New year, new list after list of trends to watch for in the coming months. Scouring these lists, you’ll find that there really are a lot of similarities across the marketing spectrum. Digital is rapidly working to humanize, while the marketing industry overall is experiencing a shift (back) to direct and more personal customer connections. The trend that’s on everyone’s list? Personalization. At the heart of our collective 2020 resolutions? The desire to provide customer-centric communications and experiences. And every year, we get the chance to be a little bit better at this, the heart of 1:1 marketing.

Customer Centricity is New Again

Your audience is always a party of one

80% of consumers said that they’d be more likely to do business with a brand 
that provides a personalized experience.

It has officially happened. The onslaught of marketing across mediums has tipped the scales so that people no longer pay attention to, well, most of the messages they’re being sent or presented. Mass (read: traditional) advertising is losing out—in 2020, personalized messaging will not only need to be personalized beyond name-dropping; customers will expect personalized experiences that drive true relevancy in their lives.

Why? Data shows that people across all demographics don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to. This universal truth means brands will need to research personas in order to better target each person—making them feel like you’re speaking directly to them and have solutions for their specific problem.

Mailbox, inbox, online… it’s really all the same

If the prospect of personas has you a little worried—don’t be. Customer centricity can (and should) start today with easy implementations. Replacing “first name” with <insert degree of relevance your data can support here>, incorporating variable custom (or stock) images rather than using a one-size-fits-all photo, or introducing personalized offers are just a few ways you can further personalize your 2020 direct mail, email and online campaigns.

Ok, so email is a little different

Segmented lists with personalized email communications have been shown to—you guessed it—outperform generic emails sent to an entire list. Yes, yes. That holds true for print and online too. The difference with emails is that you have the space to build MORE relevancy than a say, a banner ad (A LOT more), and more fluidity than direct mail. Build out email templates that allow for customization and relevance across segments. It’s EASY. Don’t believe us? Let’s talk and get this task at the top of your resolutions list.

Required for survival

Companies investing in online personalization technology are outselling the competition by ~30%.

Some marketing gurus are taking personalization one step further on the predictions list stating that mere personalization is not enough: enter hyper-personalization. Hyper-personalization of marketing engagements is not only possible (see email mention above), but is rapidly becoming a requirement in order to stay up with evolving consumer trends. And they’re not just talking traditional 1:1 marketing either—in fact, many are focused on social and website marketing. Check out these creepy billboards that use cameras to scan the faces of passersby and deliver relevant ads based on their age, gender and mood. Ooooooo.

Look. The idea comes back to data and what you do with it. Or rather, your customers and how you speak to them. Consider each communication a conversation and start playing the long game. Engage them about their needs and wants, then deliver a response that meets those needs, and over time you’ll not only build value for your brand, you’ll build trust.

And, as we all know, building trust can turn your customers into loyalists for life. So… what’s on your resolutions list?