Vice President, Digital
Most Effective Ways to Personalize
Seven years ago, the heights of personalization revolved around customizing your company’s homepage banner, but now personalization matured and expanded to a point where companies are finding that it’s easier to get caught up in the minutiae and lose the big picture.
Ways to Personalize
Personalization allows businesses to display targeted and relevant content to their customers based on their individual characteristics. It is where the magic of a convincing up-sell, cross-sell and retargeting occurs. By taking into account customer behavior, location, gender, and previous visits, personalization is used to ensure that the proper content reaches the proper consumers. It shows, hides, or adjusts content to best suit individual interests. It has also been proven to drive marketing KPIs and improve content and personalization ROI.
As such, personalization has become imperative for businesses. It provides increased access to real-time analytics so that you can understand your audience, meet their needs, and drive engagement. Your site will be able to differentiate loyal customers from new visitors and adjust accordingly providing the new customers with a warm welcome and fostering deeper relationships with returning customers.
At XCenitum we believe it’s important to recognize personalization as a customer journey instead of spending too much time hyper fixating on small changes. There is plenty of time to change images and phrases once the strategy for your engagement funnel has been thoroughly shaped to meet your company needs.
The traditional customer funnel begins with an awareness of the brand, which then elicits interest. Once interest is generated it is important for brands to move the consumer into a consideration phase—whether this is achieved with automated emails, promotional sales, case studies, etc. From there customers have an intent to buy, but they continue to evaluate the quality of the product. Once convinced consumers will make their purchase.
At XCentium, we begin with sessions aimed at helping us and our clients assess their customer journeys. We ask first “what does it look like?” and second “where are the pain points?”. After identifying this, we can direct clients to solutions that best move their customers throughout their journey, from point to point. This approach is far easier to both design and implementation since it is primarily based on ROI. It also creates a solution that easily generates a report on the overall effectiveness of strategy.
There is a real value in proving the effectiveness from one stage to another. However, to best maximize ROI via personalization companies must consider both the timeframes of purchase and the types of engagement. In our recent podcast, my colleague Daulton and I talked about using personalization in the cruise industry.
The cruise industry follows the typical customer funnel with many additional steps. They present promotions, retargeted customers, show potential customers their closest port, etc. Then when a consumer buys a ticket, they are offered new packages, must make payments, and upload travel documents—and all before finally checking in!
Typically, within the cruise industry, the timeframe between each point in the customer journey is much longer than the timeframe between stages of consumers buying shoes. Once the customer has purchased tickets there tends to be about a six-month period between the purchase and the delivery.
Considering it’s a large purchase that a customer has thought about for weeks or months and that there are many weeks and months to come before they can enjoy their purchase—it would be unwise to immediately begin to advertise additional packages or demand the customer upload all necessary documentation. This moment is for celebration! To begin upselling or saddling a customer with menial tasks is to downplay the excitement of the process.
To move customers seamlessly through their personalized journey, cruise lines must know exactly what the customer needs to know and when. They must consider the time they have between each point as well as what information will make it easy to move the customer to the next point.
Clients in the cruise industry have maximized efficiency in the middle of their customer journeys by focusing on the larger picture—and that most businesses have a lot of potential to increase their ROI if they took the same steps. To hear more about the most effective ways to personalize, listen to our full conversation in our podcast.