Customer Insight Is Key to Personalization

What’s the secret to personalized printing success? It can be summed up in a single word: relevance. You can “personalize” a document with dozens of variables related to a customer’s gender, income, geographic location and more, but in the end, if the document isn’t relevant to the recipient, it won’t be effective.
How do you ensure that your personalized mailings are relevant to the people you are sending them to? You get to know them.
The industry’s most successful marketers know everything about their customers. They ask questions. They do customer surveys. They conduct focus groups. They collect a variety of customer data that helps them create detailed profiles of those customers. They mine data efficiently.
How does this work? Say you are a marketer of women’s health products. You have been personalizing direct mailings by name, age and stage of life, but the response remains low. To figure out what’s going on, you conduct a survey to learn more about your customers’ lifestyles.
Based on the survey, you find that a high percentage of your customers are home-schoolers. While these customers value natural products, your research finds that their time and finances are restricted by home-schooling costs and activities. You also find that among this group, personal pampering is not a high priority.
Based on this new information, you might change your pitch. Instead of focusing on the appeal of your products to the recipient personally, you might begin to address this demographic’s larger concerns and lifestyle needs. You talk about the cost-effectiveness of natural products in comparison to commercial products. You talk about the ability of these products to boost energy, improve the restfulness of sleep, and provide long-term health benefits for growing children. What do you think will happen to your response rates?
There is a common saying, “Knowledge is power.” That’s as true in marketing as it is anywhere else.

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