Senior Account Manager
Posted on August 27, 2015
Forbes have named a “shift from globalization to personalisation” as one of the most significant marketing trends of 2015. They agree with our belief that this is more than just a passing trend, however. Website personalisation and personalised marketing in general represents evolutions in audiences and attitudes that are changing the ways brands sell, and changing them for good.
How audiences are leading change
Consumers are increasingly and systematically rejecting cold, impersonal approaches from brands and businesses. No one wants to feel like they’re just one of many potential cash cows there to be milked dry. People want to feel respected and to feel that the relationships they have with their chosen brands are genuinely beneficial. They want to have conversations that match and enhance their interests, needs and lifestyles, and to feel like organisations treat them as individuals, not as a faceless mass.
For the financial industry, this means a big change in strategy. We know that many financial organisations are finding it hard to know where to start, but it’s your website that could provide the perfect springboard.
What a personalised website can do
Website design and development that uses responsive personalisation is now very achievable, giving you dynamic content on your website that changes based on who is looking at it. This means you can show a lead or a customer something different to that which you’d show a first-time visitor, allowing you to deliver the right content, to the right people, at the right time.
A changing, personalised, tailored website not only makes customers feel unique and valued, and promotes a great user experience, but can create conversions authentically and effectively. It transforms your site from a source of static information or a broadcast hard sell into a two-way conversation with your users – one that allows you to deliver useful, relevant content, build trust, and tailor calls to action.
Is it worth it?
We certainly think so. Like all forms of content marketing, the results aren’t instantaneous, but the meaningful leads and conversions coming out of personalisation projects are making for some enviable success stories.
In June 2015, we launched an integrated project for Investec Private Bank that incorporated personalised website, emails, direct mail and surveys, designed to build relationships with clients over a 12 month period. Utilising these different channels and marketing strategies, we were able to tailor communications to include personalised emails from a private banker, leading to a personalised website experience that matched user interests based on three different user personas.
Two months in and although it’s still early days, the results have been impressive, with over 50% email open rate, over 15% email click through rate, and less than 1% email unsubscribe rate.
3 tips to perfect personalisation
To get it right, you need to get the right people on board – creative minds who understand your market and your audience. But once you’ve picked the right team, here are three things that will help make all the difference.
1. Invest in your content marketing
It’s content that has the power to drive people to visit your website and to make it worthwhile when they do. Content marketing isn’t about overwhelming audiences with spam or mindless clickbaiting – it’s about providing considered, genuinely relevant and useful information and opportunities that make you a brand worth paying attention to. Personalised websites form part of a much wider shift in marketing strategy that all organisations need to consider, so if content marketing isn’t yet something you’re doing well, start making changes now.
2. Think long-term
All good relationships take time. Not everyone will be ready to buy, sign up, or join anything on a first visit and your personalisation strategy needs to reflect this. Planning longer-term and incorporating opportunities for relationships to build and grow at the user’s own pace will mean that conversions can happen organically and are likely to be far more valuable when they do. It’s not worth rushing it, so be prepared to be patient.
3. Use analytics to understand user behaviour
Analytics can tell you a great deal about your user – information you can use to improve personalisation experiences and to identify when a user is demonstrating ‘hot’ buying behaviour and may be most open to a conversion opportunity. Used well, analytics can help you to be sensitive, rather than creepy. It’s not about spying on users, it’s about learning from their behaviour to make your communications more useful and relevant. Analytics could help you find that final personal and timely touch that may just seal the deal.
If you’re a financial brand and would like more information on how content marketing could change the way you interact with your customers, or if you want a chat about the personalisation potential of email and website design, do give us a call. We’d love to help.