How Marketers Can Achieve Personalization at Scale
Customers want personalization. In fact, in a study done by Epsilon, they found that 80% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase when their experience was personalized. They don't want to spend their time spammed by irrelevant emails and ads. They want to see offers that speak to who they are and what they need.
But how do you send a personalized message to thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of customers at the same time? That's where executing personalization at scale comes in.
Eighty percent of consumers were more likely to make a purchase when their experience was personalized.
What is Personalization at Scale, and Why Does It Matter?
Scaling personalized marketing campaigns goes beyond the simple act of tracking a customer and offering them a coupon or free shipping based on their prior experience at your eCommerce website. Now, with technology, you can scale those experiences and interact in a one-on-one way with thousands of customers all at once, sending tailored messages to each of them.
Executing personalization at scale requires the ability to draw on various data points simultaneously and put it to work to design messages, offer services, make pricing decisions, and formulate ads. When implement successfully, brands can see both short-term gains (up to a 30% boost in revenue and customer retention) and a long-term increase in customer satisfaction.
Despite the majority of marketing teams planning to implement personalization into their strategies, they still find personalization a bit daunting. Let's take a look at three key factors that enable the implementation of a smart personalized marketing strategy (or strategies) that can scale as business grows.
It's All About the Customer Data
Personalization draws on all the behavioral, transactional, preferential, and traditional data on hand about customers — all of them. That's a lot of data-crunching. The more comprehensive your customer data, the more effective your personalized marketing efforts will be. By understanding how likely an individual customer is to respond to specific content, your tech can collect and use data at the same time, even knowing when to connect a customer to a real person.
To access that data and make it useful, you need to move beyond a simple CRM system. It’s time to establish a more sophisticated technology, such as a customer data platform (CDP), that's capable of advanced analytics and activating the data you already have. A CDP can embrace behavior data, customer-supplied data, customer engagement data, purchase and browsing histories, marketing responses, shopping behavior, third-party data about interests and preferences, and more. With all this data available, you can create a complete, 360° view of each customer.
If that sounds daunting, don't worry. You can start scaling personalization with the data you already have, which is likely to be significant. Don't get detoured by trying to collect perfect data — just start analyzing what you have so you can build a marketing strategy.
Overall, what matters is not how much data is collected but instead that the right data is gathered. Having less data doesn't matter if it’s high-quality and actionable — and the ability to put it into action, whether it be with unique offers on a website or with personalized messages in direct mail and email.
The more comprehensive your customer data, the more effective your personalized marketing efforts will be.”
Marketing Technology and Analytics
Scaling personalization requires the right infrastructure and the right technology. Your CDP must handle your data adequately and accurately so you have an actionable understanding of your customers that's as complete as possible. Your tech must also have the ability to make decisions based on individual customer journeys, with the most sophisticated decisioning engines making real-time choices during customer interaction. And you need the ability to distribute your decisions and content in real-time interaction.
With high-power analytics and tech in place, you're able to present individual customers with personalized landing pages, emails and ads. Through being able to predict what offers customers are most likely to respond to, you can increase engagement and conversions.
It’s important to also understand that tech alone won't do this. Having the right people in place to program the tech, to relate the analytics to your own marketing strategy, and to create the most appealing content is key to successful personalization at scale.
Who's on Your Team?
It might be nice to think that you can hand your personalization strategy off to your CDP and let it run itself. However, to pull off personalization at scale, you need a team that's experienced in personalized marketing, efforts working in a cross-functional fashion with both sales staff and content creators.
Personalization doesn't happen without excellent content — and at this stage, that involves people, not AI. It’s vital to have a strong commitment from senior leadership and the ability to work hand in hand with copywriters, designers, animators, and other team members to create (and constantly refine) your content. On top of that, you need tech experts who can make your CDP do what you need it to. And while it's nice to have specialists in each of these areas, even more key is having people who can bridge the gaps and speak the languages on all sides to keep your team functioning smoothly.
To this end, try bringing your teams together rather than letting them function in their individual silos, to retain the flexibility required. Taking an approach that relies on testing and tweaking campaigns requires many distinct voices in the room — plus a willingness to try tactics that ultimately may not work. Keeping everyone in the loop and sharing all information and results helps keep the marketing strategy and individual campaigns nimble, relevant and effective.