Money doesn't just grow on trees, and businesses don't just print marketing collateral, posters and what not for nothing. Of course businesses want to maximize their efforts and become more efficient, marketing collateral and signage not excluded.
Personalized content is everywhere—direct mail, email, magazines, and even ads that follow you around the web. But as a marketer, how do you get there? Just dropping in data-driven content doesn’t guarantee success.
Focus on relevance.
Personalization doesn't just refer to including the person's first name on the direct mailer or advertisement, but ensuring that the offer is relevant to them. It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant, it is worthless.
An obvious example of this might be marketing for heavy coats and snow boots in Arizona in the middle of July. Probably not going to see much come from that.
A less obvious example might be a local residential landscaping service sending out a mailer to a list that includes a high percentage of people living in apartments or condos. It doesn't matter how great your services are or how well thought out the message was, if your services aren't relevant to the audience, your ROI will be terrible.
Make sure that your lists are updated and your message is relevant to the audience.
Localization is a form of personalization.
For example, a hiking store might include pictures in their advertisements with locations that are close to them. For example, their West Coast locations might have advertisements with backgrounds of Yosemite, the Grand Canyon or Zion. Whereas locations on the East Coast could have images of Acadia National Park, Everglades and the Appalachian Mountains.
Restaurants close to college campuses or supporting a local professional teams have been smart incorporating images or colors of these teams for advertisements in nearby locations.
Know, know, know your customers.
Understand what makes your customers tick, then market to what matters to them. For instance, the Millennial generation prioritizes experience over specs. If you sell custom bicycles, for example, capture their attention with the value of a family cycling together or how much faster their urban commute would be without getting caught in an automotive snarl.
Investing in your marketing database and developing an intimate understanding of your customers takes time, dedicated resources, and human resources, but it is one of the most important investments you can make.