As marketers, we’ve long viewed personalization as a good thing. Segment your users based on shared characteristics and target them with appropriate content and offers. Sounds simple right?
But with the ever more distracted consumer, it’s not that simple. New research from Cloud IQ, has, in fact, revealed a personalization paradox – brands believe their personalized approach is exceeding consumer expectations but it’s actually having the opposite effect. Consumers are feeling overwhelmed by irrelevant communication and content, with over four in five people unsubscribing from mailing lists because they get too many emails.
With an average 69% of online shopping carts abandoned and 98% of visitors leaving online retail sites without purchasing, this is a serious question for retailers. The answer lies in moving from a personalized approach to one that is truly individual. Our research shows that 69% of consumers want an individualized experience; however, only 40% of brands actually offer one today.
Consumers define being treated as an individual as being rewarded with relevant offers, being remembered, being listened to and feeling in control. Marketers must put customers front and center of their own experience if they are to resonate.
Initially, personalization was the ability to communicate at a mass marketing level; this evolved into segmentation when marketers could split out communications to certain demographic groups. Over recent years, we’ve seen this grow into personalization, with marketing messaging attuned to names and big-data-based preferences.
But simply inserting an individual’s name at the beginning of an email and targeting them based on demographics or preferences is no longer enough. Individualization allows you to create specific algorithms that align with consumer’s behavior and habits in real time. This means for example that if you don’t open an email for a week, you won’t see out of date offers and information when you do, but rather automatically updated information individualized for not only your preferences but also the time you open the email.
This is the advantage of artificial intelligence in individualized marketing – dynamic interaction of stock, altering sale prices or offers, and incorporating context, to create the most current and useful communication. It is essential that marketers dispense with canned responses, and use technology to deal with consumers effectively at an individual level.
Consumers are willing to exchange their data for a more individualized experience, with 64% recognizing this currency exchange. However, brands are now dealing with amounts of data so large that it cannot physically be processed by humans. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are coming to the fore as a means to analyze customer data. For online retailers, it then becomes possible to utilize behavioral data to best understand and speak to their consumer.
Those brands that provide meaningful experiences, individualized content and real-time, relevant offers to their customers are likely to see positive business outcomes as a result. Consumers say they would feel more valued, say more positive things about the brand, are more likely to buy from them, trust them more and spend more money with them.
Individualisation is a huge opportunity for brands, but it is only open to those that are highly focused on becoming trusted, transparent and expert in using personal data to deliver superior customer value. Ultimately consumers are call on brands to ‘remember me, listen to me, and let me be in control’ – get it right and the benefits for brands can be huge.
Cloud IQ effortless commerce platform is based on real-time behavioural and inventory-driven data to enable brands to engage effectively and dynamically with consumers tracking over 400 million ecommerce customer interactions every month. With Cloud IQ, global brands such as Samsung, EE and TUI, are acting on real-time insight of their customers to build lifetime value and loyalty.