Three Imperatives For Winning With Personalization At Scale

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, January 7, 2020

Marketers everywhere are placing greater priority on better understanding consumer identity to unlock true personalization.

However, recent research from Forrester Consulting indicates that only 39% of executives use identity resolution to personalize messages, and just 32% tie their customer journey analytics back to their identity program. This means the majority of marketers are only scratching the surface when it comes to driving better customer engagement and performance.

For true success, marketers must focus on the quality of their customer data throughout all phases of marketing—data collection, activation and measurement—if they are going to practice what they preach and deliver true, one-to-one messages. Here are three things brands must do in order to accurately achieve personalized advertising at scale.



Organize your teams around the customer

Aligning teams by marketing channels doesn’t work anymore. Siloed teams create the type of fragmented experiences that annoy customers and lead to disjointed measurement, which fails to account for customer behavior and activities in other channels.

Unified teams can create a single, all-encompassing view of an individual that takes into consideration the entire customer journey.  Creating a unified team organized around the customer will also minimize the risk of data leakage, improve the accuracy of your messages and ultimately provide holistic measurement and insights.

Connect with the right people

Connecting with the right people sounds obvious, but I often speak with executives who aren’t confident their messages are reaching the right people.  When your consumer profiles are built from both online and offline first-party data, you can confidently communicate with each customer or prospect, with relevant messaging. 

Consider a study Epsilon conducted for a home goods company to better understand the differences between people who shop for kitchen and living room products. We learned that these two categories had surprisingly different audiences for their kitchen and living room wares than they expected.

For example, much to the company’s surprise, we learned that renters, not homeowners, present the biggest opportunity when it comes to purchases for kitchens. Renters tend to be at an earlier stage in life with less disposable income; they’re looking to buy appliances or their first set of glassware and dishware. Meanwhile, people shopping for their living rooms tend to be at a later stage in life. They’re often married and may have a higher income. Their permanent residence is more stable, and they are willing to spend more to create their living room exactly as they want it.

In the past, we didn't have these insights. We had to make assumptions or speak to people as part of a segment. Today, we’re able to look at online and offline data with a level of granularity that allows us to differentiate customers from prospects and speak to each individual appropriately in a privacy-compliant way that satisfies both CCPA and GDPR.

Measure every interaction with every customer

You can clearly understand what's working and what's not when you measure every interaction. Measurement also allows you to uncover micro-trends that will lead you to share new products with your customers as they grow. Consider the differences between the renters and homeowners I mentioned earlier. Measuring customer interactions based on online behaviors and offline purchases gives you the ability to recognize important signals, such as when a renter may be ready to purchase their first home. Measuring interactions at an individual level can also reveal changes to a homeowner’s style based on their purchase history.  For example, buying and browsing signals can indicate that the homeowner recently had a baby or brought a family pet into their home.

The reality is simple: people are 80% more likely to buy when a brand experience is personalized. You might have just one opportunity to convert them into a customer, so make sure you’re delivering relevant and unique content at every step along their customer journey.

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