How COVID Has Impacted Personalized Marketing, Forever
Consumer demands for personalized experiences skyrocketed during COVID, as brands offered more tailored methods of engagement. And now there’s no going back. Brands need to adequately prepare for a new reality: one where consumers automatically assume an interaction will be personalized to their wants and needs, and will easily jump ship to a competitor if it’s not offered, according to research conducted by McKinsey. Brands need to invest now in the tools to collect this information, while safeguarding their consumers’ privacy rights.
Here are some methods to engage your customers in an adapted COVID world for 2022 and beyond:
1. Don’t assume.
Our consumption habits have changed drastically throughout the pandemic. Take coffee, for example. In an office, the coffee machine is traditionally the center of gravity: where coworkers gather throughout the day to fill up their cup and exchange pleasantries.
But with more people working from home now than ever before, perhaps their caffeine habits have changed. Are they now opting for caffeine-free options, like tea? Or beverages that contain caffeine but do not taste like coffee? Or perhaps coffee drinks that offer alternative benefits (like probiotics)?
In order to determine product fit and gauge consumer trends as affected by the pandemic, brands must ask their consumers. Don’t assume you know the answer.
2. Meet your customers where they are.
Personalized experiences mean recognizing who the customer is and where they are on their journey. As they move from the browsing to purchasing stage, it is important that the customer feels seen and heard.
For example, let’s say you are a snack brand and considering taking a new product to market. Before you do so, consider both the physical and digital spaces your customer resides in. Physically, that likely means the home – as many people are still working outside of the office. What sort of snacks do they eat from home, and how does it differ from when they were working in the office, or always in the car or on-the-go?
Digitally, it’s more than likely you’ll find your customers spending the majority of their time on social media. Therefore, you must meet them where you are via tailored ads, in order to attract new customers and maintain relationships with existing ones.
3. Go beyond the basics.
Consider using variables about your customer that go beyond their first or last name. For example, recognizing a customer’s birthday or remembering their size in jeans is an important, inexpensive way to show that you are paying attention to your customer and care about them. In the long run, it’s guaranteed to improve the customer experience and engender loyalty with almost no cost. For example, Chewy, an online pet supplies retailer, has implemented personalized customer service emails that include both the customer’s name and the customer’s pet’s name.