Research shows that consumers are hungry for more personalized marketing — and I am a real-life example. As a working mom with two young kids, I have limited time. No surprise there. I don’t have hours to surf the web to buy their clothes. And actually wrangling everyone into the car to visit a retail location? #Headache
This situation isn’t unique to me. Of the 57% of women participating in the U.S. labor force, 70% have a child under the age of 18. But here’s the thing — just because moms like me don’t always have the bandwidth to shop, doesn’t mean we don’t need/want to shop. I’d gladly give the right retailer a surplus of data — my kids’ ages, genders, measurements, favorite characters, even their names — in exchange for personalized marketing offers in my inbox or social feeds. And I’m not alone.
Sixty-three percent of Millennial consumers and 58% of GenX consumers are willing to share data with companies in exchange for personalized offers and discounts. This finding, from the recently published “State of the Connected Customer” report, shows that consumers are craving more customized marketing. And, they’re OK with providing their personal data to get that.
For these Gen X (those ages 35–51) and Millennial consumers, personal data is a small price to pay in exchange for personalized in-store or online shopping experiences, or for product recommendations that match their needs.
When a marketing experience can remove the footwork that’s usually required on the customer’s part, it doesn’t feel like marketing. It feels like an easy interaction with a company that “gets” them. Seventy-two percent of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
Connected customers want to be heard, understood, remembered, and respected. Ultimately, they want to be treated like people — and smarter applications of customer data can help companies deliver experiences with a human touch, at scale.
So what’s this look like on a granular level? Continuing with the earlier scenario, if I could tell a children’s clothing retail company, “My son John wears size 2T; his favorite color is red; my daughter wears size 6 months; this is our zip code,” imagine all the marketing possibilities that creates.
Not only could the retailer send gender- and size-specific personalized marketing offers, they could send seasonal suggestions based on where we live. The retailer could deliver shopkeeper-like personalization, with a email subject line like, “Must-Have Winter Items for John,” and include top-selling red sweaters and related product recommendations based on what others have purchased.
When I do manage to visit a retail store, what if I could check in on my mobile app to let the salesclerk know I’m on my way? A single view of the customer (me) would mean that salesclerk has access to the same data points that my marketing offer was based on. Could she then round up a few items personalized according to my data and purchase history to make our in-store experience smoother? Game. Changer.
It may sound like a distant dream, but could be closer than you think. Fifty-one percent of consumers expect that by 2020 companies will anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact.
For more research about connected customers and personalized marketing, get the full “State of the Connected Customer” report.