Providing a personalized customer experience is now expected, and brands are starting to pay the ultimate price if they are not adapting to meet demand. Here are five quick wins that all brands can implement to improve their personalization strategy.
There’s personalization, and then there’s Experiential Personalization.
For many brands, the upper limit of personalization reaches only as far as retargeting ads. For example, suppose a consumer looks at a laptop. In that case, they are then chased across the internet with ads for the same or similar laptop. This is personalization by definition, but not in spirit.
In contrast, experiential personalization considers various contextual flags to deduce a consumer’s sentiment, interest, and motivation for looking at specific products or services. These contextual flags are based on factual, first-party information that delivers rich, actionable insights. Fully consented consumer data can deliver relevant experiences in the moment and provides a truly personalized experience.
If marketers think there’s nothing to lose from sending out generic communications, they need to think again. Our recent Consumer Insights Survey showed that lack of personalization harms brand reputation. In addition, 52% of respondents indicated frustration from receiving communications that were not relevant to them.
And this has the potential to impact revenue. 42% of respondents said they would be less inclined to shop with brands that don’t tailor their communications. Short-term wins that generic messaging attracts are likely offset by long-term losses. Leave the downward spiral of short-term wins and embrace long-term value. Don’t send that generic mass email.
When it comes to data, more isn’t always better. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a huge shift in consumer behavior, which made big historical data sets largely irrelevant. Using small data techniques to extract more insights from less and more varied data will allow brands to adapt to future disruption quicker.
For example, marketers could consider Pareto’s Principle, which suggests that 80% of a brand’s revenue comes from 20% of its customers. This implies that focusing on this 20% will provide the richest insights and reap the greatest return, rather than giving equal weight to all customer data.
Marketers should also consider the quality of their data. The most actionable insights are gleaned from fully-consented data shared directly by the customer. Allowing customers to control the brand-consumer relationship gives marketers the ability to create the most relevant, personalized service.
A quick way to achieve this is to build feedback loops into the customer journey. Allow customers to communicate their preferences at key touchpoints (if they would like to). Give them the opportunity to share which platform they would like to be contacted on. Ask them what products they are interested in. Discover their needs and then use that information to solve them.
Making the buying process as intuitive and seamless as possible is a win for everyone. Brands convert sales faster, and customers get a less time-consuming experience. In addition, marketers that focus on getting the desired products in front of the customer faster will see the benefits.
The key focus here is to make each interaction build upon previous ones. A quick win would be to ensure that if a consumer clicks on a digital ad for a laptop, they are taken to the laptop landing page, not just the brand’s homepage. Tailor the experience with the overt information you have available, even if that information is as limited as ‘I am interested in a laptop.’
Sometimes the best incentive to encourage consumers to share their data is the promise of a better experience. Our Consumer Insights Survey shows that customers’ willingness to provide their data in exchange for more personalized experiences has increased. Conversely, respondents looking for cash rewards in return for personal information have dropped.
Ask your audience what they would like in return for their data. New customers who are less familiar with your products and services may be brought in through generic cash rewards, but constantly reaching for these incentives won’t make a loyal audience. Instead, brands need to show the value they can provide their customers when armed with more information. And this starts with discovering which incentives their customers respond best to.