Hyper-personalization in marketing

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Kathy Grmek, Vertis Communications
Kathy Grmek, Vertis Communications

How do marketers effectively engage consumers to keep their products and services top-of-mind, build relationships, and, ultimately, capture and retain customers? The key is developing communication that is highly personalized for each recipient.

Hyper-personalized marketing takes into consideration consumers' very different needs and preferences, and creates highly meaningful, effective communication that sparks connections and influences behavior.

Understanding the role of print and production in achieving hyper-personalization is critical, so consider the following four tips to drive the effectiveness and efficiency of your next direct marketing campaign.

1. Choose the right print technology. Not all print output is equal. Keeping in mind variances in quality, speed, materials, and other such elements will help you determine which type of print technology should be used for specific programs.

For example, if your plan is to reach a larger audience with variable text, maps, or small images—such as a logo—four-color ink jet technology offers a color quality that may suit your business needs. On the other hand, if you want to dynamically alter high quality graphics and imagery, toner-based print technology will deliver a more appealing graphic arts quality.

2. Use dynamic templates. Marketers can truly hyper-personalize communications through the use of variable templates that facilitate unique content. There are different engines out there that tie specific data and graphics together into a template to compose a piece that will be highly relevant to the recipient regardless of channel.

The key is to set up templates that provide enough flexibility to support your marketing efforts. If done right, a single template can support multiple campaigns or trigger programs while providing a unique look and feel for each piece. By using a limited number of robust templates, you can shorten your implementation cycle and add campaigns quickly.

3. Integrate technology and workflow to link data and content. Being able to seamlessly connect content management systems, customer data, composition, print, and electronic output—as well as back-end response management and reporting—can be tricky. Working with a partner that can provide the right level of connectivity will enhance this integration and improve your time savings. You want to choose a partner who's able to bring data and creative elements together and output to the appropriate channel in a systematic way.

4. Use print to drive cross-channel integration. The most effective marketing campaigns leverage highly relevant messages with a multichannel approach. Using tools such as QR codes and personalized URLs, known as PURLs, marketers can create a bridge between platforms, giving consumers the power to choose how to engage and respond to communications, which ultimately builds better relationships and drives marketing and sales results. This also offers the opportunity to gain more insight into their behaviors, reinforcing even greater personalization in future communications.

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