A businessman frustrated by the amount of marketing emails he receives yells - marketing fatigue
PHOTO: Adobe

Keeping customers engaged is an ongoing task that never seems to slow down. Finding that happy balance between providing consistent and relevant content without overwhelming your target audience is a challenge that every marketing team goes through at some stage. Nowadays, that challenge has become even greater as consumers have been spending far more time glued to their screens than ever before due to the pandemic.

Consumers are feeling the effects as their favorite companies have bombarded them with virtual events, live streams and more to adjust to the lack of in-person events. Unfortunately for businesses, these events are now beginning to create digital fatigue that makes customer engagement even more challenging. 

According to a report by Sendoso, 80% of respondents indicated that their target audiences are fatigued by virtual events and digital engagement efforts. These events have also been detrimental to personalization efforts, with 92% of respondents indicating that these webinars and events need to be more interactive for businesses to succeed.

Understanding What Personalization Means Today

Digital fatigue is that point of mental exhaustion when people have been exposed to digital applications and tools for a long time, usually juggling multiple applications simultaneously. This constant exposure to digital screens can be unnatural for humans and result in tired eyes and overall fatigue. 

However, while digital fatigue has increased in recent times, the problem has been accelerated due to a lack of personalization, which forces consumers to interact with irrelevant and untimely marketing messages and content. According to Matt Ramerman, president of Sinch for Marketing, personalization is critical to navigating the excess digital content people have become exposed to. “At a time when customers are inundated with digital content, brands need to ensure that their content remains as personalized, instantaneous and engaging as possible.” One way to achieve this level of personalization, Ramerman explains, is by using conversational marketing to create a dialogue between brands and their customers through two-way channels such as WhatsApp or SMS.

While personalization may be necessary, Oleksii Danchenko, CEO and co-founder of marketing automation company eSputnik, argues that personalization isn’t something that all brands can effectively achieve. “Although that everyone around is talking about personalization, only a few brands, mostly eCommerce giants, do have personalized approaches. The rest are rather simulating it.”

Many brands find themselves with access to vast customer data to create targeted campaigns yet employ similar communication methods that don’t really achieve true personalization. Marketers need to create even more relevant customer segments and then adjust the approach for each segment if they want to be able to personalize their marketing campaigns appropriately. Yet, that may not be enough to combat digital fatigue.  

When done right, personalization can be effective in lowering the problems associated with digital fatigue. However, there are some other strategies that our experts believe can help to cope with the issue today and make marketers more effective in the future. 

Related Article: Ideas for Marketers to Combat Webinar Fatigue

Create More Interactive Content and Messaging

Interactive content can create more engagement with customers and keep them interested in what you’re selling to them. Today, there are a few different ways to achieve the required level of interactivity through AR and VR channels or by utilizing social media to create contests, challenges, and more. However, try not to do too much as you may end up overwhelming your audience once again. 

“I’d recommend choosing 1 to 3 solutions applicable to your product and your audience expectations and focus on them. Don’t fall upon every new thing arising on the market,” added Danchenko. 

Take a Human-Centric Approach

Try to create a win/win dynamic with your customers by taking a human-centric approach to advertising or distributing content to them. Once again, conversational marketing can help both brands and customers to get exactly what they need out of the experience. As Ramerdan explains, “enabling customers to ask questions is the first step to a successful conversational marketing strategy, and brands that invest in this approach now will be in a better position to increase loyalty and reduce churn immediately.

Adjust Your Marketing Strategy

Sometimes you need to make adjustments to your strategy and develop new out-of-the-box thinking to win over your audience and prevent things from getting stale. This could mean changing the channels you typically rely on, as Shachar Orren, CMO at EX.CO points out. “Instead of relegating content to blogs-only, which I sometimes think of as a 'content jail' of sorts, think about how to use interactive features on the homepage of your website, in your emails, on social and other areas where your audience might be surprised to see content experiences.”

Alternatively, you might need to adjust the frequency with which you communicate your audience on some channels, such as reducing the number of email campaigns you send per week or how often you send a newsletter. 

Leverage Technology in Different Ways

Finally, picking a new channel to try to achieve the same thing can put a new and exciting twist on the content you’ve been sending. “If people are tired of your webinars, start a podcast. If your long, same-like looking promos are ignored, start sending text-based emails,” suggested Danchenko.