The age of real-time omnichannel personalization is here, which is both a great opportunity and challenge for marketers: namely, how do you implement effective personalization without overwhelming the customer, or worse yet, coming off as a creeper?
Most of us are already numb to the blitz of retargeted ads that follow us around offering the same product or service. It becomes even more annoying when you’ve already bought that product, and yet, they continue to show it to you, instead of taking the opportunity to show related products (for example). Another prime example of over-engagement, is going into attack mode with your browse or cart abandonment emails, which can ruin an otherwise effective program.
The real problem is that marketers are not personalizing the total customer experience. Instead, marketers are trying, through no fault of their own, to personalize everything in siloes – product recommendations, display ads, content, etc. It all needs to be brought together, and managed by a specific set of rules.
Here are three keys for transforming your personalization efforts from overwhelming to highly engaging:
- Centralize the management of your customer profiles – The only way to calibrate touch points across channels is first to manage them from a single customer data platform, so that all of your marketing tools work harmoniously on that single view of the customer. More and more solutions, including Tealium AudienceStream, provide the ability to collect and enrich these profiles, and then distribute them to marketing execution partners for real-time action.
- Create rules for engagement – Once you have a centralized platform, you need a way to implement rules for cross-channel customer engagement to maximize your effectiveness. Avoid overwhelming your customer through capabilities such as:
- Action capping – Set a specific limit on the number of times you touch a customer across channels within a specific time frame.
- Prioritization – Prioritize your touches under the cap. If you set a limit of three touches per day, for example, where should those touches occur?
- Cool down – You’ve given it your best shot, now it’s time to cool down. This capability allows you to set parameters for a cool-down period before your re-engage.
Once you have these rules in place, it is important measure their impact on consumer behavior and make adjustments. Ultimately, this all needs to be tied to your calls to action (conversions specific to your brand).
- Get real-time data – I’ve espoused the benefits of real-time and what that means before, but it bears repeating. Leveraging real-time data is key for being able to capitalize on marketing’s ultimate goal of reaching buyers in the right place, at the right time, with the right message. The customer journey is evolving by the second, based on actions, and you need to be able to dynamically change their profile/segment to remain relevant. This requires real-time data on an end-to-end basis, from collection to segmentation to enrichment to distribution.
Ultimately consumers desire a personalized experience when they perceive it benefits them. Tailor the experience so it takes less clicks for customers to get to the content and deals they desire, and make it a goal to improve their access to experiences they value.
If brands are not following the “single truth,” i.e., storing their customer journey data within universal profiles, they will find diminishing returns on their personalization investments and dilution of their relationships with their consumers. They will become just another vendor, and a creepy and annoying one at that.