Personalised experiences – we all love them. Who doesn’t love it when you’re welcomed like a friend into your local shop or your hairdresser remembers exactly how you like your hair done? So when we are marketed to, we expect the same.
56% of companies say they are not personalising, 72% say they know it's important but don’t know how to do it. Well this blog is a good place to start.
Tell Me More About True Personalisation
True personalisation is using what you know about a customer to consistently provide an improved experience that creates additional value for you and your customer.
Personalisation is incredibly far reaching, within the realms of digital marketing it touches everything! It touches your landing pages; your website; your content; your customer data, the list is endless…
Like us, Econsultancy talk frequently about the benefits of personalisation. Personalisation should make your communications more valuable and useful to your customer. This is what supports the biggest personalisation benefits, increased conversion and improved customer retention. With the marketplace drowning in products and services and content, personalisation helps your customers make purchasing decisions in a world where too much choice is a problem!
Putting the Foundations in Place
First things first, understand where you are on the path to personalisation. We have a handy test for that, which you can find here.
Next get your technology right. To achieve true personalisation you need to throw three key ingredients into the mix - a data platform, content and rules! Having a data platform that you allows you to access your customer data is essential, mixed with content you can propagate across channels and a rules engine to set which personalisation a customer should receive.
Then get your data element right, you don’t need advanced data expertise at this stage, the main requirement is purely to understand the value proposition of your brand and take a customer -centric approach when deciding who to target.
As they say, content is king, and when it comes to personalisation you need lots of it! We suggest reusing what you already have, either on your website (by surfacing or suppressing content) or the content in emails, if you are implementing a continuation of that journey.
Lastly, rules, now they may need a bit more niche expertise! But a good place to start is by asking yourself two questions – where should I personalise? And which personalisation treatment wins when two or more overlap? To answer these questions you need to get close to your customer, that could even take the form of a customer analysis project, but however you do it you need to take into account what is likely to influence your customer at that exact moment.
Where Do I Start?
Don’t be scared! The golden rule to getting personalisation off the ground is to start small. I’m sure you will agree, feeling overwhelmed is not conducive to getting the job done well. Personalisation is a journey and a long one at that.
Email – create customer-centric targeting rules using data sources like transactional, product, customer and behavioural data. With this information you could create rules such as, show ‘content X’ to all customers who bought an aluminium frame mountain bike last December, that live within 30 miles of London, and have looked at carbon frame bikes in the last 90 days on your website.
Your website – continue your personalised customer journey online, swap your hero image based on time of day or use your CMS or A/B Testing tool to create a source targeting rule to serve the relevant content.
Landing pages – utilise the landing page, create pages specifically designed for the need of the user coming from a specific channel.
To sum up, when getting started with personalisation the golden rule is to start small! Do not try to do too much at once. Be smarter than others and focus on wins, it is these wins that will help build the personalisation culture in your organisation and may help you secure that much needed budget in the future. In doing so, you will build up support and expand personalisation into other areas of your business. It will be far easier than you expect.