Nearly 60% of Mid- and High Customer Analytics Maturity firms surveyed by Forrester indicated that they plan to perform or will continue to execute Personalization in the future.
But what is personalization? Consider the following: Wouldn’t it be great if every child is able to learn at his or her pace by being offered a customized learning plan to suit their individual learning needs? Similarly, have you ever wondered how Amazon and Netflix are able to recommend products and programs that seem to appeal particularly to you?
Simply put, personalization is the science and art of understanding your customers and delivering an individualized message intended to improve their experience while interacting with you. From receiving a marketing communication addressing you by your name to the offer of a highly customized set of promotional coupons based on your recent grocery purchases, varying degrees of personalization have become mainstream.
Businesses achieve personalization by tailoring a marketing message to an individual based on information the company collects, such as purchase history, interests, preferences, and demographic data. It is unlike traditional marketing, which targets a wide range of customers with broad messaging tactics such as generic mailings and cold calls.
With a wealth of readily available customer data, ability to stitch datasets, sophisticated analytical tools, and improved marketing technology, marketers are more empowered than ever to run personalized campaigns at scale to improve marketing return on investment. Moreover, changes in policy and regulations in the last couple of years surrounding third-party cookies has brought even more focus on how valuable your first-party data can be. Personalization enables you to harness benefits you may not have realized yet. Are you taking full advantage of your customers’ data residing within your data systems?
Companies can use personalized marketing in various ways, including:
- Content: Marketers can decipher how to personalize the content based on the customers’ demographics, lifestyles, and past purchase behaviors. Marketers may also use known preferences and interests to determine which content a customer receives.
- Emails: Marketers can personalize the emails they send to customers to educate, build loyalty or sell products based on their interests. Marketers may use email marketing strategies, such as welcome emails, cart abandonment emails and birthday emails, to engage with customers
- Product Recommendations: Firms can mine customer purchase histories for making product recommendations. If a targeted email or advertisement shows an additional item that may add value, then the consumer is perhaps more likely to make additional purchase. Sellers can also seek customers’ preferences, facilitating more specific product recommendations.
- Webpages: Marketers can personalize webpages that customize the experience for first-time visitors versus repeat customers. For first time visitors, the webpage could display a welcome message or more introductory content/promotion. Personalizing webpages may include "Welcome back!" message for returning customers or an abandoned cart reminder to complete the purchase.
As firms evolve from low customer analytics maturity to high customer analytics maturity, personalization too has evolved into a coordinated suite of customer centric datasets and smarter decisions. Marketers are becoming better at developing and designing analytics-driven customized communication plans. This in turn makes their marketing budget work smarter.
Successful programs integrate personalization with sales promotion and loyalty programs for higher sales and revenue. Personalization should be viewed not as a destination or a goal. Rather, it is a continually evolving process to gain customers’ attention and cultivate lifetime relationships.
Higher customer analytics maturity organizations pursue an end-to-end personalization solution implementation at scale. Those who are less sophisticated ought to prioritize a modular approach in the area of greatest return based on their business needs. Adopting an agile and scalable approach enables rapid ROI realization while expanding your team and organization’s ability to execute against more advanced personalization needs.
Effective personalization solutions have increased their odds of winning when teaming with partners having experience and expertise in all facets of successful implementation: from building recommendation engines and predictive models to campaign execution, evaluation and feedback loop.