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Marketing Personalization: How to Use Customer Data to Create Custom Marketing Content

As digital marketing progresses and tracking technology advances, marketers are able to gather more and more information about the audiences they’re reaching. But all that information is useless unless, well, you use it! It can give you valuable insights into the best ways to reach your target audience and the most fitting concepts to communicate to them. Plus, users have begun to expect ads and marketing messages that are tailored specifically to them. So, if you’re not already personalizing your marketing content, it’s time to start.

There are a million different types of marketing materials you can personalize, from emails and social media ads to website pages and push notifications. So, for now, let’s focus on the types of user data (i.e. information about your audience) that you can use to create content that’s personalized just for them.

Personalize Marketing Content Based On Demographic Information

You can start creating custom marketing content with even the most basic information about your customer or prospect, like age, location, gender or income level. You’ve probably experienced this yourself. You may have received a postcard promoting roof repair or a home cleaning service that mentioned your city or even your neighborhood. It’s probably the same for every person on your street, but the postcard was still created in a way that speaks specifically to you, in this case, based on your location.

This kind of personalization is nothing new but, with more detailed information, such as gender, you can get more creative with your personalization. For example, if you want to sell athletic wear on your online store, you can send out two versions of the same email – one that features men’s apparel and goes to everyone in your database you have identified as men, and another that promotes women’s clothes and is delivered to those in your database who’ve been identified as women.

As you test different creative options with these two audiences, you may discover even deeper insights. Maybe you’ll find that hot pink graphics give you a higher click-through rate when used in the emails sent to the women on your list. For that audience, hot pink could become a key graphic element in your creative. However, it might not perform well at all for the men on your list. That’s why it’s key to segment your audience using whatever data you can collect.

Personalize Marketing Content Based On User Behavior

People want to cut through the clutter and see only what matters to them. That’s why marketers love personalizing content based on interest. But how do you determine what users are interested in? You monitor their behavior. Based on a digital footprint, marketers can make educated guesses (i.e. assumptions) about what each customer or prospect likes.

For example, you may receive an ad for a hotel in San Francisco after you were just researching online to find the best places to sightsee for your upcoming trip. Let’s look behind the curtain: A savvy marketer tracked your user behavior (visiting sites about San Francisco), determined you must be interested in that location, and then created a custom marketing message just for you (promoting their San Francisco hotel). I bet you clicked it. That’s because personalized marketing is effective, and the more specific you can get with your customer data, the better.

A key type of specific user behavior you can track is customer history. This is especially important if you’re involved in any sort of e-commerce, be it online shopping or online booking. If you have a record of each customer’s top viewed pages or items, customer service records and/or purchase history, you have a gold mine. With records like that, the opportunities are endless to convert (remind him he left something in his cart and still needs to check out), upsell (suggest a new case to go with the phone she just purchased), and maintain (keep him coming back with weekly promotions and exclusive offers).

Personalize Marketing Content Based On Your Data

You may have a sophisticated CRM that keeps track of everything from a user’s income bracket to her preference in communication style. Or you may simply have a list of email addresses segmented by industry. It’s true you should aim to improve your data collection over time, but don’t let a lack of data stop you from exploring the realm of marketing personalization. Start with what you do have and create the kind of content your audience wants – the kind that’s created just for them.