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Digital Personalisation In An Ever-changing Environment

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Organisations are placing a lot more emphasis on the ‘customer experience’ than ever before now digital personalisation is the norm.

Customers expect you to know their preferences and not only what they want, but also who they are as individuals. Capturing the buyer data may seem simple enough, but introducing a myriad of digital channels where your customers interact with your brand is a recipe for complexity which requires a plan and system for expert management.

The more you know about your customers, the more tailored your interaction with them and your offerings and the higher the rate of conversion.

Marketers with the goal of digital personalisation can create workstreams and campaigns that engage with consumers to achieve greater reward in an environment that is now using Big Data and AI and in particular auto-learning in marketing.

Digital Personalised Customer Data

How well do you know your targeted audience including your customers?

This is an area many businesses believe they’re doing well in, but in reality, they’re just not capturing enough usable data. Do you capture your customers’ characteristics, behaviours and attitudes?

Surveys

Attitudes are where most companies fall over, and the process can start with short surveys that incentivise as gathering this kind of data is crucial. Also utilising all of the touchpoints you have to gather analytics is one the best ways to harness more data and slowly discern what digital marketing persona questions you should be asking.

Instead of monitoring simple analytics like open rate and click-through, use your digital channels to run specifically designed AB testing. In addition, look at implementing psychographic surveys to better understand your digital touchpoints.

Design your surveys to test customer attitudes towards your brand and their experience. Gathering these types of insights about your customers will allow you to move forward into the next stage of personalisation, customer segmentation.

Segmenting Your Customer Base

Your organisation can gather all of the data about your customers it wants, but if you do nothing with it, then what was the point? Once you have crafted a 360-degree view of your customer including understanding who they are, what they do, why they do it and how it makes them feel, you need to bring this to life in a segmentation model.

Customer segmentation is a means of clustering customers based on key behaviours and attitudes as opposed to gender, age or occupation which is not considered personalised, but simply grouping people together who look the same.

By utilising behavioural and attitudinal data you are presented with a customer segmentation model that clusters customers together by the need they are trying to satisfy.

Once you understand the need that a certain segment is trying to satisfy you can change the face of your experience offering entirely. For example, an energy customer whose need is to “set and forget” doesn’t want to be hit with banner advertising about solar panels. That kind of experience is basic, but it demonstrates the exact opposite of personalisation.

By understanding the customers’ needs you can target their digital experience to include messaging such as “quick, hassle-free energy accounts”. Customer segmentation makes this kind of personalisation possible, but it won’t do the entire job.

A segmentation model is only as good as its implementation across all channels.

Channel Implementation

Successful implementation of your segmentation model relies on a number of factors and arguably none more important than integration with your digital channels.

Customer Tagging

The best way to achieve this level of integration is through customer tagging. Depending on how you currently track your customers across your channels will provide the best way to tag. For example, if customer emails are used as a unique identifier then tagging customer segments by email will allow you to adapt and modify content, offerings or sales when a customer hits on your digital channel.

Additionally, once you have successfully tagged your customers into their segments, actioning these segments in all of your digital communications and imagery is critical.

Once you understand how to motivate your customer segments, changing copy, images and the overall look and feel of your

CRM communications is a quick way to achieve genuine personalisation beyond the inclusion of a first name. The beauty of segmentation in improving your digital personalisation is that most of the time customers don’t even realise what you have done.

Automated Learning

Learning about your customer’s attitudes and motivations, developing a segmentation model and implementing the actionable insights across your channels is a huge step in the right direction.

To cap off your journey towards digital personalisation, the final stage is implementing machine learning. Whether you opt for a marketing automation platform or develop a series of continuous validation processes, the need to continue to learn about your customers will be crucial to personalisation in the long run.

The benefit of a marketing automation platform is you can allow machine learning to continue to test and identify any notable changes in customer behaviour. For example, if suddenly a customer’s buying behaviour changes, this triggers the machine to indicate a need for understanding.

Having already mapped the segments in your platform, the machine has the ability to determine over time whether a customer has shifted their segment. If they have, the platform can manage communications and experience accordingly. This kind of automation in the digital experience is the key to achieving genuine personalisation and loyalty.

Digital personalisation is a tricky target to hit. Whether your organisation has the ability, systems and resources to appropriately prioritise digital personalisation is only one of the battles to face.

Customer and marketplaces as a whole are rapidly changing and so too are expectations. The best way to combat this increased uncertainty in expectations is through detailed research, segmentation, and a continuous learning cycle. All of these areas of work require deep thought to genuinely meet your target of digital personalisation and a higher rate of conversion.

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