Weekly Recap – January 31, 2020

Lori Bahnmueller 01/31/20 - 9:30 am

Assorted names written on name cards.

Get Personal

Personalization was the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 word of the year and a high budget priority in 2020. Nearly half of B2C marketers globally will increase spend on personalization tech this year, per Forrester Research. It’s key to meeting today’s customer expectations and building long-term brand relationships.

+ Personalization gets consumers’ focused attention. Even Personalization 101 tactics like including a consumer’s name in a communication can boost performance.  (For me?)  But invoke personalization judiciously, using moniker’s when delivering content and experiences that are relevant to the customer’s context in that moment cut through the noise of brand advertising. Else you may be disciplined with an  unsubscribe.

+ Personalization drives loyal behaviors. Our experience and research shows that personalization sparks campaign lift. Rewards members at a major pharmacy retailer converted 30% more than average with offers that were personalized. But it goes beyond that next purchase, too. For instance, Belgian energy company Eni uses personalized videos to improve an often-negative moment of the customer experience — bill shock. The videos, which help customers read and understand their monthly charges, resulted in higher Net Promoter Scores, more on-time payments, and an uptick in self-service account creation.

+ Personalization is persuasive. Providing a relevant and solid value proposition, personalization can help motivate consumers to share their data. Consumers are more aware than ever that companies want their personal data for marketing purposes. But they’re willing to share it only if they get something out of the deal, too. Effective personalization establishes that win-win relationship: Your customers get a better experience, and you get access to the data you need to treat them better. Fashion retailer Express uses the information customers share in style quizzes and challenges to better understand their preferences and engage with them in nonshoppable moments.

Bought It

This item is hot, hot, hot! Online shoppers who abandon carts without purchase are often haunted by retargeting ads that attempt to lure them back. They’re the same tactics that made informercials and home shopping networks. But now, immediate gratification is a mere click away

+ After reviewing 200 of the top shopping sites, including Amazon, eBay and Macys.com, a study by the University of Michigan’s School of Information found that all the sites had an average of 19 features that could encourage impulse buying, such as limited-time discounts and wording that made an item seem like it was almost out of stock. Five websites topped the chart—Macys.com, OpticsPlanet.com, Amazon.com, Newegg.com and Target.com—and the team identified more than 30 features on each of the sites that could contribute to impulse buying.

+ “Many consumers are familiar with marketing tactics that might push them to buy in a store but what’s interesting online is that e-retailers have so much data about their consumers that they can display real-time information, like the number of people who have already purchased something, the exact number of products left in stock, or the number of customers who also have that product in their shopping cart right now,” said Carol Moser, the study’s lead author and a doctoral student at the U-M School of Information.

+ The researchers selected which sites to study from an industry report of the top internet retailers in the United States by online revenue. Of these 200 retail websites, 192 contained what the researchers call “social influence” features, which recommended products based on what “other people” bought.

Other strategies included increasing the buyer’s sense of urgency (69% of the websites) using features like limited-time discounts with countdown clocks. Some websites (67%) also made the product seem scarce with low stock warnings or “exclusive” product offerings.

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