9 tips for balancing automation and personalization in your marketing
1. Layer your communication to connect.
Many make the mistake of depending too heavily on personalization, creating an expectation that is difficult to achieve. I find that if you use automation to layer a "base" of communication with customers and personalization to provide the "extra touch," that balance allows you to reach the full potential of your marketing and you are better able to connect with today's consumers. - Rich Honiball, Navy Exchange Service Command
2. Be relevant, but not too relevant.
Eighty-one percent of consumers want brands to understand them, but not at the expense of their privacy. If you get too personal, it can trigger a customer into thinking that your company is creepy, abusing a consumer's trust and violating their privacy. Using automated email sequences to different broader consumer groups that have common traits are a great way of being personal but not too personal. - Patrick Ward, Rootstrap
3. Keep the human touch.
While AI and marketing automation are important to effectively execute large campaigns, it's important people are involved in the personalization of messaging as personal human touch is still needed to deeply resonate with a consumer. Consumers are able to immediately tell the difference between a message sent via automation versus personalization because machines can’t mimic the human touch yet. - Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
4. Have your sales and marketing teams collaborate.
Your organization’s sales and marketing teams should never operate in isolation, nor should one’s agenda set the other’s. By creating goals, metrics and strategies together, you’ll ensure an automated marketing strategy funnels warm leads to a sales team ready for one-to-one personal service that will maximize both functions and delight prospects and customers. - Holly Fearing, Filene Research Institute
5. Use rich text to mimic a regular one-to-one email.
If we are going to automate one-to-one messages, we should make sure they look like messages that people actually write to each other. Now ask yourself, have you ever created a fully-formatted email with CSS and HTML to send to just one person? No! So then why do we continue to automate those emails? Shifting to rich text will increase your engagement. Be human to be amazing. - Mathew Sweezey, Salesforce
6. Have a scalable data strategy.
Marketers must implement a scalable data strategy that helps them get to know their customers and prospects so that they can first communicate in ways that feel human and natural before they automate. Then they can test carefully and incrementally so as to maintain a purposeful connection between mechanical marketing tactics and the humans on the receiving end. - Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
7. Understand your customers’ expectations.
Finding the right balance starts with understanding your customers’ expectations around personalization. At a minimum, you want to meet their expectations and deliver an experience that sustains their loyalty. Invest in accumulating these insights and then deliver against them. The harsh reality -- if you lose customers through a lack of personalization, marketing automation won’t save them. - Mason Page, Reflect Systems
8. Use your CRM to drive phone calls.
Using a CRM system to drive outreach is nothing new to B2B companies. B2C companies can delight customers in this way as well, particularly direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies who have a lot of customer information. A thoughtful phone call or email from a real person reflecting specific understanding of your customer can create long term affinity for your brand in a world of automated content. - Dan Beltramo, Onclusive (formerly AirPR)
9. Go for quality over quantity.
Remember the adage: “Less is more.” Control the number of messages to the number of people you’re targeting. Then segment those audiences. Once someone responds, you can get to ever increasing levels of personalization with the right messages that are relevant to those people. Finally, make it easy for people to opt out and talk to a person live via a chat utility or other channel. - Marc Landsberg, SOCIALDEVIANT