Want to achieve higher levels of success with your 1:1 (personalized) printing campaigns? Profile before you personalize! What does this mean? It means understanding what your customers look like as aggregate demographic or psychographic groups before you send targeted mailings or personalize to them as individuals.
As a very simplified example, each age demographic has different needs and preferences and will respond differently to different types of messaging.
Thus you might want to profile your customer base by age. By running a very simple analysis, for example, you might find that your customer base looks like this:
- 18-34 years old (38%)
- 35-49 years old (24%)
- 50-64 years old (18%)
- 65+ years old (20%)
This tells you something. Your customers are heavily skewed toward the younger demographic. Was this a surprise to you? Why do you think this is? Is your product equally useful to an older audience? If so, how could you position it differently to appeal those demographics? Profiling gives you critical information about how to tweak your message.
Likewise, consumers behave differently based on where they live. Consumer attitudes in New Hampshire will vary considerably from those in the Deep South. Red States and Blue States may have very different preferences and attitudes about certain issues, products, and services.
Look at other characteristics, as well. Where do your customers prefer to shop with you (brick-and-mortar store or online)? What marketing channels do they respond to (direct mail, e-mail or SMS text messaging)?
Once you understand the profile of your customer base, you can compare these profiles against well-known demographic and psychographic patterns to anticipate how they might behave and what types of messaging they are most likely to respond to. This allows you to craft your approach to be most effective for different segments of your customer base.
So profile before you personalize!