Companies have initiatives in place to automate recommendations and promotions, but they are often ‘flat’ personalisation efforts – lacking insight into the context of the person they are reaching.
In a global study by Mindtree, 74% of consumers said customised promotions encourage them to buy products and services they have never purchased before.
More than half (58%) of companies said more targeted promotions are the key driver of improved online sales over the past 12 months, and Mindtree predicted the use of mobile apps as a primary channel for shopping will double in the next three years.
The curious counterpart to these findings it that the level of investment by the companies surveyed doesn’t match the potential. Only 28% of respondents said their organisations are investing significantly in personalisation to improve the online purchasing experience.
Maybe this is because they feel their personalisation initiatives are already in place and are working fine, but most companies need to update their strategies to stay current and keep the loyalty of their customers.
Personalisation’s next frontier
The key to advanced personalisation initiatives lies in mapping the customer journey meticulously and identifying points along the way to deliver helpful, personalised offers in near real time that fit a specific context. For instance, the context of someone planning business travel rather than leisure travel.
Most companies lack this ability because their customer demographic and behavioural data is siloed in disparate databases, and they lack the ability to integrate enterprise customer data with third-party sources.
The real power of personalisation will only come when companies break up these data silos and consolidate all of the data from various digital touch points into one system.
With data integrated and aligned to provide relevant insights, companies can base personalisation initiatives on four fundamental cornerstones.
1. Build customer context awareness
With data silos broken up and integrated, one can make sense of the rich trail of ‘digital body language’ that customers leave behind.
2. Enable a personalisation engine
This engine will combine advanced analytics and proprietary algorithms to generate the most attractive, contextualised offers for each customer in real time via micro-segmentation.
3. Automated offer and content execution
Deploy an activation layer that automatically engages customers across multiple channels, formats and devices. Deliver the right offer to the right customer at exactly the right time – in a format tailored to that person’s physical or virtual location in the buying journey.
4. Code of honour
Put simply, companies need to ensure that personalisation efforts are perceived as helpful, not intrusive or inappropriate.
That last part – a code of honour – is all about the customer’s trust; it’s the anchor of any personalisation strategy and requires a commitment to privacy, security and minimising risk when managing large amounts of customer data.
Also crucial on this front is maintaining transparency about data collection practices, as well as giving consumers control over what data is used.
Broken down, successful personalisation hinges on two things: relevance and trust. With the right technology in place, relevant offers can be automated, giving customers the kind of experience they appreciate while helping drive growth for companies.
Technology can help with trust by providing the proper layer of security, but ensuring trust is largely up to each individual company at the executive level.
The final ingredient is commitment to investing in a holistic, advanced personalisation strategy that will move the company into the future.
Sourced from Anil Venkat, Mindtree