Taking on a customer-centric strategy is not just about success now, but in the future. Being able to show customers that you are not only here to sell them something, but to help them out in other ways is key to seeing continual growth. Many B2C companies are focused on this path, which includes personalized communication with every customer. The B2B market should also watch this topic closely, because it will likely be a huge disruptor of their operating models in the near term. Luckily, personalization strategies can be easier to implement than you think by understanding common roadblocks and starting with the data that you already have.
The personalization we are discussing is not sending each customer an email that addresses her by name and offers a discount based on a past purchase. Those days are gone, thanks to buyers being bombarded with so much of the same. Brands need to deliver tailored messages to hundreds and thousands of customers daily in multiple forms (think email, social, chatbot, etc.). This task may seem daunting, but by starting with a simple customer-data set that combines demographic information with transaction history, product details, and maybe web data your marketing team can begin to get an understanding of their customers. This could be considered a “180-degree view” of the customer which triggers the activation of a few prioritized consumer use cases and gets things off the ground until you can gain a complete "360-degree view" of the same customer.
- Finding the right data vs generating more data. Sometimes less data put into action is more effective (especially at first), then adding numerous data sets. Consider taking a phased approach which will help you find the most relevant subsets.
- Not understanding triggers that resonate most with your customer. Forget holidays, seasonal, or general events. Triggers are specific occasions when a particular message will be most valuable to that particular customer. Trigger-based actions generally offer 3-4 times the effect of standard, expected communication.
-Not creating dedicated, cross-functional teams that can build organizational capabilities and establish new ways of working. Personalization efforts will require test-and-learn and a cultural shift of not being afraid to fail in many cases. Having a core cross-functional group assembled that includes marketing, operations, and tech experts and are able to work in an agile manner is important. To be successful, this team needs executive sponsorship at the very top of the organization to remove roadblocks and empower them to get things done.
- Once the right strategy and people are put into place, finding the best-in-class technology tools and infrastructure to make personalization testing successful on a large scale across the entire customer base is required. This can seem overwhelming, but with some many great tools on the market today with the right partner, the process is easier than you think.
Ultimately, the technology’s job is to help your dedicated team find signals and deliver triggers more efficiently.
Successful digital personalization at scale will disrupt B2C markets current operating models and sooner than you think be impacting the entire e-commerce industry. Personalization strategies are becoming the expected norm and the quicker you can adapt the more opportunity your company has to increase their loyal base before the competition. Contact the team at Echidna to learn more about personalization strategies and technology options on the market today.