Can you boost customer loyalty with real-time personalization?

20 Jun 2017 | By Tobias Arns

Marketers need to forget everything they think they already know about personalization and start to deliver real-time cross-device conversion strategies that amplify user experiences and increase digital revenues. It’s crucial that personalization must be at the heart of those modern marketing strategies. If not, say goodbye to your customers.

We ask marketers to forget what they already know about personalization not because it’s wrong, it’s just often confused. When we dig below the surface and ask most marketers what they really mean when they say ‘personalization’, the answer usually falls into three clear categories:

  • Optimization: Used for decisions that affect the whole target audience
  • Recommendation: Used for decisions based on whole audience behaviors
  • Personalization: Used for tailoring content to individuals

So, how can you start doing true 1:1 personalization?

It’s simple. Prioritize customer needs by delivering a truly personalized experience. Build a meaningful relationship through relevant digital experiences.

For years, companies have been collecting vast pools of data about their customers. For most companies, this is their most valuable resource. Whether it’s age, gender, or past online activity, you’ve most likely built up some great data by now. But as we look at the future of personalization for marketers, simply collecting data isn’t enough. It definitely won’t contribute to long-lasting relationships with loyal customers.

Successful personalization in the future requires the highly sophisticated use of big data. Forget about aggregating it. You need to analyze it. And most of all? For future success, it needs to be in a customer data platform and it needs to be actionable.

What marketers should ask themselves:

  • Do you have enough contextual data about your customers? It’s not just about knowing who they are anymore, it’s about really understanding them.
  • Are you fusing data from first- and third party sources? Are you capitalizing on the increasing data streams your customers create while they’re online?
  • Are you using the right technology (like a DMP) to really understand customer behavior and their individual content preferences?
  • Can you see your customer’s actions in real-time, and more importantly, are you in a position to optimize your messaging in real-time too?

The customer data you collect should be cross-channel, historical, behavioral and contextual. You need to know what device they’re using, the time they use it, in what location, the duration, and their content preferences. All of these areas impact the individual customer profiles you should already be building.

Savvy marketers might know who their existing customers are, but what about your anonymous visitors? Now it’s time to act on the data and improve their experience on a 1:1 level. Anticipate where your customer will click next, what they will want to read next, and what conversion point they’re heading towards.

Real-time personalization will increase customer loyalty

With the right technology, you can fuse data from first-party and third-party sources, as well as across devices – a key requirement for really understanding your customers in the future.

This sort of technology will give you a much deeper insight into who your customer is, what drove them to your website or app, their individual preferences and whether they are on their mobiles, PCs or tablets. This will help you to refine your marketing and messaging to not just win more customers, but keep them.

You need to be relevant in real-time. Use your data to adapt your marketing to your customer’s patterns, deliver a personalized customer experience, improve your conversion rates, and increase loyalty and advocacy.