As we all know, successful modern marketing is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach. By developing customer personas and ideal customer profiles you can effectively target the right people and improve your ROI. It’s obvious that you have to build and nurture relationships with customers, and thanks to the digital age it’s now a lot easier to learn about them and engage with them. Failing to do this the right way, however, can be detrimental to business success.

Profiling and segmenting your data helps to provide a more complete understanding of customers and what they like. Let’s take a look at Netflix as an example. They match their products with individuals based on viewing habits and trends. If you’ve ever let a friend or family member use your Netflix account to watch movies, you may have noticed that your recommendations start to change. This personalised experience has led to mass customer satisfaction and continued subscription, thus Netflix is one of the most successful streaming platforms with 139 million subscribed users globally.

How effective is this technique?

75% of Netflix viewer activity is driven by recommendation. This proves that a personalised approach to targeting will generate success for your business.

On the flip side of this, Netflix got accused of “misleading” black users by showing promotional shots of black cast members in films and TV shows – even if they had a minor role. Through determining data patterns, the platform was able to identify the most likely race of the viewer, and use promotional thumbnails that are more likely to grab the attention of that person. This was obviously seen as very insensitive, and shows that you must be careful and considerate when using consumer data.

So what can you do?

Start with customer profiling, and understanding the individual’s needs and wants. Look at how they behave on your website in detail, as well as transactional data. Relying on demographics alone is often misleading, or can be irrelevant. Todd Yellin, VP of Product Innovation at Netflix pointed out the following when being interviewed by Mashable:

“It really doesn’t matter if you are a 60-year-old woman or a 20-year-old man because a 20-year-old man can watch Say Yes To The Dress and a 60-year-old woman could watch Hellboy.”

Take a page out of Netflix’s book and begin exploring buying and browsing habits, previous exchanges with other markets, or even what your customers like on Instagram. This will help you make strategic marketing choices to target the right customers and provide them with the right products to increase the chances of generating a sale.

A personalised approach works with both online and print media. Take a look at one of our previous blogs on why you should personalise your direct mail for a higher ROI.


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