Updated January 11, 2023Reading Time: 3 minutes
Personalization has become more important as the world has become more homogenized. With every mall filled with the same chain stores, and every main street with a Starbucks the personal touch is becoming more and more valuable. So can small businesses use technology to enable them to speak to every customer like they’re an old friend?
Experiences are becoming more important. In a world where every cup of coffee is uploaded to Instagram, it’s become more important to provide something memorable than something generic and cheap. So, how can local businesses harness this idea and give a better experience to their customers? By making them feel like everything is tailored to their exact needs. But, that takes a lot of work, so can you hack it?
What is Hyper-Personalization?
Personalization is adding someone’s name to an email newsletter. Once revolutionary, this has now become mundane in the world of internet marketing. Users are no longer surprised when they call a company and their number is recognized on caller ID.
Hyper-personalization is the next step on from this. An email newsletter won’t just contain your name but also links to products related to your recent purchases while also factoring in your husbands’ recent purchases and the abandoned cart of your 15-year-old child. It’s the online equivalent of walking in your local butchers in the 50s and the butcher asking how your mom is recovering after her hip replacement, and if you’re going to need an extra steak because your uncle is back in town.
Can Small-Businesses Do It?
To make hyper-personalization possible you need data. Bucket loads of the stuff. Then once you have all this data you need to be able to piece it together and build a narrative around it. If you go back to the local butcher example above. He probably knew everyone who came into his store regularly. All of the gossip and scandals will have passed along the grapevine. But the butcher is sensible enough to pick the right thing to say to his customer. His intelligence makes the raw data (gossip) useful.
Small businesses collect all sorts of data through Google Analytics, Google Ads, purchase histories, and other tools, but do they have the time to put that data together to make a picture of their customers? If you want to try and build this type of approach you need to be using some kind of CRM, and to have much of the data being fed into it automatically. But getting a CRM can be costly for a small business.
Time is a Flat Circle
History is repeating itself as it seems many consumers are moving away from big businesses and back towards smaller, family run, companies. This shift will make hyper-personalization more useful, but no less achievable without the right tools. If you want to make a customer feel you know everything about them you need to do one of two things; 1. Like the local butcher, take the time to get to know them. 2. Get yourself a CRM, and automate what you can.
Photo credit – Top: Pxhere