Driving the Customer Experience with ‘Personalisation’

by Tim Stone Selligent Marketing Cloud

In this digital age, consumers are overloaded with marketing messages and are suffering from ‘ad fatigue’. To highlight the state of this problem, research points out that almost three quarters (73%) of UK consumers have reported that they are seeing the same ads repeatedly and that just 11% say that they ‘enjoyed’ advertising. This problem is not, strictly, limited to advertisements alone either. Other digital methods of communication are just as guilty, with tweets, social media posts, and emails also not being enjoyed. Evidently, ‘ad fatigue’ is a problem. So, in today’s digital world, how can marketers ensure brands are heard among all the noise? How can they improve ‘cut through’, drive sales, and improve customer experience?

With such message overload, the answer lies in delivering personalised and relevant customer experiences driven by data. To illustrate the effectiveness of this approach, Harvard Business Review has documented the financial payoffs of effectively engaging with consumers in stark terms: tailored content can reduce the costs of attracting customers by 50%, lift revenues by as much as 15%, and even increase the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 30%. Clearly, this points to the fact that hyper-personalised experiences are now the ‘holy grail’ for marketers.

However, there is a fine line between getting hyper-personalised marketing just right, and communications becoming white noise. Therefore, what should brands consider in order to succeed?

Mobile’s Omnipresence is Key to driving Customer Experience

Mobile usage has grown exponentially. As consumer behaviour and expectations have changed, so too have the way brands engage and interact with them. There are more than 3 billion smart-phone users worldwide today, and mobile devices are used for over 40% of online transactions. This presents an opportunity for brands to harness smartphone usage, which is already a major source of page visits and email opens. Personal and mobile-first communication, location-based marketing, and personal product suggestions are key growth opportunities for brands too.

Build a Single View of the Customer

Managing the multitude of data and touchpoints is a key challenge. Getting this right can be an essential support to a customer-centric marketing approach. Companies need to invest time and resources into a robust marketing automation platform that will allow each channel to work together without friction to create a single, cohesive brand message. Having this single view of the customer is also critical in order to give a consistent experience across channels.

Understand how Artificial Intelligence Accelerates Optimisation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an integral element in tying real-time behavioural data to each individual consumer profile. For companies trying to get ahead of the curve by concentrating on customer experience, AI is the means to achieve it. Not only does AI have the potential to greatly reduce the time-to-market for optimisation, but by analysing data and putting meaningful optimisations to work in real-time, it also helps brands to understand what, when, and how to serve customers. The goal is real-time contextual relevance, which every marketer aspires to achieve.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that investing in personalisation and automation can pay dividends and drive customer experience forward positively. Recent research has shown that 51% of customers are willing to share their personal data for a more personalised experience. This is a golden opportunity for brands to better engage with their customers.  Just by listening to them, and using data effectively, they can simply give them what they want. However, this will require some marketers to adopt a different approach to how they work and how they market to customers. Additionally, to succeed, brands must work harder to tie real-time behavioural data to each individual consumer profile if they want to deliver personalised, AI-driven content ‘in the moment’ across channels.