Consumers demand communications to be personal. Research shows that not only are they more than willing to share their private information with brands, but they will proactively do so if they perceive there to be a strong value exchange, such as discounts and benefits based on their behaviours.

Although there are tools in place to deliver this personalisation across some channels, such as programmatic ad buys and variable eDM templates, there are few brands using social media to satisfactorily create personalised environments for their audiences and take this approach entirely through the line.

The opportunity is ripe for social platforms to facilitate deeper integration into CRM tools to build more sophisticated sCRM (social customer relationship management) programs that build and layer customer interactions and behaviours on and offline.

The ability to match, segment and target audiences based on actions and data is pretty much the holy grail of social marketing and when we combine this with information sourced from social platforms themselves, such as location, demographics and brand affinity, we are in a unique position to start connecting the impact of broad comms and brand awareness to bottom of funnel actions and conversion.

But, from our observations, what we need to do to make this happen:

//Brands must work harder internally to open up conversations around data and analytics to ensure this information is easily attainable and gatekeepers are involved in strategic planning

//Get more specific on audience targeting to articulate what we know and define what we don’t, get deep on audience drivers and develop communications which specifically address the customer need

//Consultants must work to campaign KPIs that are meaningful to business goals and find ways to share success back with the business in a language that the C-suite will understand

//Spend less time on forming strategies about strategies – make a plan and roll it out iteratively, testing what audiences respond to and how each interaction moves them down the funnel

//Respect the data consumers have shared and ultimately rewards and reinforces positive behaviours to build a sustainable program