Over the years I’ve watched many companies grow their
customer outreach, so I know what that track is like. And I know that when
brands start to see the benefits of personalization, it’s a game-changer.
That’s why I’m so heartened to check in on VentureBeat’s
on personalization, which enhances high-value customer behaviors like loyalty
and lifetime value. Personalizing service and content increases critical key
performance indicators like click-throughs, open rates, conversions, retention
and revenue. And of the many ways to personalize along the customer journey, the
survey found that most invest in email – nearly 80% – by doing as little as
personalizing the greeting with the recipient’s name.
Yet their results also show that the data sources marketers
resort to in order to customize channels include ordinary categories like
“search” or “on-site activity” habits, followed by “social,” “communication
activity” and “transactions.” Know what’s missing? The customer’s actual voice.
Though you think you may be personalizing communications for
your customers, chances are you’re missing out on an even more crucial
one-to-one conversation. Preference management, the active collection,
maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as
product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of
communication allow consumers to guide you in having the most successful and engaging
conversation possible. Get to them on their terms instead of assigning some
generic persona based on surface-level “research” that presupposes a customer
Personalization can happen on every channel and at every
step of the customer’s journey, but by empowering consumers to share their own
preferences, you’re guaranteed better intel than measuring their on-site clicks
and social media behavior. Today we have the capacity to reach consumers in
more ways than we ever imagined. So why settle for simple and vague data
sources when you can go straight to the source? Even if you’re taking baby
steps down that path, realize that personalization isn’t a quick pit-stop, it’s
a grander destination.
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.
Labels: click-throughs, conversions, customer behavior, customer outreach, eric holtzclaw, open rates, personalization, preference management, source data, VentureBeat