In his December 4 column for the Local Search Association Insider, “Is the ‘End of Personalization’ an Opportunity for SMBs?”, local business and SaaS expert Neal Polachek wonders whether local businesses can realize the promise of personalized marketing at the same time that enterprise marketers are giving up trying.
At Signpost, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”
Local businesses can succeed at personalized marketing where larger enterprises have failed because they have the twin advantages of greater authenticity and increased relevance in connecting with their customers.
Personalized marketing is a strategy by which companies use data and technology to send targeted messages to customers. In essence, it’s the ability to send the right message to the right customer at the right time. Offering a useful working definition of personalized marketing for local businesses, LSA Insider’s Polachek writes, “Can my local dry cleaner send me a personalized message (text or email) to let me know my suit is ready for pick-up? Absolutely. Can that same dry cleaner send me a message that he’s got a promotion on cleaning sleeping bags? For sure.”
Local businesses can succeed at personalized marketing where larger enterprises have failed because they have the twin advantages of greater authenticity and increased relevance in connecting with their customers. While enterprise marketers’ efforts may appear forced or fake, local businesses, because they reside in the same communities, can engage in one-on-one conversations with their customers from a better position.
Once a local business has invested in organizing data about their customers and in deploying processes to send messages triggered by that customer data, they can leverage their advantage in the following ways:
New Customer Offers: The local business can send a new customer offer to prospective customers who are considering a purchase. For example, a fitness center sends text promotions to first time callers for an initial cardio class workout at an introductory price.
Feedback and Online Reviews: Businesses can request feedback and reviews from customers as a follow-up to a purchase or service. For example, a lawn care service automatically sends text and email requests for feedback immediately after customers pay for their services.
Repeat Customer Incentives: Businesses can offer promotions to customers who haven’t purchased from them in a while to encourage repeat business. And they can send notes of appreciation and gratitude to their most loyal customers. For example, a heating and plumbing service sends an email to customers who’ve had water heater installations in the previous year to promote a household winterization service.
The upside of personalized marketing for a local business is massive. Not only do they stand to win more new and repeat business from better targeted marketing messages, but they also achieve the longer term benefits of improved online reputation from customers posting more 5-star reviews and a larger, more loyal customer base.
Programs like these are impossible to administer without the right tools, but technology like Signpost’s platform makes it easy for local businesses to leverage their authenticity and relevance. Our platform features the best-in-class data capture and marketing automation capabilities that enable local business owners to personalize their marketing and customer outreach.
If you’re a local business owner interested in personalizing your marketing and engaging your customers with the authenticity and relevance that has become increasingly difficult for big enterprise CMOs, request a demo and let one of our local marketing experts show you how Signpost will work for your business.