It’s a wild time to be a marketer. Americans’ distrust of organizations is at an all time high, and their loyalty to brands is at an all time low.
As a result, building trust with customers has become the holy grail, and digital experiences are now just as important as in-person ones in creating brand-consumer connections. For example, many customers prioritize a brand’s social media accounts more than physical stores. On the surface level, digital experiences may seem less personal, but the combination of data and technology that power them can create connections that are deeper, more resonant and ultimately more personalized than ever before.
The Evolution of Interaction
The old model of delivering customized experiences to the right customer on the right channel isn’t enough to retain customers and create brand champions. To reach the full potential of the digital economy, brands will need to blend real-time interactions with custom services. As Sean Skamnes, Global Adobe Practice Lead for Merkle said, “Brands will compete over who has the stronger ability to provide personalized customer experiences at scale.” said.
Upping Your Personalization Game
In a world where 70% of consumers say that how well a company understands their individual needs impacts their loyalty, delivering some form of personalization isn’t really optional — but putting it in place also doesn’t have to be an insurmountable task.
The key to catering to a wide range of personal preferences is getting access to the data that informs what’s important for each customer, and then applying it deliberately. First-party and zero-party data have a clear advantage, and can be driven by the digital platforms and tools you choose to put out in the world. Brands with compelling, cohesive digital ecosystems will dominate in this space, especially as they learn to:
Bring together data from all relevant sources into unified profiles.
Activate those profiles on different destinations where customers spend their time or share their interests.
Employ data governance to maintain compliance and for consumers to have control over the information they provide.
Create seamless digital customer experiences that are connected with each other.
This may sound like a huge feat, but the modern tools and technologies available today make establishing the framework easily achievable. Once you have the right tools in place, you need a sound strategy that includes fluid user journeys, personalized content and a scalable, repeatable model for delivery.
Data is critical — but gone are the days when companies could lean on data alone. And it’s not enough to have a stellar product; all the bits and pieces that surround a company and its goods — whether they’re digital or physical — accumulate into an overall user impression. This impression is the outcome you deliver, but it’s also how you engage on Instagram, the way your app loads, the creative nuances on your site, and more. Simply put, it’s where the science (data) meets originality (user experience).
Creativity takes on a new shape when you use it to understand what the data is telling you, and to deliver marketing efforts that start with the user’s perspective, and lean on empathy, understanding and design thinking to drive decisions. That means building a strategy focused on:
Clear user journeys
Elegant digital destinations
A cohesive overall voice and experience (from product to website to social)
When you strategically plan customer journeys, it becomes easier to deliver a safe, personalized and satisfying experience to customers. The result: customer satisfaction, increased conversions, and customer retention.
When you build creative, relevant content, you build customer trust — which can scale. Brands can achieve content velocity by connecting all phases of content production together and transforming assets for delivery across different screens, devices, or channels.
When you create websites, platforms and apps that are true destinations, you remove barriers and friction. Companies that do this achieve greater stickiness and higher conversion rates.
When you care about the big picture, you inspire loyalty. Companies that shine here may build their digital ecosystem one piece at a time, but they’re considering the big picture and the influence of each piece on the others along the way.
Creating An Engine
At Alloy, we’ve created personalization engines for a wide variety of clients at varying levels of fidelity. After all, evidence shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that provides a tailored experience. Contact us to learn more.