When was the last time you felt truly connected to a brand and why? Chances are, it was because you felt understood and considered.
Sounds easy enough. But as Marketers, we know achieving such a connection requires a deep understanding of your customer and building personalised experiences around them. That’s not always easy to do.
Personalisation goes well beyond the first name field merge in an email. It requires a commitment to your brand purpose and to humanising your marketing efforts, in a way that no AI, Bot or IOT could ever do. What you stand for, how your personality comes into effect at various stages of the customer journey and why that matters to your audience, are all key factors.
So, let’s get personal…
We recently hosted an Oracle Marketing Lab on ‘Deconstructing Personalisation’. The event brought together some of New Zealand’s most successful brands to discuss the challenges of personalisation and to establish just how well we fare when it comes to building meaningful relationships with our customers.
With an average score of just 2 out of 4, we discovered that we all have a lot more to do before we can claim to have created truly personalised and memorable customer experiences. So, if your business is still working toward unifying your customer data, aligning content to personas or improving segmentation sophistication, you’re not alone. Most companies are in the very early stages and that looks a little like this:
- No shortage of data, but not consolidated. In other words, no single view of the customer across the organisation.
- Some parts of the customer journey had been considered – largely the top of the funnel where acquisition happens. But, end-to=end journey mapping isn’t complete within most organisations and little sophistication exists through the funnel to ensure retention and loyalty.
- Basic email personalisation: field merges, some CRM integration and dynamic content.
- Basic segmentation, largely based on CRM/profile data rather than triggered by engagement.
These are some of the tactics they’ll employ over the next 12 months to improve personalisation:
- Recognising that it’s now customer experience that’ll give you a competitive advantage, it wasn’t surprising that completing end-to-end CX plans was top of the list.
- Aligning marketing, sales and service systems, processes and communications to provide a single view of the customer.
- Enriching data through progressive profiling and enhanced data capture opportunities.
- Developing richer and more dynamic content to appeal to a wider audience, on a more personal level.
If you’re just getting started with personalisation and these tactics seem appropriate for your business, it’s important that you consider these six principles first:
- Empathise: To play into the emotional drivers of your audience, you need to understand them. How do you gather and store data on your prospects and customers today?
- Talk to hearts and minds: Consider key touchpoints in your customer journey to surprise and delight. What are the moments that really matter?
- Be bigger from smaller: Little things matter. Taking care of the little things makes a big impact so pay attention to them. Plan for them.
- Take good risks: Test and optimise to learn more about your audiences. Know the messages, content and channels that resonate and then push their boundaries.
- Connect: Be clear about your brand purpose and bring that into every touch point, through the offer as well as tone and visual identity.
- Be relevant: Only now have you earned the right to communicate your offer – make sure it’s relevant and solves a real need.
Do all of this well and the proof is in the pudding. According to McKinsey & Company*:
- Personalisation increases the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 30%
- Personalisation reduces acquisition costs as much as 50%
- Personalisation lifts revenues by up to 15%