This guest post is by Nick Evans, Marketing Practice Director at Jaywing

At one point, all marketing was personal. Your bank manager, door-to-door salesman and butcher all knew their customers by name and treated them as individuals. Then, with the dawn of direct marketing, marketers began relying on more efficient mass-marketing techniques to deliver a singular message, firstly via mail and then through a variety of digital channels.

Things have changed since then, as marketers we now have the ability to reach many customers with targeted individual messages and offers – but are we being personal enough? In a recent consumer survey*, 63% of the respondents said: "Most of the marketing emails I receive include NO content or offers that are of interest to me."

What's more, many organisations have been slow to take up personalisation, in fact, Econsultancy's Conversion Rate Optimisation Report (2015), revealed that more than a third of companies do not implement any form of personalisation in their marketing activities. This is a shockingly low figure, especially given the opportunities that data, insight and new technology enable.

These revelations show just how important it is to get marketing personalisation right, particularly if brands want to maintain trust and keep their customers engaged. Your customers are unique human beings. They have problems they are trying to solve and needs to be fulfilled that are specific to them alone. But how do you provide such a tailored experience to meet these individual needs?

  1. Provide personalised website experiences

    Most websites show the same content, offers and messages to everyone who visits. Take your website content to the next level by providing personalised website experiences, driven by insight based on a combination of prior browsing history, behavioural data and offline data.

  2. Adopt retargeting campaigns that move beyond the basics

    Many display and retargeting campaigns lack any real relevance to an individual customer. But if you capture online customer behaviour, and merge that with everything you know about a customer's offline behaviour and past purchasing, you can adopt retargeting campaigns that move beyond the basics.

  3. Don't think about the channel, think about the customer

    The days of campaigning where you think first about the offer and then who might respond to it are over. The key is to create interactions that capitalise on what is known about a customer through all the data you have. This will help you to target people with relevant content, and learn from what works.

  4. Use data scientists to help you to make sense of data

    We have an abundance of data at our fingertips, but many marketers don't always make the most of the opportunity it provides. Leading organisations are making use of data scientists to help them make sense of all their data. Take this example from Jet2, who used advanced data science to understand what motivates each customer, and how to use their previous buying behaviour to predict future preferences. With this deep insight, they were able to make personalised offers which increased sales by 30%.

By bringing all of these elements together you can now have a relationship with people – marketing's Holy Grail.

*Dotmailer and the UK Direct Marketing Association (DMA), November 2015.

This guest post is by Nick Evans, Marketing Practice Director at Jaywing