Creating Personalized Experiences Takes a Clear Strategy

Digital marketers have a unique opportunity to improve customer engagement by mining massive amounts of data to personalize the customer experience across multiple channels. Superior personalization technologies help build brand, raise demand and boost customer acquisition. Similarly, personalization increases revenue through upselling and cross-selling. According to McKinsey, brands that get real-time personalization right can deliver five to eight times the ROI of their marketing spend and lift sales by 10% or more. But that is often easier said than done.

Here are four challenges that marketers need to be aware of when incorporating personalization technology into marketing campaigns.

High risk of data overload

Having vast amounts of customer data is good, but having too much data can cause serious problems that can have a negative impact on customer relationships. The goal for every marketer is to leverage the minimum amount of data needed to personalize content for each customer. The key is to have a mechanism in place to review the data, find the most important information and use it to deliver personalized experiences to your customers.

Incomplete data torpedoes your customer relationship

Effective personalization requires quality data. Having a person’s name and their email is important, but not having deeper information about the person, their preferences or buying history can cause serious challenges.

Specific customer data is needed in order to segment your audiences – and micro-segment them for better effectiveness – because when you personalize for everyone, you personalize for no one. Plus, data is getting increasingly complex and marketers have a very real data management challenge on their hands. Data silos are a significant challenge, and it’s recommended that you research additional data sources within and outside of your organization in addition to purchasing a personalization tool that unifies data sources for a holistic view of the customer.

Disparate data sources are a killer

Organizations today likely already have all the data they need to reach the right person with the right content. The problem is that the data resides in a variety of siloed data sources, including website, email, marketing automation and CRM systems, mobile apps, IoT and other channels, and third-party systems. The number of sources is expanding quickly as the number of touchpoints grow. Furthermore, touchpoints are expected to increase to a median of 15 this year, a 50% increase in just two years, according to Salesforce. But even though marketers have access to tons of data, less than half report they have a single unified view of the customer.

Getting a holistic view of the customer to get personalization right is the ultimate goal for marketers. AI-powered personalization engines and customer data platforms can do the heavy lifting for you. They can onboard data from any source, whether internal or external (Progressive Web App, social media, marketing automation system, loyalty programs, etc.), and unify it so you can harness your data to build the advanced profiles needed to deliver the personalized experiences your customers expect.

Limited IT support hurts on many levels

Given the highly technical nature of real-time personalization and the need to manage large data sets, some marketing organizations simply do not have the right skill sets (or enough of it) or the right data architecture and technology to manage it. As Gartner analyst Chris Pemberton stated in his 8 Top Findings in Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2018-19, “Personalization requires a deep well of customer data, along with the skills and integrations to leverage that data wisely.”

Without the right people or the right skills, it is difficult to establish the right governance and procedures to manage datar to offer the optimal personalized experience. You will have problems understanding customer behavior, integrating third-party data (and breaking down silos in general) and attaining that singular view of your customers. Technology will help, but technology on its own is not enough. Staffing a team with the right core competencies is a key component to achieving the best return on your investments.

Gain a 360-view of the customer

AI-powered personalization helps you deliver superior digital experiences – at scale. This technology addresses all the data-driven personalization opportunities discussed above and helps you turn your customers into lifelong fans. The key is to deploy technology solutions that provide a 360-view of the customer that is based on their interests, purchase history and data about how they interact with your company, both online and offline. Implementing AI-based personalization technology not only improves customer loyalty, it helps you stay ahead of your competition.

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