By: Thomas E. Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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“One to one” marketing, “people based” marketing, “always on” marketing, “right message/right person/right time” marketing…I’m sure we’ve all used several of these terms in the course of our careers.
Personalization is the new paradigm and it’s evolved beyond simple “Hello <JOE>” into real time management of the customer experience. Across all marketing touchpoints Customers expect to be recognized and the experiences we provide them as brands and service providers are paramount. Get this wrong and you can suffer severe backlash, in real time! Experiences are always-on, concurrently spanning all channels, and we must focus on delivering seamless customer experiences across the entire journey. Here are a few areas to focus on.
CX – The Customer Experience
Outstanding CX should be at the forefront of personalization, with a focus on optimizing interactions. Your goal should be to delight, satisfy, and engage the customer at every stage of the journey. At every interaction point from awareness, to consideration, to acquisition, and finally to retention and loyalty. Research has shown that financial results correlate with how customers perceive their interactions with brands.
Personalization is not about being part of a large list or segment. It is about delivering a one-to-one conversation – an experience that is personal to the individual customer. Do what you can now, start with your existing segmentation and move to scored buckets within a segment and finally to a one-to-one relationship with the individual.
This is a primary shortcoming when selling, you have to listen to understand the need. Personalization is about listening, understanding, and interacting in a meaningful way. You need good emotional intelligence and the ability to adjust to what is being learned.
Channels continue to proliferate and the consumer expects availability and engagement 24/7. Companies need to create environments that engage the customer on their terms, when, where, and how they want. “Always-on” should apply to all channels, as customers define the time and place – not the company or brand.
Attribution to fractional analysis, begin to turn data into intelligence. Robust analytics is needed to take what happened and turn that into insight – what will be the next best experience. These insights are essential to personalization and the delivery of personal experiences. Robust analytics enable you to optimize your programs and develop and nurture one-to-one relationships.
It isn’t new, in fact it’s been around since the 1950’s but AI is transforming business in ways we have not seen since the Industrial Revolution. Powered by technology and data, AI is working its way into software solutions to drive more effective customer engagements. AI and machine learning have begun to drive success in predictive analytics platforms and are disrupting the traditional modeling space. AI has the power to transform personalization and the CX by recognizing patterns of behavior and understanding real time demand, optimizing your engagement strategy and focusing on converting prospects with the highest propensity to buy.
A successful personalization program is far more than creative, campaign, channel and response recognition. It is a seamless experience that your customer has with your brand. Powered by data driven AI and technology, personalization ensures a meaningful conversation between a brand and a loyal consumer for years to come (we hope!).