Mistake #1 In Marketing Personalization: Not Knowing Your Customer’s Journey

By Scott McNabb, Vice President, Revenue, Americas, Optimove

Author Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

In the same vein, I can say that retailers’ customers are on a journey. The question for marketers using customer data platforms (CDPs), CRM marketing solutions, and CCCM cross-channel campaign management solutions is the following: “Do you understand the customer’s journey to deliver true personalization?”

Let me give examples of misfires. My colleague never received a yoga mat from Lululemon, yet the retailer asked her to review the product.

A friend of mine contacted a Ford dealer for a Mustang Mach e — the new electric one. He received ten follow-up emails from the dealer with information about a 72-hour sale at the dealership on everything except an electric vehicle. It was followed up with four calls from four salespeople on the same “off the mark” 72-hour offer.

As marketing and salespeople, we all cringe at these stories. I am sure you have examples at your own company. It falls into this category: “Now that we have the customer, let’s tick them off.”

However, there is a disconnect. A 2022 survey of 323 marketers shows that 4 out of 10 marketing leaders think it’s “positive” to send irrelevant messages to customers. At the same time, a survey of 500 consumers in May of this year revealed that 63% dislike receiving irrelevant messaging from retailers.

So, let’s take a “brick and mortar” step back and think about the best salesperson at a store. Great salespeople are in the background yet show up when you need them to answer a question or provide a suggestion. They are not obnoxious, irritating, or stupid. They have two ears and one mouth – observing more than talking. They engage the customer. They ask questions to understand the customer’s journey. They communicate with the customer in person, via email, text, and phone. Great salespeople keep copious notes on the customers, and communication across all channels is harmonized and makes sense. They do not find out that that yoga mat was not delivered and then email the customer asking, “How did you like it?”

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview With Sharat Potharaju, CEO and Co-founder at Beaconstac

Leaving the world of brick and mortar – let’s plunge into the present day where customer interactions are online and in-person. Customer loyalty is critical, according to the PwC Customer Loyalty Survey 2022 entitled: Creating loyalty in volatile times. The report revealed that “Volatility in consumer behavior is at an all-time high.” Consider these results:

  • More than half (55%) of respondents said they would stop buying from a company they otherwise liked after several bad experiences, and 8% said they would stop after just one bad experience.
  • 82% are willing to share personal data for a more personalized service
  • 44% of respondents are more likely to try a new brand
  • 26% of respondents said they stopped buying from a specific business in the past year

Further, PwC’s annual consumer survey reported that 40 percent of consumers make purchases inside a physical store at least once a week, compared to just 27 percent who do the same online.

The bottom line is that consumers are fickle. They shop online and in person. So, retailers must create cross-channel communication that keeps the customer coming back.

The question we all face as we use today’s artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to have personal connections with the customer is this: “Can the new technologies really mimic the great salesperson? My answer is that we are not there yet, but you can still avoid unmitigated journey disasters.

With that said, here are some top marketing personalization mistakes that can lead to alienating customers.

1. Working with incomplete data

A great salesperson knows their customer. At the core is zero-party data – or the information provided directly or voluntarily from the customer. It is invaluable. It is when a customer can explain their journey. It is the core of personalization.

Failing to understand zero-party data is the core of customer disengagement. Think about the person seeking to buy an electric car, and the dealership followed up with deals for all other vehicles. It was the beginning of the end.

First-party data, or customer demographic data, is critical as a guidepost in communicating with customers. Interacting with a Gen Z consumer should differ from interactions with a Baby Boomer. Demographic data can be a guidepost.

Second-party, which is customer data that is collected and then sold, and third-party data that can be trend data collected by an entity without a direct relationship with the customer, can be informative but not powerful in personalization.

The bottom line is that companies must use all data to personalize interactions with a customer – zero-party data is the most important. But, even without zero-party data, marketers can optimize first- and second-party data to deliver relevant messages and avoid alienating consumers.

2. Using bad data

In accounting terms: GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). Bad data is bad business.

In my opinion, marketing and CRM marketing should be treated with the same care and attention as money…because, in the end, it is.

Make sure that data is unified. Siloed marketing increases the possibility of disenfranchising customers. Any data unification decreases the likelihood of turning customers off. It’s better to have 70% of the data unified than 100% siloed data.

3. Not having a holistic view

Personalization does not happen in silos. In Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Marketing Hubs, the research firm states that “collecting data from multiple sources and touchpoints into a single individual identity is essential to driving triggered messages that resonate with audiences.

Just like a salesperson needs to know all interactions with the customer, so does a personalization platform.

4. Personalization means actual personal suggestions and help for the customer

Personalization is not an email with a customer’s name spelled correctly.

It engages with a customer with help and recommendations at the right place and time. If your company has pre-set emails and responses that do not encompass the needs of each customer – it is not personalization. It is rules-based marketing.

If you feel like you have an excellent rule-based marketing system, progress to real-time personalized marketing.

Achieving real-time personalized marketing requires four integrated components:

  1. a)    Customer selection– Dynamic selection of customers to be eligible for a real-time campaign, based on high-resolution, behavior-based micro-segmentation
  2. b)   Trigger detection– Real-time collection of data about relevant customer activity, as it happens, along with an analysis engine to calculate when the trigger occurs
  3. c)    Message & channel– The offer/incentive along with the mechanism to serve it (e.g., website pop-up, real-time transaction message, mobile push notification)
  4. d)   Campaign evaluation and optimization– The system to calculate the actual monetary uplift of each customer-trigger-message-channel combination (requires the use of test and control groups so that the actual uplift of the real-time campaign can be accurately evaluated and optimized for future campaigns)
  5. Forgetting process optimization – and bombarding customers 

Communicating with a consumer daily is death unless the customer is deep in a journey towards a purchase. Marketers must execute real-time personalized marketing to communicate at appropriate intervals that help the customer, not alienate them.

Marketing Technology News: Bad Reviews Aren’t Personal—They’re Data. Here’s How to Use Them

buy modafinil where to buy modafinil
instant payday loans online guaranteed approval no denial payday loans direct lenders only