In today’s digital world, the role of marketers has evolved way beyond from just sending promotional campaigns. You as modern marketers play a key part in enhancing customer lifetime value and retention. In fact, it is in this area that marketing holds the greatest potential to deliver value by impacting the bottom line.
For doing so, personalization has emerged as one of the most critical investment areas to boost response, conversion, and retention. In a climate where brands are not just selling products but are also competing for the customer’s attention across channels, creating lasting relationships is a challenge. It requires consistently meaningful conversations based on an acute understanding of their customer behaviors.
Quite simply, this means that effective marketing is no longer about pushing products but about being in sync with a customers’ problem and offering a solution right when they need it.
Poor Personalization Equals Lost Business
Customers today expect brands to offer personalized experiences at every touch point, across every channel. A 2017 study by Boston Consulting Group found that brands are experiencing revenue increases of 6% to 10% by creating personalized experiences. While personalization promises a world of benefits, brands have to pay a price if they get it wrong.
A study by Accenture showed that 41% of consumers switched brands because of poor personalization, costing U.S. companies $756 billion in 2016. This is a number too high to be ignored, reinforcing the necessity of personalized marketing. Another survey by Cloud IQ finds that 64% of consumers expect a personalized experience, looking for relevant offers, wanting to feel heard and understood. There is good reason to invest in personalized marketing. A study by Gartner says that 80% of future revenue will come from just 20% of existing customers while a Forrester study claims that companies fully invested in personalization will outsell their competitors by 20%.
Are You Getting Personalization Wrong?
Despite highly advanced technology to fuel personalised marketing, many brands still fail to get personalization right. One of the major reasons is because of using outdated or irrelevant customer information.
Another challenge is creating personalization at scale. Without proper tools and technology, brands struggle with fragmented data and a non-integrated infrastructure. In such scenarios, it is difficult to get a 360-degree view of the customer, leading to poor personalization. When such data limitations and thus a limited understanding of customers, brands fail to build experiences that drive top-line growth.
Creating personalized experiences requires a knowledge of customer journeys, relevant content, and the right technology to deliver and measure experiences, something that isn’t possible with traditional modes of marketing.
Building A Smart Personalization Experience With AI
To achieve personalization at scale, every industry is increasingly looking towards Artificial Intelligence. Before the emergence of AI, personalization was based on a set of data-based rules. For instance, a customer would receive a subscription email with their name, but each email featured the same content. Naturally, this is not the kind of tailored experience customers expect today.
Data analysis without the use of AI limits the customer segmentation capabilities. Adapting marketing messages to slightly target different demographics may be possible, but it’s not possible to create endless variations based on browsing history, demographics, and other variables. Without AI, personalization is pre-programmed, not automatic, which means you must decide the content to be shown to each customer instead of the best version being automatically presented to each user.
Thanks to AI, a new era of predictive personalization is emerging. AI allows for more refined personalization through the use of profiling tools and data analysis in real-time. For instance, an ecommerce business will use previous purchase data, browsing history, and social media activity to predict the type of product a customer will likely buy. Armed with this valuable data, the brand can then deliver tailored messages to each user, offering a brand experience that resonates with them. Additionally, real-time capabilities enhance messages in an unprecedented manner. With geo-location information, brands can tell where a customer is placed at a given time, using this information to push location and time-specific messages.
AI does its best work when seamlessly weaved into the fabric of your marketing platform. Its implementation must not be limited to a single channel but should be vertically integrated across a platform. With an AI-enabled marketing automation platform, brands can use customer data and other to send content most likely to drive the desired action. Since AI takes into account all previous purchase, historical and website data of each customer and develops customized communications to convert, the likelihood of purchase and engagement is maximized.
The Power of AI-Enabled Personalization
Actively and passively, users share a wealth of data with you, about their preferences, shopping habits, location, etc. In return, they expect a personalized experience that answers their specific questions and makes their interaction with you as smooth as possible. The power of AI-enabled personalization lies in the ability to learn from customer behaviours and strategize the next set of messages. It is with this continuous and intelligent learning that you can conduct highly personalised and contextual conversations with your users.
By constantly analyzing customer behaviors in real-time, you can leverage a world of data to target messaging specifically to your users’ needs. Taking it a step ahead, you can also influence their future actions.
A big part of adopting this approach is dependent on having the right technology. If you work with different platforms that aren’t integrated, collecting and connecting customer data at the profile can be a challenge. Thus, it can be difficult for to recognize, target, and re-engage customers.
To understand how an AI-powered cross-channel marketing automation platform like Smartech can be your partner in delivered differentiated customer experiences, get in touch with us today!