Modern technology has now entered everyone’s pockets. Online businesses are booming because of the ease they provide; look at the success of food apps, transportation apps, travel apps and so on. The market competitiveness has given customers much more than they can chew. When it comes to brands, customers have an endless choice.. Would you appreciate it if your travel site not only booked your tickets but also suggested affordable hotels for you and offered you a guaranteed experience? Would you appreciate it further if the hotel booked through the traveling app, anticipated the products you might need during your stay? Wouldl you go back to the travel site? Would you recommend the site to your peers, friends and family? This is what personalization done right, can do for a brand.
It is therefore natural that brands are investing millions intechnology to track the online buying behaviour of the customer and are devising individualised content at various stages of the buying cycle to garner better conversions.
Understanding your customer is the key to personalization
Understanding your customer – their emotions, expectations and pain areas paves the way for exemplary customer experience. It is important to gather data to craft a marketing strategy, but the more critical thing here is to use the data to gain insights to understand your customer better.
Unified View of the Customer
Customers today leave a wealth of data with brands of their preference. Unfortunately, this data is bifurcated and stored according to the brand processes. This means that different verticals of the brand may have a different understanding of the customer altogether. It is necessary for brands to ensure that different verticals like Sales, Marketing, and Design collaborate and merge data to create a single persona of the customer. This exercise provides a deeper insight into the customer’s psyche, empowering the brand to offer much more to the customer.
Personalization goes beyond a birthday gift and a discount offer. Each of us as customers receive, “Once in a year, limited discount cards” everyday from some or the other brand of our choice. Most of the times, such discounts are on products that we never even searched for.
Spamming or carpet bombing the customer does not entice the customer anymore. You as a brand need to anticipate and understand my needs and offer me products accordingly. In fact, if you as a brand send limited, but relevant mails or messages to the customer, there are more chances that the customer may pay attention to you.
Identifying the Preferred Channel of Communication:
Data Analytics now provide a detailed analysis of when a customer accessed your communication and through what channel. This means that as a brand you now have the knowledge on when a customer responds best to your communication. Also, on which channel i.e. mail or message does your customer respond the best. If used smartly, this knowledge can lead to an automated process, where the brand can contact the customer at his/her most active time and through the most responsive media option.
Image Source: Paul Writer
Customer Journey Maps:
Image Source: Paul Writer
If you as a brand haven’t started on ensuring that all your customer dealing departments are collaborating with each other to identify the difficulties a customer may face as the process is moved from one department to another, you need to start now! Customer Journey Maps are the Holy Grail to understanding the customer and his/her experience with your organization at all key touch points. There is no hard and fast rule of creating a map; you can create it according to the needs of your brand.
Advantages of personalization in digital marketing
It boosts customer engagement: It drives frequent and longer visits to your digital store or website that ultimately results in better revenue for your brand. Relevant recommendations and reminder messages increases the chances of actual buying.
It enhances customer acquisition: Personalization for a new customer may lead to future meaningful interactions. A little discount for the first buy may encourage the customer to engage with you more. If the customer is near your shop, a little message encouraging them to visit you may get you a new customer.
Improves Customer Retention: Deriving from the customer data; a brand on customer data you can devise a tailored promotion for your customers to address their unique needs. It facilitates familiarity and builds a relationship between the brand and the customer.
Reduces Promotion Cost: Personalize not just content but the channel, at which the customer receives this content, you reduce your promotional cost. With today’s analytics tools, it is easy to track which channel of communication say mail, message etc. does the customer respond to the most. All the brand has to do now is to send most of its communication through that channel, at the customer’s preferred times and voila! Not just a reduction in promotional costs, but also a very high chance of conversion.
Attention of the Customer: The customer is bombarded with spam mails and messages on all channels of communication. In such a scenario your thoughtful, meaningful, and unobtrusive communication makes the customer trust you. So, communication from you would not be pushed aside as spam. Your communication channels would not be blocked out of irritation.
Emergence of new forms of content technology will drive a newer form of customer-centric experience. Marketers will be able to derive deep analytics from the content, understand the effectiveness of various content assets at various stages of the buying cycle, and optimise it for better ROI.
A simple act of going the extra mile can take your brand miles ahead of your competition while garnering the trust and love of your customers.