It's a great moment in history to be a customer because of the sheer variety of choices available - whether it's in-store or digital, on a mobile phone or on a desktop device -- there are many different ways to shop. As marketers though, our jobs are more difficult precisely because of the variety of options available to consumers. So how can your brand stay on top of the competition and differentiate yourself in a crowded marketplace? The answer: a hyper-focused, tactical, personalized marketing strategy that will make your business stand out.

Defining the "Me Generation"

Millennials are often referred to as the "me generation" but the truth is that across every generation we're all intrinsically "me people." The question for marketers is how to appeal to people who spend most of their time thinking about themselves. That's where personalization comes in.

Daily Digital Hours

Out of a 12 hour day, we spend nearly 6 hours on digital. Taking a deeper look at those numbers, about 2 hours a day are spent on desktop devices, but the majority of daily time spent in the digital space -- just over 3 hours -- actually take place on mobile devices. Mobile devices are a natural extension of the "me generation" -- and the time spent on mobile reflects that. These mobile numbers also show how important it is to have a personalized marketing strategy that is mobile-ready.


Me Loyalists, Not Brand Loyalists

96% of shoppers leave a website without making a purchase and 50% of shoppers were open to purchasing from a new retailer. These numbers indicate that people are no longer brand loyalists, they're looking for the best option to meet their needs. Rather than defaulting to a specific brand, today's consumers do a lot of research and seek out different resources before making a purchase decision.

Personalization Benefits Brands

Many well-known brands have launched personalized marketing campaigns in recent years. Coca-Cola launched their share a coke campaign where users could put their names on Coke bottles. EA Sports gave users the ability to create their own GIFs with the Madden Giferator. And Burberry allowed users to send personalized kisses with their Burberry Kisses campaign. All three brands saw either an increase in sales or engagement because of these personalized initiatives at times when they were experiencing a dip in a sales.

burberry kiss

Search is Personal

Search is the original personalization engine and it has created users who are accustomed to typing a query into a search engine and finding results that are very relevant to their needs. The same is true on mobile -- 87% of smartphone users turn to search first in a moment of need and 61% of smartphone users say they're more likely to buy from companies who customize mobile information to their location. Having customized, personalized content on mobile devices speaks to your audience.

Personalization = Relevancy

Take the example of a user who performs a search for the term "Bank of America." On desktop Google provides many different options so users can go directly to the page on the website that is most relevant to their search. There's also a map option so users can easily find the closest bank location. On mobile, Google offers the ability to easily download the Bank of America app. All of this adds up to a highly personalized experience for the user and the added benefit for the brand itself is the ability to dominate a lot of space on the search results page.

bank of america search results

While it's important to be present and personalized at the moment a search is performed, it's also critical to continue to provide relevant content on a regular basis. In fact, 73% of consumers say that regularly getting useful information from an advertiser is the most important attribute when selecting a brand. Relevant content is key, and that means being as hyper-focused and personalized as possible. One way to stay relevant with users is through Gmail ads. Email reaches 96% of the population and Gmail alone reaches about 56% of the population. Email is the one of the most personalized channels available to marketers and having personal, tactical advertising within this channel is a great way to speak directly to your customer.

gmail example

Key Takeaways

1. Every generation is online, meet them there - it's not just a millennial 'thing', it's important to meet your customer on digital regardless of their age bracket. 2. Digital is the gateway to personalized marketing - more than half our day is spent on digital and having a personalized strategy can help your brand stand out in a crowded marketplace. 3. Be relevant, be useful, be timely - make sure your content is consistently fresh and make sure you're considering the needs and desires of your customer in the digital space. This post was based on a presentation by Mehr Grewal at Blue Fountain Media's fall seminar on "How to Drive Revenue in 2017 With Intelligent Marketing"