Customizing and Personalizing Marketing Messages

Customizing and Personalizing Marketing

Customizing and Personalizing Marketing Messages

Customizing and personalizing marketing to reach specific types of customers is now even easier. Here’s how to make sure you’re targeting key audiences and maximizing your marketing spend. The digital era makes it easier, however, if you’re not thoughtful, you could be doing a disservice to your brand.

A recent article by Jacob Teeny, assistant professor at the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University, lays out three tips for improving personalized marketing, which he and his colleagues found by reviewing numerous research studies.

Three Tips for Personalization

  • Have a compelling message
  • Look for unexpected ways to message
  • Don’t be creepy or unethical

In Professor Teeny’s research, personalizing can prompt increased elaboration – the amount of mental effort and engagement you put into contemplating a message. The more closely messages match the person, the more likely they are to contemplate it. 

Besides the typically expected ways people market to others – age, gender and political beliefs – Teeny’s research found some unexpected ways. Among other methods, physical or temporal context have the potential to be more successful for target customers. “One thing that surprised me was how matching qualities of the environment can influence you,” Teeny said. “If you’re a daytime person and you get an email during the day, you’re going to read it more carefully than if it came at night.”

Finally, if consumers are broadly aware that their data is being tracked, they tend to react poorly.

“If you’re scrolling and think, ‘Whoa, that ad is really tailored for me’— as soon as you have that metacognitive awareness, it starts to bring in a feeling of, ‘Oh, I think they’re trying to manipulate me,’” Teeny says.

Jacob Teeny – Kellogg School of Business

Message Customizing and Personalizing

At Axiom, messaging is a big part of what we do. It also represents the end of a complex process of working with clients to know their products and services, the benefits and advantages they offer, and what makes them unique to their competitors.

We access and review top data sources – including finding existing market research or conducting original research – to better understand consumer wants, how and where they get information, differences among demographics, geographies, seasonalities, etc.

With the personalization capabilities of today’s technology, it’s important to avoid the one-size-fits-all approach, which can be perceived as out-of-touch and unprofessional. Messaging in social media, print publications and digital is (and should be) different. Taking the time to go the extra mile using a sophisticated mix of messages and platforms can yield great results, and reflects well on your company your brand.

For more information, reach out to Matt Main,

For more stories on this topic, read 2021 Marketing Goals, Priorities, Preparedness, and Best Practices for Secondary Research.

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