Personalization in Marketing: Consumer Opinion 

Personalization in marketing is all the rage; and for good reason: it works when it is executed properly. Professional marketers tout personalization as a means to increase sales and build meaningful relationships with clientele. But, as with anything, there can be a dark side to this practice. When it comes to personalized marketing, it’s important for brands to strike a balance. In a nutshell, personalized messaging should be helpful, not intrusive or creepy. Intrusive messaging will send consumers running. Thoughtful and helpful personalized content, on the other hand, could lay the foundation for a loyal customer relationship.  

How Consumers Feel About Helpful Personalization 

When personalization is executed properly, it should enhance a customer’s experience with your brand. Helpful personalized marketing can involve customized landing pages that make product recommendations from past purchases or coupons through direct mail offering a discount for a loyal customer’s birthday. These forms of personalization can show appreciation for your clientele and demonstrate an understanding of their needs. 

When personalization adds value to a customer’s experience, consumers will have positive feelings about a brand. According to the 2023 Consumer Trends Index conducted by Marigold, about 64% of consumers don’t mind sharing information with a brand if it leads to helpful product/service recommendations.  

When Personalization Goes Too Far 

Intrusive personalized marketing creeps out consumers. There’s research to back this notion up, too. Over half of consumers report feeling that their privacy is invaded by brands who use personalization irresponsibly. The bottom line is that consumers don’t want to feel watched or tracked. While most consumers enjoy a better brand experience, overly intrusive personalization will drive them away from your business. A great example of the line between helpful personalization and creepy personalization is search history. Let’s say a consumer is looking into a specific set of symptoms they are experiencing with a Google search and then, moments later, they begin receiving targeted ads and e-mails for remedies or supplements used to treat a suspected health condition related to their symptoms. This chain of messaging can quickly feel intrusive and downright creepy.  

Now, on the other hand, let’s say one of your long-time customers has purchased a specific supplement for several months online. Sending this customer personalized direct mail with a coupon or discount code for a product they have purchased in the past can be seen as helpful. In fact, consumers appreciate it when their loyalty to your product or service is rewarded. According to the 2023 Consumer Trends Index, roughly 82% of consumers favor messaging when their loyalty to a brand is acknowledged.  

Personalization Tips from Pel Hughes 

The printing experts at Pel Hughes are no strangers to personalization in marketing. In fact, our team is committed to helping our clients create well-received customer experiences. Following are some helpful tips for those new to personalized marketing: 

  • Use data responsibly. Be mindful of how your messaging is received by your customers.  
  • Aim to be helpful. If personalization doesn’t add value to your consumers’ experiences, it’s not worth using.  
  • Merge print and digital personalization. You can personalize direct mail with custom URLs, QR codes to curate digital shopping carts, variable data printing and so much more.  
  • Use personalization as an opportunity to treat each consumer as an individual.  

Pel Hughes serves businesses and non-profits in a variety of sectors throughout the United States. We offer graphic design, campaign automation, database services, and stunning direct mail campaigns. Give our friendly pros a call at (504) 486-8646 to learn more about direct mail and personalized marketing.