Delivering Hyperpersonalized Experiences in the Age of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred drastic shifts within the customer landscape. Shoppers are changing their buying habits and branching out to find new or different solutions to suit their needs. Many of these changes will be permanent, presenting companies and marketing teams with unprecedented challenges for the foreseeable future.
One of the more significant customer shifts has occurred in the digital space. Countless industries have seen upticks in e-commerce activity during the pandemic, and a majority of shoppers say they plan to continue buying goods online even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.
Furthermore, many consumers are searching for products they don't typically buy, creating unexpected increases in demand. One of our clients, for example, sells neck gaiters and balaclavas — products that usually don’t sell well in the summer months. This year, however, that client has sold an enormous quantity of these items because they're useful as personal protective equipment.
With each passing day, this volatile pandemic delivers a profound reminder to marketers: it's more important than ever to study your consumers’ digital journeys regularly, gather data-driven customer insights, and use this information to create hyperpersonalized customer experiences. Otherwise, brands will struggle to remain relevant in this rapidly changing climate.
Taking a Hyperpersonal Approach
Your customers need to know that you're keeping up with their evolving needs. The pandemic is affecting individuals differently, and customers are responding in their own unique ways. The best way to cater to these customized needs is to deploy hyperpersonal communication.
In broad terms, hyperpersonal marketing means sending targeted messages to your website visitors, customers, and prospects. By studying site visit data, purchasing trends, and previous marketing campaign performance, you can ensure that you're creating relevant and tailored experiences.
For example, let’s imagine that a specific product page on your website is getting an unusually high amount of traffic during the pandemic. You could send a targeted email campaign to visitors who haven’t yet purchased the item, offering them tailored information or a discount. The “email address” needs to be captured or previously captured on the e-commerce site either through an email subscription or cart checkout.
Furthermore, you could also use past purchase data to provide product recommendations to customers after they buy specific items — or to identify the perfect time to encourage a repurchase.
Hyperpersonalized customer experiences can take on many forms, and they offer significant benefits. Follow these three tips to get started:
- Know your customers. Capture as much data about your customers as you can. Track everything from their website activity to their transactions, interests, and demographics. Find opportunities to ask about their communication preferences. Be sure to send the right types of messages through the right channels. As you amass insights over time, make sure all of the data is easily accessible to your marketing team for analysis and segmentation.
- Set clear goals. Know what you’re aiming for before you launch your campaigns. Work with your team to establish key performance indicators and benchmarks for customer behavior and marketing performance for each asset you create. While you’re at it, develop targeted audiences ahead of time to ensure you reach out to the right people.
- Test, learn, and repeat. Test different approaches, and measure your performance using KPIs and benchmarks to see whether you're on the right track. If your campaign delivers relevant content and product offers to the right customers at the right time, the results will prove it. Take note of the approaches that work, keeping them in your playbook for future use.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing brands to be more agile than ever. For marketing teams, this means paying close attention to shifting consumer habits, gathering as much data as possible, and using these insights to provide personalized offerings and experiences that help customers navigate this unprecedented time.
Hyperpersonal communication is key to driving engagement, conversions and loyalty during these challenging times. The sooner your marketing team embraces this approach, the better it will connect with consumers, build loyalty, and drive sustained revenue.
Chris Wilson is a partner of product innovation and customer service at Pearl, a SaaS customer data platform.
Chris Wilson is a partner of product innovation and customer service at Pearl. Chris has more than 25 years of experience helping B2C and B2B companies make data actionable by using data technologies and innovative marketing practices. Chris brings a breadth and depth of experience and expertise in leveraging analytics, strategy, database marketing, CRM, and marketing automation.