Netflix is the go-to entertainment spot for a huge slice of the American (and global) public today.
This unsurpassed level of success can, in part, be attributed to Netflix simply being in the right place at the right time, but there’s far more credit to be given. In fact, the Netflix marketing strategy is kind of the ultimate embodiment of doing personalization right. From the moment you select the Netflix app on your phone, computer or smart television, it’s crunching the numbers and doing everything it can to guess what you really want before you’re even certain.
You Can Do Netflix Marketing on a Entrepreneur’s Budget
This is where you rightfully say something like, “So what? I don’t have the budget for Netflix personalization on my digital assets.”
It’s true that Netflix has spent an enormous amount of time, money and effort developing their machine learning algorithms (technically known as multi-armed bandits) and that for you to do the same, it would be a massive investment. But, just because you can’t copy Netflix step-for-step doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the keys to success with Netflix digital marketing strategies.
Take, for example, personalization. Your website might not support a lot of pages or even a huge amount of content, but you could use tools like Optimizely or the Adobe Experience Cloud to serve up different blogs to visitors based on where they are in your sales funnel, assuming you’re tracking them and know a few small things about them.
Or you could do some much simpler personalization with an email blast that redirects different segments to different landing pages. It will look as if you’ve put in a great deal of effort creating personalized content, when all you’ve really done is served up different links for different predetermined segments of your audience.
Netflix may literally be the pinnacle of personalization marketing, but you can reverse engineer some of its techniques to enhance your own site and digital marketing efforts. Its incredible success is proof positive that users love having just enough personalization, without it getting too creepy (are you listening, Amazon?).
Taking Some Pages Out of the Netflix Playbook
Digital personalization is the key to a successful Netflix-lite engagement effort. You already know how big of an impact Netflix has had on Western civilization in general, but you can reproduce a little bit of that magic for your own business.
It’s not as hard as you may think, you’ve just got to start thinking about your audience differently. Your job isn’t to attract whoever might blow by, instead you want to speak to specific groups, either determined by segmenting your existing customer base or by choosing those groups you really want to work with and leaving breadcrumbs for them to follow.
Here are a few ways that you can get started with some Netflix marketing techniques on a less-than-Netflix budget:
- Think beyond mobile. Sure, mobile and social are easy ways to reach huge audiences, but they’re not always the only ways and sometimes not even the best ways. Are your segments actually on Facebook all day, or are they more likely to be found on Pinterest looking for spring decor ideas? Is it possible that your main audience is easier to reach using some other sort of tool, like pre-roll video marketing? Each segment may be in a different location, but that’s ok. You can personalize a marketing campaign for them, then deliver the assets and wait for the response.
- Keep it simple. Netflix’s main page for non-subscribers features only two short messages: “watch anywhere” and “cancel anytime.” That’s it. That’s all they need. In a world full of noise and complexity, it can be easy to get lost in the paradox of choice. An experience that steps back and offers to hold the hand of new customers with the promise of simple options can be a huge relief. And when the friction’s removed from a purchase, well, everybody knows the next step.
- Collect and analyze that data. Of course, it’s another task for you to keep on top of, but the fact of the matter is that data is the great differentiator. You can make your brand stand out simply by better understanding what your customers actually want. Ignoring all the data that’s possible to collect in this day and age is like trying to do your accounting on paper and by candlelight. It’s doable, but why? Why, when the whole world can be lit up and the heavy lifting handled by QuickBooks?
Netflix is the biggest player in the personalization game right now. There’s no better model to look to or to copy than Netflix if your business is interested in upping its digital marketing effort. Using just a few of the same techniques could significantly impact your ROI, but you won’t know until you give them a try.