Individualized content is more relevant.

Unsegmented mass marketing has decreased substantially over the years, and for good reason.

Consumer behavior has changed dramatically – customers demand a great experience and expect content to be relevant to them. If it’s not relevant you’ll be ignored – your customers are drowning in content, so getting their attention is becoming hard, especially when everyone has different interests, habits and preferences.

In recent times we’ve seen more efforts to personalize communications in combination with lifestyle segmentation, for example. However, even this method is being slowly replaced by individualized content. But what does that mean?

It’s important to recognize that individualization isn’t the same as personalization. Personalization is a good start – addressing someone by their name, and tailoring content to individuals, perhaps based on segmentation or demographics did work for a short time. Customers were more engaged, but it became so commonplace that it ended up being a prerequisite. Time has moved on.

Individualization, though, is the ability to intelligently target customers on a one-to-one basis, at the right time, and make content as relevant as possible from each customer’s point of view. If you’ve got 10 million customers, you’ll need 10 million individual communication strategies with an individualized approach – all based on facts, not estimations or guesswork. To maximize the effectiveness of an individualized approach, timings, frequency and touch points all have to be right as well.

Based on all these principles, you can engage and motivate customers, get their attention, boost stickiness and eventually safeguard and increase loyalty. With individualized communications, marketers can carefully craft unique customer journeys, filled with unique communication messages that resonate with each customer at the right moment in time. And as time goes by, the more precise those strategies can become.

Of course it’s easier said than done, and it takes skill and experience to get it right. To deliver effective individualized communications a deep understanding of the customer base and the customer journey is required. There’s also the need for advanced targeting algorithms and a well-developed pool of content. But how can vast amounts of data become insights? Which touch points are the most effective? How will a customer react to a certain piece of content?

The recipe for individualization is fairly straightforward, but finding and blending all the right ingredients to prepare individual dishes for every unique customer requires a top chef. If you can pull everything together, you’ll be on your way to serving pertinent material that, like any great chef will tell you, could mean the difference between customers who are delighted, and customers who refuse to pay the bill – and that’s pretty relevant in this day and age.