Consumer preferences are changing. Now, it’s become increasingly common – and expected – for companies to deliver personalized marketing communications, which is included in online marketing benefits. According to a study from Responsys, 61 percent of U.S. consumers feel more positively about a brand after receiving personalized marketing communications, and more than half were more likely to purchase from a company that made this effort.

Personalized messages are extremely difficult to accomplish without using Internet marketing methods. The trend has been for consumers to want businesses to account for their preferences. Personalization was seen as a sign that companies respected their customers and valued them. Individuals want relationships with the companies they interact with, and technology can aid this process rather than removing the human side of marketing. This is a sign that small-business owners need to let go of outdated marketing methods to help their business grow and improve the connection with their customers.

Less than half of consumers are responsive to mass-marketing campaigns, the study found. Advertisements in newspapers do not increase consumers’ personal relationships with the business. Companies can better engage customers if they adapt to Internet marketing instead of hanging onto outdated techniques. Consumers were more likely to purchase from brands that honored their preferences, and this could lead to higher customer loyalty.

Consumers have higher expectations from brands. Larger companies have offered clients multiple channels of interaction, and people have come to expect that they will be able to contact a business through email and social media in addition to over the phone. Local businesses that make the switch to Internet marketing can increase their reach, get new customers and maintain a more engaged client base.

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