Any way you slice it, 'personalization' has emerged as every brand's go-to strategy. In fact, according to research, "69% of companies rated personalizing the customer experience as a top priority." Plus, a staggering 93% of companies with an “advanced personalization strategy” experience revenue growth.
From the customer's perspective,"86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchasing decisions." Clearly, all the limelight on personalization seems justified. But what is personalization? Acclaimed author, Seth Godin, has the answer for us:
“Personalization is a chance to differentiate at a human scale, to use behavior as the most important clue about what people want and, more importantly, what they need.”
What's interesting to understand is the role digital personalization is playing - from a psychological perspective - to iron out the everyday-issues customers are facing in this global pandemic.
According to the cognitive scientist, Colin Cherry, people 'tune into' information when they hear their name and feel that is relevant to them. In other words, he calls this the 'Cocktail Party Effect.'
Take the example of the brand, Classpass, which sent out a personalized email to customers informing them about the precautions that brand is taking to ensure customer safety:
That's not it. The brand followed up with another heartfelt and empathetic email informing users of suspending billing and offering them a choice to request for a refund (should they need one).
Here's the long and short of it: Providing a personalized experience entails three key components:
As easy as it may seem on the surface, personalization takes time and effort to bring about incredible, long-term results. However, the financial returns are huge if you succeed. As per the Monetate Report, personalization can drive long-term customer value:
"Brands that had the highest personalization ROI (3x or more) focused on loyalty as their top KPI."
Plus, if done right, it can bring about a positive change in the 'company-customer' dynamics.
The next important question that comes to mind is:
We have two words for you: personalized marketing. This includes a host of communication channels - where the content can be tailored to meet the customer's wants and expectations. These include:
The success of a personalized chatbot lies in the fact that the chatbot can engage with users 24x7 and answer basic questions, taking off some of the team's workload. Plus, customers can get instant answers making the digital customer experience seamless and convenient.
Offering personalized communication is no longer about inserting your customer's name into your email's subject line. Brands are increasingly pushing the boundaries to offer a compelling customer experience by integrating intuitive tools and technologies into the marketing mix.
Another excellent example to consider is Swarm's interactive push notifications based on behavioral triggers. In the example shown below, the push notification was sent when the user's friend checked into a new location.
Notice how important elements (think: friend's name, shop's name, etc.) making it easy to read:
"Marketers have gained a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns."
When we say segmented campaigns, we're talking about critical factors such as gender, location, website behavior, brand engagement, among others. Take Airbnb's email marketing example (shown below).
The email uses a customer's actions (in this case, let's assume that the customer was looking for deals in Sonoma) as the basis of its content and drives hyper-personalization by offering relevant deals and incentives:
One of the most important things to remember when drafting your personalized campaign is that you need to focus on creating a 'cohesive and compelling customer journey' from start to finish instead of sending one isolated personalized email every month. This will help engage users for longer.
At the end of the day, the idea is to offer an omnichannel campaign that includes relevant communication and where each channel picks off the interaction right where the previous one left off.
"88% of marketers use data from third parties to improve their knowledge about clients."
Instant access to quality and timely user data is, without a doubt, one of the most valuable assets for any brand today. By capturing critical data, brands can analyze it and extract useful insights into user behavior and actions, preferences, and patterns.
Based on this information, brands can target users in a more personal and intimate capacity with relevant information that rings true to their hearts. Let's look at a few real-life examples to understand this better:
While we realize that it isn't possible to comb through mountains worth of data, there are tools and software that can do that for you. In order to drive quality user engagement and boost sales, capturing user data, and acting on it is paramount.
"Content is fire. Social media is gasoline." - Jay Baer
The tech-savvy customers of today are no longer shying away from voicing their concerns about brands and also applauding them in equal measure.
Clearly, the customer journey is increasingly becoming more granular, specific, and strategic today, while (ironically enough) catering to the omnipresent customer.
With the advent of technology, social media is emerging as the primary channel for improving your brand's customer experience.
This makes sense as customers want instant gratification and immediate service, and social media is the best channel to give the customers what they want.
Whether you wish to engage with them using authentic content or whether you want to notify them about upcoming offers and product launches, social media acts as a centralized channel for bringing companies and customers together:
Interestingly, the buck doesn't stop there. It follows up with the customer by engaging in an on-point re-engagement initiative. Every customer who ends up clicking the ad and who is seen searching for hotels in Whistler is later re-targeted with the following ad on Facebook:
Since social media is a more open and transparent channel, brands need to ensure that they maintain a consistent and customer-friendly tone at all times. The trick with effective digital experience lies in being at the right place at the right time, with the right message.
Here are my two cents on the situation: You have to adapt to the present technology to grow as a brand and connect with users on an emotional level - a feat that takes companies years to establish and enjoy.
It is also important to remember that a winning digital experience strategy is one that can:
Additionally, it is important to remember that every piece of communication that rolls out should be able to hold your user's attention and deepen their brand loyalty in a sustainable and organic capacity.
So in order to ace the 'personalized mindset' and integrate it like a pro into your digital marketing mix, think relevant, targeted, and personal.
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