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Personalization is More than Data… it’s Connection

3 min read

Published - May 24, 2023

Clay Sharman

Imagine you’re at a party and you get cornered by an abrasive person who stands too close, talks too loud, laughs insincerely and keeps asking way too personal questions. Ugh! You just want to escape this nightmare!

Think of this as your typical e-commerce email campaign tactic.

BUT…at that same party, later…you meet somebody interesting and it’s a totally different experience. The conversation felt natural. You loved sharing your private moments, thoughts, and personal opinions because of the instant rapport you had. It was…nice. So you stay in touch…

Fast forward three months, you’re married and wondering how you ever lived without this person because you are now in the perfect relationship. Thirty years later, you celebrate your anniversary at Disney World. It’s a tale as old as time, am I right?

This is what brand loyalty looks like and you can only achieve this by building customer rapport, which means putting in the time to get to know the “who” about your website visitors.

Walk with me…

Imagine you just landed on a new website. You had never been there before, but it looked interesting. Good visuals, clever products or services, tasteful use of videos and insightful content and blogs. So, you engage a little bit. Read some stuff. Maybe even add something to your cart. But you just KNOW if you give any of your information, bad things will happen…SPAM, texts, calls…the usual customer relationship enders. So you “ghost” them instead.

Except, what happens next is completely unexpected. Even though you didn’t purchase anything or give your email, the company follows up to let you know they were sorry they “missed” you and then suggests a piece of content that you might find interesting. Nothing more.

Over the next two weeks, you receive three more content recommendations based on your site activity, your engagement with the first two pieces of content, and a final email message from the CEO of the company thanking you for taking the time to visit their site. Still no “deals” being pushed. You’re starting to wonder if this company isn’t “different.”

A week later you decide to purchase the product at last. You restock your cart with the item you had abandoned three weeks earlier, satisfied that the price is reasonable after some internet comparison shopping. As you check out, you see that a 15% discount was automatically applied to your purchase along with a short appreciation video from a live person who looks nice and genuine. Her name is Dana. You smile.

Fast forward five years and you’ve been a loyal customer who has spent thousands of dollars with the company and referred them to many of your friends because you “trust” their brand.

The point is, closing a sale is typically much different than building rapport. One may have immediate value in terms of campaign response but often fizzles out because a company continues to bombard the person with deal after deal hoping to get them to click again and again, ultimately driving that person away in frustration.

The other leads to a lasting relationship built on deep understanding and earned trust so that maybe thirty years later, that person is sent a souvenir Disney World mug and ornament for their anniversary because the company invested the time and effort into knowing the “who” behind the visitor.

And that connection is the true power of personalization.