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To Achieve Hyper-Personalization: Be Observant, Not Creepy

To Achieve Hyper-Personalization: Be Observant, Not Creepy

logo The CX Insights
November 18, 2020 | 8 Min Read

Hyper personalization takes personalized marketing to the next level where it leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time data and more. Read further to know.

There's no doubt that along with the virus, the customer mindset too, has 'mutated' owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic - 

  • Traditional brick-and-mortar stores are transitioning to online shops overnight.
  • Customers are embracing digital eCommerce trends with open arms.
  • Users are shopping mindfully and remotely and going local.

Take a look at the areas in which customers believe there'll be a permanent change with respect to their shopping habits:

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Accenture Report - Image Source

All in all, it's safe to assume that users are viewing brands through a renewed lens today - one that's 'reflects' a digital- and mobile-first mindset and enables a hyper-personalized approach (more on this later). 

What's interesting is that customers today expect brands to understand and anticipate their wants and needs. In fact, users are finding solace in the fact that brands are offering them hyper-personalized experiences.

This is indirectly helping customers to overcome feelings of loneliness and social isolation owing to the strict quarantine and social distancing norms. How so?

Basically, since brands are providing a hyper-personalized experience, it is giving users the impression that the brands truly understand them, leading to super-strong digital customer relationships.

Personalized customer care is the fabric of happier customer experiences in today's uncertain business landscape.

According to data by Accenture, customers are going to enter 2021 with the same buying sentiments and carry forward new purchasing habits formed during the crisis.

Naturally, this is bound to permanently change the way people live, shop, and work. Before we jump into the hyper-personalization tools and tips, let's understand what it means.

Personalization v/s Hyper-Personalization: Three Key Differences

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Personalization Hyper-Personalization
It uses customer-centric data points and insights to boost the marketing campaign's relevancy. It is a heightened level of personalization that leverages advanced technologies such as AI, IoT, machine learning, etc.
Includes basic user information such as customer's name, demographics, interests, buying intent, and behavioral patterns.  Includes more evolved, contextual, and complex data points such as browsing, purchasing, and real-time behavioral data that's gathered from numerous channels and touchpoints.
It is a form of precise one-to-one marketing that focuses on addressing user needs. It focuses on creating an extremely customized marketing strategy or tailoring products, services, and offers to drive maximum relevance and conversion potential.

Key takeaway: Hyper-personalization is a more evolved form of personalization as it makes use of futuristic technologies to gather real-time customer data and provide a superior, more targeted, and customized user experience, content, product, and service information to each and every user.

Why Invest Your Brand's Resources In Hyper-Personalization?: A Look At Its 360-Degree Benefits

A staggering 86% of marketing professionals consider AI-powered hyper-personalization strategies to be effective, and 31% believe it to be ready for driving significant positive changes.

Hyper-personalization poses three-fold benefits for customers as well as the business, according to a recent survey by Deloitte:

1. Maximizes revenues by driving:

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  • Data-driven content which holds user attention and allows your brand to stand out
  • In-depth product targeting 
  • Accurate recommendations also enhance the user experience
  • Individualized or dynamic pricing 

2. Lowers costs due to:

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  • Reduced customer acquisition and retention spend
  • A streamlined workflow automation 

3. Elevates the customer experience by: 

Around 90% of customers find personalized advertising appealing.

  • Empowering in-moment customer journeys 
  • Offering 24/7/365 customized and targeted customer service 
  • Enabling real-time and accurate customer segmentation 
  • Paving the way for dynamic landing pages and websites 

Hyper-Personalization 2021: Useful AI-Powered Tips, Tools, And Hacks 

We've talked about the benefits of using hyper-personalization. It's time we understood how hyper-personalization AI plays a vital role in channeling personalized ads, feed, and product suggestions. Typically, AI hyper-personalization makes use of the following three strategies to utilize user data effectively and profitably:

  • User Behavioral Analysis: It allows brands to gather real-time and contextual information relating to a customer's behavior and attitude towards the brand. This allows companies to drive informed, data-driven decisions on the types of interactions to have with users and roll out innovative products that truly cater to the customer's needs.
  • Artificial Intelligence: AI encompasses a variety of tools such as machine learning that pave the way for predictive analytics - or the science of predicting what your users might need/want. Brands are increasingly using AI to build stronger, more authentic relationships with customers.
  • Real-Time Data: More and more brands are investing in tools that offer a deeper understanding of customer preferences in real-time. This allows enterprises to send hyper-personalized offers, recommend relevant products, and empower your sales and marketing teams with relevant information so as to drive impactful campaigns.

Key takeaway: In today’s competitive marketplace, the need of the hour is to deliver a hyper-personalized data-driven and technology-powered marketing strategy, which makes use of real-time data, advanced analytics, and AI technology throughout the buyer journey. These tools can sift through mountains worth of data and extract actionable user insights, allowing hyper-personalization to become the 'new normal.'

Top-5 Real-Life Hyper-Personalization Examples

In this section, let's look at how real-life brands are using hyper-personalization to win over customers and enhance customer satisfaction levels. 

1. World Education Service (WES): Offering Hyper-Personalized Badges Helps the Brand Make Credentials Verifiable on a Public Scale

Strategy Used: Digital Badges  

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If you're into the business of offering any kind of recognition - authentication, awards, or verification services - you should leverage the benefits of digital badges:

  • Drives sales by redirecting traffic to specific landing pages and boosts customer engagement while enhancing your brand's visibility and awareness. In fact, according to a study by IBM:

The use of digital badges boosted sales and downloads for an online training site by 64%.

  • Can be used by clients to build trust and credibility across various channels and platforms such as email signatures, online resumes, and social profiles.
  • Can motivate your customers to develop valuable skills and expertise as the credentials are recognized by a notable institution.
  • Extends added authority to your brand as other recognizable brands start using your digital badge.

Key takeaway: Digital badges can help make an excellent first impression with your customers and establish authority.

 2. Dufresne: Driving Online Sales During A Pandemic, Owing to Hyper-Personalized Co-Browsing!

Technology Used: Co-browsing 

Dufresne, being a furniture store, used the co-browsing feature to bridge the gap between the online and in-store customer experience. In terms of the useful features leveraged, sales agents can highlight features, guide customers on important issues such as payments, and draw attention to critical information, such as returns policies, terms and conditions, and furniture measurements:

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Plus, this tool allowed the brand to troubleshoot with customers virtually and stay in touch with them both before and post-purchase. As you can imagine, this helped elevate their customer experience and leave their users happy and satisfied.

Key takeaway: Brands such as Dufresne are going above-and-beyond to provide 24x7 virtual support to users by using intuitive features such as co-browsing- an invaluable asset in the times of a global pandemic. The idea is to extend a hyper-personalized support experience instead of a dull and unresponsive support system that can leave your users running in the other direction.

 3. Netflix: Delivering A Highly Contextualized, Individualized, And Hyper-Personalized Streaming Experience.

A staggering 75% of Netflix's site activity is driven by the personalization engine.

Technology Used: AI-Powered Email And Push Notifications

Netflix' personalization engine starts working its charm right from the home page (Look at the "Because you watched Narcos" and "Top Picks for Joshua" sections):

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The AI-driven engine takes into account the user's viewing history and streaming habits to predict and recommend hyper-personalized content:

Netflix-providing-Hyper-personalization
Netflix' Hyper Personalized Push Notification - Image Source

By integrating real-time behavioral attributes (think: viewing history, ratings, times, preferred device, duration, etc.), movie information (read: titles, genres, categories, etc.), and shared user preference and tastes with predictive learning, it is able to offer unique recommendations to 182 million users and boost customer loyalty!

Key takeaway: Data by Deloitte claims that Netflix’s recommendation engine works. Around 80% of users end up accepting the recommendations provided, with the remaining 20% searching for content.

 4. Amazon: Setting the Benchmark In Customer Service And Hyper-Personalization

Strategy Used: Email 

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Amazon's highly contextualized emails - complete with personalized product recommendations - is the stuff of legends. The brand makes use of a recommendation engine algorithm called ‘item-to-item collaborative 
filtering’ that allows it to suggest relevant products to users based on a variety of factors such as:

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  • Demographics
  • Purchase history
  • Time of past purchase
  • Brand affinity
  • Category browsing habits
  • Search query and average time spent on searches
  • Average spend amount

Key takeaway: As per research by Deloitte, Amazon's product recommendation engine contributes to 35% conversions. By gathering critical user data in real-time, the brand is able to create an accurate 'user profile' and deliver one-on-one hyper-personalized emails.

5. VI Trainer: Helping Customers Commit To Their Fitness Goals With Hyper-Personalized Fitness Plans

Technology Used: Real-Time Data Analysis 

When it comes to fitness, a personalized training plan can turn out to be the game-changer your customer needs to accomplish their fitness goals:

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Notice how the brand asks the user personal questions in order to collect personal data and offer a customized and relevant fitness plan that matches with the user's goals:

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The brand uses AI-led real-time tracking to customize their users’ fitness activities and engage in fitness programs. That's not all. It also offers real-time updates about the user's progress and actively asks for feedback making the experience engaging and interactive:

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Key takeaway: This virtual app 'gets through to the user,' thanks to its ability to offer real-time insights into the customer's progress and performance, in addition to rewarding them for achieving key milestones. More importantly, it targets each customer differently, making the service hyper-personalized. This keeps the users motivated and engaged with the brand, eventually turning them into brand loyalists. Ultimately, this leads to positive word of mouth publicity for the brand and boosts conversion rates.

Wrapping Up: Use Hyper-Personalization With Care

Pandemic or no pandemic, the time for a "one-size-fits-all" marketing strategy is done. That said, there's a thin line between delighting users with hyper-personalized experiences and annoying them with a constant bombardment of creepy messages that can leave your brand looking more like a 'virtual stalker.' To wrap up, in order to enable a hyper-personalized experience, make sure to:

  • Build a realistic hyper-personalization strategy.
  • Gather and review user data in real-time from an omnichannel perspective.
  • A/B test your hyper-personalization campaigns to understand what's 'sticking' and what's 'sucking.'
  • Finally, collect user feedback dedicatedly and integrate the useful ones to offer an elevated customer experience.

Which of these hyper-personalization strategies have left you feeling motivated? Share your thoughts in the comments section, and let's get the discussion going.

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