The days are long gone when companies didn’t need to personalise their marketing communication and they could still be successful. Irrespective of channel, all your marketing communications needs to be connected and feel the same across every channel and every message.

Connected personalisation enables a company to customise every marketing message for a customer. So, the email they receive, the website products they are recommended, or the in-app message that pings on their phones should all be tailored to them and their preferences.

With customers now expecting this sort of joined up marketing, we are going to see it growing as more companies find ways to make all their marketing messages highly personalised and homogenised.

With so much noise for potential customers, successful conversion from email is increasingly competitive. Marketers only get one chance with an email, so it needs to be smarter and work harder.

The information they used to set up an email campaign two days ago might not be relevant when that email is being opened. And if you understand that a customer isn’t going to look at every single one of your emails, you need to make sure you offer them the very best message, when they do choose to interact with your brand.

The ultimate aim is to create a ‘truly connected’ consumer; a consumer that is so integrated into your business or brand, who receives such highly targeted offers and messages through their phones, tablets and wearables, that they evangelise about you and won’t shop anywhere else.

One way to do this is by combining social and brand content in your marketing communications. Social media has completely transformed the way people create, consume and share content. With this new behaviour of how people interact with one another, brands need to adapt how they communicate, market and position products accordingly.

There are tools out there that have been built with this change of behaviour in mind and provide marketers with the tools they need to leverage user generated content (UGC), to increase conversion and customer retention.

According to experts, UGC is 50% more trusted than any other media and you can understand why. Retailers that use UGC in email see a 43% increase in click-through rates and a 2-3 times conversion rate plus 86% of customers look to UGC as an indicator of product or service quality.

The key to be able to do that is to have an interconnected system powering all these marketing messages running in the background. This will lead to a single marketing view with every touch point a customer has with a company’s messages being highly personalized and targeted.

In my mind, that means being able to source, curate, manage and publish content all from one place and creating a more relevant, authentic and connected marketing campaign. Using UGC in email will enable you to:

  • Incorporate personalized social content
  • Accelerate in-email purchases with live product reviews and customer imagery
  • Add dynamic conversion links to turn social content into a powerful sales asset
  • Create more relevant and engaging emails on-open

The next step towards achieving a true content multiverse is to use the massive amounts of data that is collected by enabling next level proximity marketing, highly targeted in-store beacon messages (now virtually enabled) and connecting all marketing channels together.

This data can be used to leverage previous interactions, purchase history and current interactions to deliver real-time personalised one-to-one communication that will lead to an increase in sales. Segments of groups will now become singular segments and marketing will be targeted to the individual instead of to customers with similar profiles. The ability to gather large amounts of data will increase the level of communication that customers have with companies.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this piece, the ultimate aim, is to create a ‘truly connected’ consumer; a consumer that is so integrated into a business, who receives such highly targeted offers and messages through their phones, tablets and wearables, that they will not shop anywhere else.

So it is becoming critical that companies integrate all of their marketing channels and offer content to customers through the device and in the manner that they prefer instead of the other way around. The more integrated and connected a consumer is with a business, the more they will use their services and shop for their products and ultimately drive revenue.

Nowadays if a customer doesn’t find a business or a retailer on their chosen device or if content is not offered in the manner they want, they will run to the open arms of the competition.

This Christmas will be the time when many companies use all their different avenues of marketing in the most targeted way to communicate the most relevant and powerful messages to their customers. Whether that’s contextual emails, responsive websites, mobile marketing, social media, ambient proximity and big data, the aim will to create a truly connected customer.

By having a two-way conversation, companies will find they have engaged customers that are so integrated with a company’s products and services, they will be loyal brand ambassadors, being less likely to shop elsewhere and ultimately helping to increase sales and revenue.

Az Ahmed

Az Ahmed


Az Ahmed is a Senior Marketing Consultant at SmartFocus.