It can be one of the most annoying features of modern marketing tactics. Personalized advertisements, shoved in your face on every social media program, web-search and website you visit, based on your search history, and linked accounts. You know what we’re talking about. You go to Amazon and buy an item, then for a week, all you see is your search history showing up everywhere from Facebook, Google, and Instagram, to your personal email account. However, these re-targeting strategies (that are more like spam) aren’t what we’re talking about. We’re talking about ways to personalize your brand – ways to make each of your customers feel like they’re having a unique, relatable experience.
Science and research show that marketing and sales tactics based on emotion, can help your business branding and overall success. Tell your story, make your customers ‘feel’ needed, and associate that care with your company’s brand.
Personalize Your Brand in 2018
To personalize your brand, you must start with good intentions. You need to examining the habits, preferences, and actions of your customers, to provide them with more useful information and services. But, it’s a thin line to toe. “Consumers trade their data for “value”—however it’s the customers who define that return.” At PolyPortables, we try to take this practice, and put it into our own strategy. We have email newsletter sign ups, quote forms, and other various resources that are accessed by ‘capturing’ customer data. However, we don’t use this customer data to send spammy emails or sell it to the highest bidder. We only capture this information to provide specific services to customers, without having to ask them a million questions, wasting their valuable time.
But what people share seems to matter less than how and why they share.
According to MarketingProfs,
Researchers at Columbia Business School surveyed 8,000 people about privacy and foundthree areas of overwhelming consensus:
- First, 75% of respondents said they were willing to share an assortment of personal data with brands they trust.
- Second, 86% of respondents wanted greater control over the data companies collect.
- And third, 85% said they want to know more about the data companies collect.”
With this information, you know exactly what consumers are looking for! The following information should help you give your customers exactly what they want – trust, control and knowledge.
Make Your Company Relatable
For years, B2B marketing professionals just assumed that business decisions were based on rational motivations and that emotion based marketing was for B2C advertisers. In recent years, it’s become obvious that emotion plays an important role in B2B as well.
Emotion and reason are two human traits that together—sometimes in agreement, but sometimes in conflict—lead to decisions. It’s not one or the other, black or white. According to behavioral scientist and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, people have two modes of thinking for making decisions:
- System 1: fast, instinctive, emotion-driven
- System 2: slow, contemplative, reason-driven
When you offer a customer fact driven information on your company, trying to logically persuade them to choose your business, you’re using system 2. However, as you can see above, system 1 can be far more powerful.
So how do you market to potential and existing customers, based on system 1? You must market to emotions: belonging, happiness, joy, fear, pity, shame, envy, love, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, pride, devotion, astonishment, irritation, contempt, guilt, trust, security, and acceptance – just to name a few. Emotions trigger behavior, and fast.
Check out this advertising campaign from NIKE – Greatness – Taps on all of our emotional needs.
Emotional Branding Tactics to Consider
- Solution selling is one of the top tactics to consider. Don’t sell what—sell how. For example, by demonstrating how new services or products will improve efficiency, you will make more impact than explaining how it works. Perceived value is key.
- Being likable is incredibly valuable. If people have a positive perception of you, and associate that perception with your company, then they will also like your company.
- Tell your story, and mean it. People have been telling stories for thousands of years. It is how messages have been passed down through the ages. Why? Because they trigger emotions. In B2B marketing, storytelling can be an effective way to connect to customers. After all, people identify most with other individuals—not businesses.
It’s important to find a balance of marketing with the two systems, but always remember that marketing is communication. People prefer to communicate with people, because they have emotions. Be personable and have real conversations.
Give Your Guests Some Control
Once you’ve established your company to be personable, then you start personalizing your customer’s experience. As we mentioned earlier, there’s a fine line between personalized marketing and ‘big brother’ style monitoring and adverting. When you personalize your brand, make your guests and customers feel at ease by giving them some of the control.
For example, just be honest with the reasons for collecting their information. If you require website guests and clients to give you their personal information, let them know why. Start with these ideas:
- We collect the following the information: _____
- We use it to: _____
- This helps you by:_____
Also, you HAVE to let people opt our of your information and services. No one likes feeling trapped and with today’s business practices being so pushy it’s easy to feel like someone’s always watching. You’re probably familiar with the scenario below:
Once you’ve visited a site that uses retargeting technology, it’s too late to choose. If Acme Shoes stalks me across the Internet with banner ads of the boots I didn’t want to buy, I’m stuck. I can’t ask Acme Shoes or its marketing agency to knock it off.
Instead, I’d have to block cookies, switch browsers, run an adblocker, or use an anonymous browser. I can’t vary the level of personalization, and I can’t shut it down without circumventing the offending brand. Forced “personalization” is not personalization.” – Lindsay McGettigan vice-president of digital strategy at R2integrated
Allowing your customers to have control of their experience, while offering a personal touch to your marketing will help you Personalize Your Brand.