In the 17th and early 18th century, it was difficult for hat makers to accurately measure the circumference of a head. They simply created a standard size and assumed it would fit everyone regardless of head shape or size.
That all changed when Lock & Co. Hatters adopted the Comformatuer, a device placed on the head of a customer to design a hat that fit with a reasonable accuracy. Soon customized hats became a reality and better head measuring tools than the Comformatuer appeared on the market, although Lock & Co. still uses them in 2018 to fit their hard hats. But what mattered most was that customers suddenly had hats that fit their head perfectly.
At Cignex, we know that people love it when someone goes to extreme lengths to recognize them. That is why personalized targeting is a great device in the hands of a marketer when done right. According to BCG, “brands creating personalized experience by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data for customers are seeing revenue increase by 6 to 10%.” The research further states that “over the next five years in three sectors alone - retail, healthcare and financial services - personalization will push a revenue shift of some $800 billion to the 15% of companies that get it right.”
How Has Personalization Changed?
Personalization has come a long way in the last few years. Not long ago, greeting a registered website visitor by his or her name was considered personalization. More recently, businesses have been able to communicate with customers and registered users through multiple touchpoints, and companies are able to add more context, nuance and a specific tone.
Organizations have moved beyond just sourcing traditional data (consumed using various prompts like web forms and sign up buttons) and now leverage behavioral data as well. With the sophistication of ETL platforms and real-time data processing, it is easier for organizations to parse and comprehend unstructured forms of data, crunching them to derive analytics that can influence business decisions.
The advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence today adds another layer where organizations are able to develop a predictive model to forecast and improvise website features and content suited to individual customers. In some sectors, this strategy is called “individualization.” At the end of the day, individualization and personalization are facets of an enhanced customer experience.
Having Clear Goals About Personalization
A company’s personalization goals can be anything, including customer satisfaction, opportunities to upsell or cross-sell, brand recognition, closing new deals and much more. Whatever your business’s goals and strategies may be, making improvements can begin with asking questions like:
- What are the potential snags within our existing customer touchpoints?
- How do we create helpful personalization without being intrusive in our digital experiences?
- What customer preferences are we not capturing in our data analysis?
These questions can help you better understand your strengths and weaknesses to make the most of your personalization efforts.
Today, the modus operandi in digital business is to create personalized campaigns followed by carefully collecting and tracking customer reactions. The response to your campaigns dynamically influences the information, context and communication tone that you would adopt toward the customer in your next communication touchpoint. The objective is to derive persuasive thinking toward your brand and its products.
Behavioral scores play an active role in mapping the customer journey within the persuasion cycle. Based on various levels of interaction, these scores trigger predefined communication in the form of personalized ads, landing pages, product offers and more. Setting the right expectations with respect to how you would use behavioral scores is integral to the persuasion cycle.
Ownership and Cross Functional Coordination
Generally, marketing/digital teams tend to have the onus of implementing personalization within organizations, but to have effective personalization across the board, businesses need multiple departments to come together as stakeholders in decision making. Think about it, wouldn’t it be a relief if a field agent who comes to your home to repair your washing machine already knows if it is covered under warranty or spontaneously offers you a discount based on your customer loyalty score? A similar alignment between different teams within the organization is necessary if the common goal is to provide an enhanced customer experience.
Good Data Management Practices and the Necessity of Consent
While many businesses believe they should collect every piece of data possible, what is most important is understanding the right factors and data points that would influence practices that drive digital experience. For this, you need to have good data management practices, effective data collection processes and a scalable technology platform that is secure and robust.
With the recent implementation of GDPR, the topic of user consent and privacy is more important than ever. Organizations need to secure permissions from their customers in terms of how they collect their data and how they intend to use it. What level of profiling is done to deliver a better experience? An exercise in transparency would extend further in sustaining the relationship and increases brand credibility among customers.
When it comes to personalization, it is important to ask these two questions. What is the perceived value you deliver to the customer? And how will that value transform into business for your brand? As long as you are able to answer them with clarity, your personalization will strike the right chord with customers.