The battle between personalization and efficiency

August 18, 2017 by Adam Ballent

A client reads email from his advisor.

About the author

Adam Ballent

Associate business analyst

As an Associate Business Analyst, Adam leverages his customer support experience to ensure that Advicent’s technology truly meets the needs and wants of advisors everywhere. A graduate of Marquette University, he currently resides in Milwaukee.

You are preparing for your wedding, you have the venue picked out and you have a guest list, now you just need to invite your guests. You have two options, you can send a generalized invite or you can send a personalized hand-written invite to each potential guest. What are the trade-offs between the two options? You can get a generalized invite out the door in less time for less cost or you can impress your guests with personalized hand-written letters that take more time, but have a "wow factor" associated to the invitation.

The trade-off between personalization and time commitment is a constant struggle in every business, too. Personalization takes time, efficiently providing personalization is a major roadblock for many businesses. As advisors are pushed to take on more clients and provide each client with a more personalized experience, time efficiency in providing personalization becomes of paramount importance. Achieving time efficiency with a level of personalization can occur by understanding your market segments and utilizing technology.


Increasing efficiency with client segmentation

Marketing often gets a bad reputation for being snake oil salesperson, but the goal of modern-day marketing is to provide value to each prospect. In other words: marketing aims to provide personalization to the masses. While providing a personalized message about the struggles of your prospects’ individual life may take too much time, we can use client segmentation to provide a level of personalization that can speak to a relevant client base.

Going from most to least specific, you can divide your base by individual, segment, and total market. Taking individuals and applying them to a segment that is relevant allows you to generalize your clients to a level that will make you much more efficient when providing personalization. Segment your clients by forthcoming life event, whether that is marriage, a newborn child, school, or retirement. The segmentation gives you a level of personalization that provides value, yet is not too time consuming. Using technology can supplement this segmentation strategy.


Automating communication

Marketing automation software provides the benefit of adding personalization at the individual and segment level. At the individual level, marketing automation software allows you to dynamically insert a specific known fact about someone, such as a first name. For example, when constructing the email, your message would look like this: Hi [[FirstName]]. However, when the email is sent, it would appear to the prospect as follows: "Hi Kyle."

Using these tokens can provide your clients with a nice personal touch. At the segment level, marketing automation software can be used to send the correct message to the correct segment. Providing value to the segment while keeping the same call to action at the end is a very viable strategy for your different segmentations. Advisor Briefcase offers these solutions and pre-built content by the Advicent content team.

In the struggle of personalization versus efficiency, comprehend and analyze the time commitment you will be making based upon the level of personalization. There is a happy medium between personalization and mass generalization. At the end of the day, it comes down to the ROI you expect to receive from your personalization. Look to leverage the technology around you.

To learn how effective client communication can impact your business, click here.