Humans like to feel special. They like to feel like they are talking to a real person who understands their unique issues, and that their business matters. That’s why 70% of users prefer talking to humans than bots, 80% of consumers are more likely to shop with a brand that offers personalisation, and why big-name brands are increasingly communicating in a colloquial manner.
Oh, just rolling out free food for our 50th birthday nbd. pic.twitter.com/7EkNQLMLKA
— Wendy’s (@Wendys) November 11, 2019
Customer personalisation is inarguably the future of digital marketing, and humanisation is the beginning of good personalisation.
So what does humanisation look like, and how Kiwi marketers achieve it?
The objective of humanisation
Humanising a brand is a means to create a better customer experience – helping customers feel like they had a personal experience with a brand, and that they are valued as an individual.
Digital marketing strategies in 2020 must reflect the in-store experience offered by the best sales agents: a warm greeting, remembering the customer’s name and their past interaction, and a personal service tailored to their needs. No script, very little friction.
How to start humanising
Any brand can simply start talking and writing more colloquially, introducing slang and informal language to their emails. However, if this isn’t right for a brand’s particular audience, it’ll miss the mark and may even alienate otherwise satisfied customers.
Before an organisation can humanise itself, it must humanise its audience. That is, it must learn who they are as people. This is where user personas come in.
- What is a user persona? A segmentation of a brand’s customers into different groupings based on a range of data – what is important to them, what they buy, what they like/dislike, their needs/challenges, and any applicable demographic information such as age, gender or employment.
At krunch.co, we always ensure our personas are backed by real data – that could be data you already have in your database, or data collected with customer surveys, interviews or focus groups.
Ultimately, building a relationship with your customers should be much like building a relationship with any other person in your life – it starts by truly getting to know them. That’s what personas help you do.
With comprehensive, data-driven personas in place, you’ll be in a better position to know what’s important to your customers, and can cater messaging accordingly. Craft your messages in the tone that each customer sub-group prefers, be it formal and professional, informal, casual, or perhaps a non-English language. Test offers, imagery, messaging and more, and always keep adapting and building your personas and segments as you go.
Humanisation meets automation
There’s another crucial element to humanisation that seems counter-intuitive – and that’s automation.
A good automation strategy will not only help you create persona-driven segments in your audience, but engage with them at key moments in their journey. It could be when their product of choice goes on sale, on their birthday, or in important decision-making moments you’ve identified in the customer journey. It might help you reach them on their favourite platforms, or show them imagery that looks like them in an ad or email.
Ironically, using automation, brands can deliver far more personalisation than any one human could do on their own.
Keep the spark alive
Machines can’t do it all – at least not yet. At this stage, it’s still up to marketers to keep the spark alive in the brand and customer relationship.
That means keeping your customer experience strategy up to date – what have you learned from testing different messages for your personas? What segments are the most profitable, and which need to be reviewed? Your customer experience is a living, breathing thing – and treating it as such will make your brand feel like a living, breathing thing as well.
The final piece in the brand humanisation puzzle? Trust. When brands have a history of transparency and openness, nearly 90% of customers are more likely to give them a second chance after a bad experience. In other words, being honest with customers is vital to their loyalty.
Personalisation is the future, and humanisation is the beginning of personalisation. A brand that is human is a brand that can be trusted, and whose every customer interaction is smooth, enjoyable, and engaging.