Experiential personalization can be a strategic differentiator for brands. On one hand, it helps marketers convert faster. On the other hand, customers get more control and a more personalized experience. As marketers build out their experiential personalization strategy, here are four key pitfalls to avoid.
Experiential personalization uses deductive and factual, first-party data straight from the consumer to identify interest, sentiment, and motivation. By considering contextual flags, brands can deliver relevant, personalized experiences without the need for Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
There are many advantages to this approach:
- It’s a softer introduction to a product. Use contextual flags to deduce intent, and marketers will naturally focus on matching the customer with the product they want rather than the product the brand wants to sell.
- It maximizes advertising spend. By allowing customers to define their experience, brands will be able to provide more relevant content.
- It converts faster. Bring the desired product in front of the customer quicker by helping to navigate your “catalog” of products or services.
Imagine walking into a store. A customer support member immediately approaches you with a product you looked at on your previous visit and asks if you want to buy it. How did they know that you had been looking at this item? They were watching without you realizing.
This concept is the essence of retargeting. But unfortunately, many brands still see retargeting as a vital aspect of an effective personalization strategy. And in the quest to provide greater personalization, some brands continue to use data that the customer hasn’t explicitly or knowingly shared.
Experiential personalization builds on trust-based relationships with customers. Even if the intention is purely for the customer’s benefit, marketers are unlikely to generate the trust needed for true personalization.
Another sure-fire way to create mistrust is to send out irrelevant communications to customers that have already shared personal information. In our recent Consumer Insights Survey, 52% of people shared a sense of frustration when receiving communications that were not relevant to them. In addition, 42% say that they would be less inclined to shop with brands that did not extend tailored messaging.
After years of brands buying and selling personal information, customers are more suspicious of a company’s true motivations. Suppose a brand is collecting personal data but not using it to add value for the customer; the natural assumption is that they benefit from it in more covert ways. Therefore, marketers should always have a strategy for any data they collect.
Even if you have the purest intentions, ask prospective customers for too much information too soon, and you’ll lose them. Customers are increasingly aware of the value of their data and are increasingly only sharing their information with brands they trust.
Knowing when customers expect to share personal information can help brands create a smoother experience. For example, our Consumer Insights Survey revealed that customers are most willing to share their demographic data and least comfortable handing over their contact information. This knowledge can help brands toe the line between creating personalization and respecting privacy.
A customer’s first transaction should start their journey with any given brand. If the brand has solved their need or piqued their interest, the customer won’t necessarily be looking for the same product or experience the next time. So if brands solely rely on the information collected during the first interaction, they can quickly find themselves working with outdated data.
Even if marketers got their personalization strategy perfect during the first transaction, they could still deliver irrelevant communications. Instead, create a space for customers to update their preferences and interests, and brands may get more data as the brand-customer relationship develops.
How does your marketing strategy stack up against these? For example, are you focusing on a personalized approach, or are you still reliant on retargeting for the bulk of your advertising spend?