We often talk about how it’s an Amazon world and we are just living in it. And we bemoan how hard it is to live up to that standard of customer knowledge, immediacy, and customization.
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends presentation indicates that it’s not going to stay this hard.
It’s going to get harder.
On slides 66-69, she talks about hypercustomization of customer experiences:
- Combatant Gentleman (which sounds like a horse that came up lame and lost me the trifecta at Belmont) has a cohort of up and coming real estate employees that they target with real estate specific advertising
- Stance (which makes socks) found that their Star Wars socks were selling well, so they created Star Wars specific Instagram ads and targeted them to Star Wars fans (but, since they were selling a variety of socks, suppressed those people who were fans of one specific Star Wars character). This had a 36% boost to ad spend.
- Stitch Fix allows customers to put in their own desires and specifications (along with their Pinterest feeds), allowing designers to get to know their tastes and design garments specifically for them. Then, you keep what you like and return what you don’t. They report that 39% of their customers now get the majority of their clothes from them, up from 30% a year ago (a good sign of loyalty — could you imagine a nine point jump in the number of your donors who donate the majority of their giving to you?).
We also discussed this earlier this year with the hypercustomization of Ted Cruz’s Iowa campaign — by getting specific messaging to fireworks enthusiasts, they were able to fill a particular niche within persuasible voters.
The non-profit space now as sites like Kiva and DonorsChoose that allow us to sponsor/loan to the particular person we want to, getting a customized experience from that donation, and encouraging us to give again.
We are facing disruption by degrees. Or to use the parlance from a couple weeks ago, our frog is slowly being boiled.
How do we deliver a similarly customized experience? One way is to do it yourself.
Yes. It is a pain to write 50 different petition texts for 50 different states. But when you can reference exactly what is going on in their state and hose they can help and what they need specifically, you are getting toward that customized experience.
Same as when you customize copy to indicate that you know the person was served by you four years ago. Or started donating 10 years ago. Or are donating because their daughter is affected by your cause. Any little bit helps.
But in reality, it would be best if you can find the central point of differentiation among donors for your organization and customize on that to begin. It could be cat versus dog. It could be advocacy versus conservation. Or those impacted by your disease directly versus those who have less direct connections.
Chances are very good that these people have entirely different desires. And should have entirely different experiences.
People want to support good causes. That’s the big thing we have working for us. They will forgive us not sending a child to their house for a few days to see if they like them and want to sponsor them — we won’t be able to do the full monty for customization. But we have to try to meet them halfway.
We’ll talk about the other one — getting people to hypercustomize for you — tomorrow with a remarkable story from the knitting world.