Feb 12, 2021 | Marketing 101, Resources

Personalized Marketing—How to Build Relationships That Last

Marketing is all about building relationships. It’s like dating or making new friends, and a lot of the same rules apply:

Look boring and you won’t catch their eye.

Talk too much about yourself and they’ll feel left out.

Fail to express your intentions and your relationship will fizzle.


In today’s digital world, the power to market to your customers in highly personalized, customized ways is at your fingertips—and your customers expect it.

  • 63% of consumers are highly annoyed when brands blast generic advertising messages. 63% 63%
  • 80% say they are likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences. 63% 63%
  • 90% admit they find personalization appealing. 90% 90%
  • More than half say they are willing to share personal information, so long as you use it to benefit them. 54% 54%
  • Personalization reduces acquisition costs as much as 50%. 50% 50%
  • Personalization lifts revenues by as much as 15%. 15% 15%
  • Personalization increases the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 30%. 30% 30%

Sources: McKinsey; Accenture

As you start your marketing efforts, be intentional about data gathering to get to know your customers better—who they are, how they talk, their interests, their challenges, where they are, how they shop, and more. With data in hand, you can begin to add personal touches to your marketing as well as deliver relevant content and more value to your audience.

Chewy’s automated emails align to customers’ purchase cycles, reminding them to re-purchase right when they’re likely running low.

Coke had the art of personalization down to a science with its almost too easy Share a coke campaign.

Typeform employed a sense of humor and stood out in the inbox with well timed subject lines that didn’t go unnoticed.

How to personalize your marketing efforts …

Get to know your customers (a.k.a. gather data).

Ask questions—Whether in-person or online, take every opportunity to find out about your customers interests, hangouts, and hangups. Use social media, email, surveys (online and in person) and good old fashioned conversation.

Social listening—Pay attention to social media and online conversations. Not only can you learn where your customers are hanging out digitally, but you can also tune in to how they talk and what they talk about in order to better address their needs and communicate.

Be targeted, and relevant.

If you want to build trust with your customers, it’s important to show them that you remember them and understand their needs, then show up with a relevant solution. This can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it (or as time and resources allow). Think about  different groups within your audience. How might you tailor your messaging and content to cater to their unique needs differently?

If you’re a farm-to-table restaurant offering at-home delivery, consider where customers live, and don’t target your promotion to people outside of your delivery region. If you sell women’s jewelry, think about how your products could appeal to those outside your target group. (Men may not be interested in your product, but they need help with gift-giving, and targeted advertising should address that pain point.

Stay in their terms and on their turf.

In line with the data gathering advice above, once you’re familiar with your audience on a personal level, show up where they are and use familiar language. This is helpful in trust-building and connecting with the people you’re most likely to respond to your products, services, or brand.

Get timing right.

When you’ve put in the necessary effort to familiarize yourself with your audience, honor what you’ve learned by sending customers what they want when the time is right.

If you’re a restaurant, try posting on social media near meal times (not right after your audience likely just ate). For digital retailers, time emails requesting product feedback to align with when a customer’s order has been received (not before). It’s important to think about your customers’ lifestyles and schedules and find ways for your marketing to be there right when they need it.

Like relationships, personalized marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to get to know your customers, get your messaging right, activate a CRM system, design content, and execute your marketing strategy. But, remember whatever capacity you are connecting with your audience, keep it personal, and keep it growing.

More to read…