How to evolve your customer data strategy to achieve 1-to-1 personalisation
Personalization has never been so important! Sure, it comes up a lot in conversations. It actually could be seen as one of those “marketing buzzwords”, but it’s far from it. Indeed, according to an Accenture report, 91% prefer to shop with organisations that put relevant products and offers right in front of them. Having a personalisation strategy today is key.
Of course, reaching true 1-to-1 personalisation isn’t an easy task. Brands should have their own goals relating to their CRO and personalisation program. And this should closely follow your roadmap to mature your customer data strategy and to make your data actionable. It simply goes hand-in-hand. Collecting, processing, and analysing data successfully will help deliver the right communication to your customers and drive them to convert.
But before jumping headfirst into personalisation, let’s remind ourselves that clear processes and sensible methodology are key. On top of qualitative customer data, the right hypothesis must be tested to help a business mature in delivering the best experience to their customers.
You’ll find below some top steps we recommend you follow to create data-driven personalisation alongside your customer data strategy.
Knowing your customers
Breaking news: the foundation of your CRO and personalisation strategy is to know your customers and their specific needs. That understanding is built from a combination of historical data (like past transactions or visits to your site) and real-time insights. This helps you paint an accurate picture of your customers at a given moment in time, hence allowing you to identify opportunities to interact with them in a relevant and timely way.
It is tempting to dive headfirst into a very complex personalisation strategy but remind yourself that baby steps are in order. Do not over-complicate your strategy from day one. Start with simple insights, like whether your customer has an account. Based on that data point alone, you can already personalise your customer’s experience. For instance, by redirecting them either to your site’s login or registration pages. And as simple as that, you offer them relevance and convenience. This goes back to the basic concept of telling your customers you remember and value them through a very simple enhanced user experience.
Once those simpler use cases have been mastered, you can start your journey toward more complex personalisation. For instance, with hyper-targeted communication and more advanced customer data.
Automated and trigger-based communication
Offering personalised interactions to customers is crucial to make your customers feel valued. More importantly, those touchpoints must be timely to sound relevant to them. It will make an important difference in the quality of your CRO and personalisation program.
Like we said, timing key. Delivering the right messaging at the right time will not only optimise your conversion rate, but also make your customers feel valued and heard. This is where the usage of real-time data becomes most important: it helps your triggered messages to be contextually relevant.
How does this come to life? Think how you can automate mobile notifications or emails from a quick change in your users’ behaviour. Based on your understanding of your customers and what you believe they need at that very moment; you can easily automate the delivery of relevant information that will help them complete their journey.
For instance, let’s say that one of your customers only completed half of an insurance policy form before leaving your site. After a few days, you can send them an email with a clear path to pick up the form where they left it. This would be a helpful but also useful reminder for the customer, while moving them down the funnel.
Obviously, a marketer’s job is also to draw a clear line in the sand by understanding “when it’s too much”. You may not want your message to be too loud, invasive, and pushy. This is where we talk about testing and conversion rate optimisation, which will help you identify what amount or what style of messaging is too little to have any impact versus so much that it annoys visitors.
Focusing on delivering the right experience
Being reactive in your CRO and personalization strategy is only half of the job. You also need to be able to be proactive and predict your customer’s future needs based on the data available to you.
To act on this, your organisation will need to leverage data science. Many data processing tools, like a CDP (as explained by NGDATA in our co-hosted webinar “5 key personalisation steps to grow your customer data maturity”), can provide you with modelling capabilities to deliver the right message, at the right time, to the right person. The power of intelligent analytics comes in its flexibility to create a propensity or scoring model. This will continuously evolve based on real time data – ensuring you are delivering relevant personalisation to your audience.
Let’s take the example of a customer who likes to cook for her family but also her friends. She buys the ingredients online twice a week, Tuesday for her family and Friday for her friends. A well-fed algorithm will help define the next best action for that moment in time; differentiating the needs between Tuesday and Friday’s dinners. That way, only relevant messaging can be delivered to our customer.
Finding the right balance between the human and the machine factors
Machine learning has conquered our day-to-day for a while now, helping us know our customers better and automate some of the engagement. But that does not mean that the human in us does not have a say anymore. On the contrary, and especially for CRO and personalisation, the human touch is more than vital.
Our human touch helps us to avoid being creepy in our personalisation strategy. You can show that you understand your customers, but this should be without making them feel watched or uncomfortable about the data you collect about them. Like we said earlier, you need to find the right line in the sand between what is right and what is too much. To achieve the right personalisation level, testing is primordial as it will help organisations find the right balance with supporting data to continuously evolve their personalisation strategies.
In the end, true 1-to-1 personalisation comes from balancing automation, predictive analytics, and the human touch – all of this, of course, while remaining data-driven. Always keep in mind that for all your personalisation efforts that it must be a fair test, not an assumption
Accomplish true 1-to-1 personalisation
At this stage, we’re getting closer and closer to the so-wanted 1-to-1 personalisation. You are using historical and real-time data as well as data sciences to predict the next best action regarding your customers’ experience.
This may already sound well-advanced, but anyone can easily reach that level of sophistication by taking baby steps. Your testing methodology as well as technology should give you the luxury of testing one use case at a time – to validate one by one your hypothesis and grow your personalisation strategy to deliver customer experiences that you both benefit from.
As explained in our webinar “5 key personalisation steps to grow your customer data maturity”, the right technology should allow you to generate actionable insights based on a single view of your customer, enabling your team to deliver data-led personalisation without relying on several independent platforms, departments and/or processes.
If you are seeking guidance in starting a CRO and personalisation program to drive more value from your customer data, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today!
About the Author: Elaine Lorent
Elaine is our Head of Data Strategy at NOBI. She spent 8+ years in Media and Digital Analytics, with focus on CDP, DMP and CRM strategies. Elaine has a Master of Science In Integrated Marketing & Analytics from the New York University. Her passion is to help brands leverage their 1st, 2nd & 3rd party data in a meaningful and responsible way, to become fully data-driven organisations.