With the new year right around the corner, many businesses are beginning to consider their 2015 marketing planning and budget allocation. Teradata, a computer analytics company, and Econsultancy, a market research firm, joined forces recently to survey 400 senior-level marketers. The respondents came from a variety of different sectors, including consumer goods, technology, retail, travel and hospitality as well as automotive, Inc. author Aaron Aders explains.

We have compiled some of their tips for engaging your audience. 

Tip 1: Technology can be a great ally to your business. Focus on using it to reach out to your target audience, improve your customers’ experience and manage data.

Data management platforms are marketers’ top priority, with 29 percent of respondents’ support. Audience management systems also rank highly, as  23 percent of marketers indicated it as their top priority. Meanwhile, 23 percent of senior marketers cited a marketing cloud or marketing application management system as being important. Content management systems, conversion optimization platforms and systems to manage social media and email are also considered valuable.

If you haven’t invested in these technologies yet, you should consider them for 2015. Be sure to look for technologies that can be fully integrated with your business’ existing software. Privacy and security are also important factors, along with the ability to add new features.

Tip 2: Personalization is key. 

“It seems obvious that being personal in your marketing efforts yields good results, but it’s amazing how far accurate and timely personalization can take you,” Aders writes. “A combined 37% of the organizations surveyed cited personalization as either their top or highest priority.”

Personalization does take on different meanings at various companies. It also depends on the marketing channel. In short, it entails knowing your customers and being able to give them the products and services they want.

So what are some of the personalization strategies top-level marketers are utilizing?

Fifty-one percent of respondents are using customer lifecycle personalization to connect with customers. This involves knowing the customers’ purchase process, as well as reaching out to new customers and retaining existing ones. In addition to getting a sense for customer preferences, 45 percent of marketers are using more basic personalization tactics like customized emails which include the customer’s name. Thirty-nine percent of marketers are using segment-level personalization techniques, including reaching out to frequent buyers. Thirty-three percent of marketing professionals refer to the individual’s past purchase history and other behavior metrics, such as page visits. Developing this kind of in-depth insight allows marketers to make more accurate suggestions both in the future and in real-time to their customers.

All of these personalization tactics can be useful to your business. Experts are predicting that segment level and real-time personalization will become more important in the future. While only 19 percent of marketers are making use of real-time personalization at the moment, Aders emphasizes that “dynamic and useful content at crucial buying moments can change everything about customer personalization.” 

If you are interested in learning more about effective and innovative marketing solutions, contact KeyMedia Solutions. We do everything from small business internet marketing to targeted internet marketing for both small and large firms, among a range of other services.