Digital marketing is a lot more than getting customers to visit your site. To be successful, your marketing needs to give them something they’ll like once they get there, so they will stick around for a while and you can get to know them better, so you can make relevant offers in the future that suit their needs and desires. One analogy that occurred to me when thinking about the steps behind personalisation and personalising the experience for your visitors, is the online dating process. Much in the same way that digital marketers want to attract the right customers, when we post online dating profiles we’re hoping to make the right match with prospective partners. Let’s take a look to see how they correlate in real life.
Step 1: Segmentation (Choosing your type & creating a profile)
Segmentation is a critical first step in any digital marketing program. This is when you will assess your customer base and divide it into groups based on common needs/wants, allowing for the creation and implementation of specific campaigns tailored for each target market. You need to use your analytics tool to work out who your potential segments are. If this was an online dating profile, you would spend time assessing what you want in a partner and then build a profile to attract just the right person by highlighting your best attributes.
Step 2: Messaging & Communication (Reaching out to prospective matches)
Once you’ve identified your target audience for your next digital marketing campaign and have established your goals, it’s time to take the plunge and try out your key messages on your audience. Don’t worry! There will be time to assess and revise ineffective messages along the way. In digital marketing terms this means A/B and multi-variate testing, in the online dating world, this is where you post your dating profile, cross your fingers, and wait to see who responds. Pleased with the responses you’re getting? Great, contact those online matches to arrange a first date…If not, it’s time to tweak.
Step 3: Analytics/Feedback Loop (Post-date analysis and reviewing with friends)
With any digital marketing program, you’ll want to run analytics to ensure the messaging resonates with your customers. Our analytics tools enable you to track results in real time and make changes on the fly for the best results. Are customers responding to your call to action? Are they staying on your site long enough to collect their data? Are they engaged? At any time, you can make changes and monitor the progress. The analytics the Adobe Marketing Cloud, are much more effective in assessing the value of your latest campaign than the post-date conversation with friends is at assessing whether you’ll get a second date.
Step 4: Voice of the customer (Learning more about your date)
Another key aspect to ensuring that your digital marketing programs are effective is to ask customers themselves what they want and how you can help them. There are a variety of ways to do this. Direct communication such as interviews, surveys, and focus groups are well-known tactics for gathering customer feedback — and you can use email and SMS to contact customers directly. However, today, you’re bound to learn just as much by monitoring social media channels. Once you have a strong sense for your target customers, you can optimize the program for best results. You can also use social media to better understand your date, but I advise actually using the date as a way to ask questions and learn more in a one-on-one setting.
Step 5: Optimisation of the process (Ensuring a second date)
If all signs are pointing towards success, congratulations! Continue what you are doing. You have the option of duplicating or expanding your program to reach more customers — and there are tools you can use like the look-alike modeling capabilities of Adobe AudienceManager to do this intelligently. There will be some small tweaks along the way, but the goal here is to find what works! From a dating standpoint, either your efforts paid off and you’ve got a second date or you are back to the online dating pool to meet your next potential match.