers are bombarded with a nearly constant stream of messaging from companies trying to get their attention. In the midst of all this noise, it can be nearly impossible for a single brand to stand out to their target audience. In this hyper-marketed environment, your brand’s single best hope is personalized marketing: essentially, to personalize the marketing experience, gaining the consumer’s attention with a directly tailored message.

Personalized marketing gives customers a sense of identity. It makes them feel like they aren’t just one of the masses, but a well-understood individual that your company is reaching out to in order to fill a specific need. In fact, customers are much more receptive to being marketed to if they know the messaging will be customized to their wants and needs:

  • According to research from Invesp, 53% of online shoppers believe that personalization is valuable, and up to 57% of shoppers are willing to give away their personal information in order to benefit from personalization.
  • 56% of customers are more likely to shop with retailers that offer personalization, and 74% of them get frustrated if they see unrelated content.

When you establish a sense of intimacy with your customer, they’ll be more likely to trust you. And the more likely they are to trust you, the more likely they’ll be to buy from you.

If you’re not sure how to get started creating a personalized marketing experience for your prospects, here are a few recommendations that will get you on the rig­­ht track.

Get to know your audience and segment them

Understanding who your audience is paramount to personalizing your marketing efforts. You need to understand their wants, needs, and pain points before you can determine how to properly address them through your marketing communication. Consider interviewing current customers or sending surveys to better understand what they are looking for. Talking with your sales team, or other client-facing teams in your business, can also give you great insight into your customers because these are the people that work with them on a daily basis.

Once you have an understanding of who your audience is, it’s important that you segment them for messaging purposes. This is especially true of your email marketing efforts. Don’t blast out blanket messages to everyone in your audience! Taking a targeted approach will not only improve your communication through email marketing, social media, and other direct-to-consumer platforms. It will deliver better results.

Create a brand identity

In order to personalize the experience with your brand, you need to know exactly who your brand is. If you don’t know the answer to this, how are your current and future customers supposed to establish a connection with you?

To see an example of a brand that excels at creating an unforgettable company culture, look no further than Patagonia. The company not only says they are eco-friendly, they actually are. In November 2016, Patagonia donated all Black Friday sales, $10 million worth, to grassroots environmental groups. Additionally, as part of their corporate culture, Patagonia offers environmental internships and even sent employees to help after the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010. This is clearly a company that stands by their culture, making it easy for people to relate to them.

Like Patagonia, you can create a company culture that your target audience can like and can relate to, and then figure out ways to share and show that culture to prospective customers.

Social media channels offer a great opportunity to reach prospects in this way, and this is where things like a blog, video, and imagery can go a long way toward establishing an online identity that can deliver big value for your business.

By creating a brand personality, you give people an opportunity to like your company, not just your products and services. This is important because having a brand identity allows consumers to establish an emotional connection with your company. The more they care about your business, the more likely they’ll be to become customers.

Be authentic

When communicating with your target audience, it’s important to be authentic. Show that you genuinely care about their wants and needs and help them find the solutions they’re looking for. These days, customers don’t respond to mass messaging or sales pitches. They want to feel heard and treated like a person, so treat every customer as an individual. The more real you are with them, the more likely they’ll be to trust you and respond to your messaging.

Show consumers that you genuinely care by speaking to them directly. If they comment on social media or provide feedback in an email, acknowledge the communication and respond promptly. Showing that there are real people behind the technology that powers all businesses today will make consumers feel heard, providing a memorable customer experience that will be top of mind when they make future purchasing decisions.

Give consumers what they want

Your integrated personalized marketing campaigns should give consumers what they want at numerous touch points, but all these touch points should boil down to a singular, focused brand message. In your messaging, address pain points and needs that you’ve observed from your audience, whether it be through website activity, social media monitoring, or other tactics.

Listen to what consumers have to say. Whether they provide direct or indirect feedback to your company, take it to heart, and apply the feedback to your future marketing decisions. Listening to consumers and responding to their needs in the marketing phase is key to converting prospects into paying customers.

Review and analyze your efforts

To know whether your personalized marketing efforts are paying off, it’s critical that you take the time to analyze the results of your efforts and adjust accordingly. Optimize the efforts that are engaging with your audience, and change those that aren’t performing well. Over time, your personalized marketing efforts will evolve to become more and more compelling to your target audience. To make this review process easier, use a CRM system that allows you to track and analyze the various touch points you have with both potential and current customers.

Personalization is key to standing out in a crowded marketplace and to creating genuine relationships with your customers. It is about engaging with your future and current customers with the right message, at the right place, and at the right time. By doing this, your brand will create memorable and meaningful customer experiences that will turn prospects into customers and customers into brand advocates.

This article has been brought to you in part by SAP Digital CRM. Visit the SAP Store to find out how SAP Digital CRM can help you supercharge your marketing and sell more, and register for the free 30-day trial.

Photo credit: impatto ‘Simply More’ via photopin (license)

Blog originally published on SAP Digital.