In today’s Engagement Economy, it is imperative for brands to take their personalization efforts to the next level or risk alienating customers with “old school” personalization strategies that continue to prioritize volume rather than value. But implementing advanced personalization at scale requires transformational change which can be risky. And risk demands a well thought out ROI.
A More Advanced Personalization Strategy is Good for Business
A Forrester Research Study states, advanced personalization increases average order values 1.9x, customer retention 1.7x, and customer lifetime value 1.6x. And a Harvard Business Review Article states that advanced personalization strategies “can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and can lift sales by 10% or more.” With so much to gain, advanced personalization strategies are worth the risk, with tremendous upside for companies that do it right.
Advanced Personalization Goes Beyond Marketing
Advanced personalization demands an organizational shift to a set of objectives focused on a person first, customer centric strategy. This is the strategy that will achieve positive and long term ROI and business results. To be successful, advanced personalization at scale is not limited to marketing, but should include, customer service, sales, and any other function that interacts with the customer. In other words, it demands an integrated approach across all customer touch points in the organization. The intent is to deliver individualized customer engagement through personalized experiences that meet customers’ need. And today, customers are demanding this. In fact, 79% of buyers only consider brands that understand and care about them (Wunderman) and 70% of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they’re being understood (McKinsey).
An Integrated Approach is Necessary
To achieve the results needed to deliver on customer expectations for individualized personalization, an integrated approach is necessary. But, where do you start? Let marketing take the lead to build out the capabilities needed for precise engagement and expand across the organization from there.
Advanced Personalization at Scale Requires 4 Key Capabilities
- Develop a Customer First Strategy by looking at the world through your customer lens. Not only their buying behavior but also their interests, preferences and intent. This requires an in depth understanding of each customer, so you can identify any pain points, solve them and provide a personalized experience based on:
- Simplifying their options to help them reach their goals
- Bringing relevant facts to them that help them make decisions
- Providing relevant suggestions based on their needs, not what others have done in the past.
- Providing support by tapping into their emotions and showing customers you care.
- Build Data and Analytic Capabilities: Data is the foundation for advanced personalization. You need to be able to:
- Collect customer data from across your organization, including both internal and external data, e.g. customer service, merchandising, store operations, web, social, devices, apps… and create a customer data repository
- Create a 360º view for each customer, including: demographics, online behavior, app behavior, email interactions, social media activity and offline channel interactions.
- Use predictive analytics to give customers what they want and need: simplify their decision making by offering up the right product combinations, advise them with product recommendations, that show you care.
- Advance your Technology: Create a platform for real time customer engagement by investing in the right technology. Advanced personalization requires advanced customer management capability, a platform to support streaming data collection, inline analytics, and the ability to orchestrate communications and interactions across multiple touch points.
- Different Ways of Working: The final capability is perhaps the most difficult as it can come with organizational cultural challenges. It is the capability of being able to deliver on advanced personalization as a collaborative venture. While marketers must lead the way, there are many constituents who need to buy in (CIO, CFO, CEO…), many players who need to be willing to play (marketing, merchandising, customer service, store operations, technology team…), and many find they need to bring in outside experts to coach or pitch hit (agency, consultants, data integrators.)
As stated upfront, advanced personalization at scale is worth the work, process, investment, and time it will take for the organization to adjust to a new customer perspective, strategy, and systems. The leaders delivering advanced personalization at scale are achieving ROI. And not moving in this direction will leave your company at risk, alienating customers who expect a hyper-personalized experience
To find out more about how to implement advanced personalization at scale across the organization, download our latest eBook, How to Implement Personalization Across all Customer Touchpoints.
About VeraCentra: Marketers everywhere want to use data to implement more modern customer engagement strategies. But there can be many obstacles standing in the way of success. That’s where we come in. VeraCentra provides easy-access Customer Data Hubs. We represent best of breed Cross Channel Engagement Platforms (so marketers get the right fit) and offer the Marketing and Data Services that guarantee speed to value and quick win ROI from technology investments. We deliver these solutions with an unmatched wholehearted approach bringing personalized support, care, and service to every client. That’s why many of our client relationships span more than a decade.