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Friday 4 January 2019

5 steps to personalising your customer experience

Two years ago, personalisation looked a lot different. Two years ago, “Amanda” might have been presented with an ad that said, “Welcome back, Amanda.”

Cool. But that’s not enough.

Today, advertisers know Amanda has a young daughter, that the family lives in California, and that she’s considering purchasing a new stroller. The content from those advertisers, then, starts to look more familiar — the next ad is a toddler riding in the stroller Amanda has been considering. Interest piqued, she clicks to learn more.

It’s a major evolution in how brands engage customers with advertising. And it’s driven by the notion that we live in a “time economy,” says Haresh Kumar, head of strategy and product marketing at Adobe Experience Manager. “As a marketer,” he says, “you have seven seconds at your disposal before a customer’s attention span wanes. If your experience isn’t relevant, timely, or consistent, the consumer will be ready to jump ship.”

The power of delivering personalised experiences

With that seven-second timer constantly ticking away, it’s clear a one-ad-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Now, more than ever, brands must deliver content and experiences that are hyper-personalised, relevant, and timely — and always presented in the right context and format.

This can only happen, Haresh explains, if these experiences are driven by data. “We need data, we need content, and we need content velocity since we’re dealing with multiple channels, multiple screens, multiple persona segments, multiple everything,” he says. “But the data is often spread across first-, second-, and third-party sources, which can make it tough to integrate, align, and act on holistically.”

When this disparate data, then, lands with creatives and marketers, they’re left comparing apples and oranges. There might even be different semantics in the data language — one source may call a customer a “shopper,” while another may use “cookie,” and a third may consider them “members.” To make effective use of the data, marketers first need to consolidate every data point with some level of uniformity.

When brands can connect their content to their data they can deliver stellar customer experiences — and, from there, the possibilities and ROI potential are endless.

A recent Adobe-commissioned Forrester study found businesses that invest in technology tools to deliver exceptional customer experiences register 1.4 times more revenue growth than their peers, and 1.7 times higher customer retention rates.

How to connect content and data, starting now

To connect content to data, your brand should focus on these key steps:

Step 1: Consolidate data

Since the data that will be used to inform content is fed through a variety of sources in a variety of formats, it needs to first be consolidated into one format. Marketers also need a way to ensure data is integrated effectively and with respect to privacy regulations, such as GDPR.

Step 2: Improve content velocity

Consumers expect brands to deliver relevant, high-quality, and rapid-fire content, and that’s adding to marketers’ stress — 85 percent say they’re under pressure to create assets and deliver campaigns faster than ever.

Step 3: Unify the marketing ecosystem

“Brands today have so many different third-party technologies deployed to their website, and being used inside their mobile applications,” says Jon Viray, product manager for Launch by Adobe, an open-source platform to integrate and deploy native or web applications. “Wrangling those technologies can be difficult.”

In these scenarios, marketers need consolidated data so they can understand their customers. “They also want to integrate the functionality of the tools that deliver that data,” Jon says. “But when those tools are built on a foundation that is not standardised, it gets difficult to integrate things.” Creating a central platform on which all content and data-related apps are developed is key.

Step 4: Figure out what to measure

Just because the data is out there doesn’t mean it’s always relevant to your analysis or your goals. Email, display, social media, and campaign marketers “should come together and boil down what should be measured to the lowest common denominator,” Jon says. “They need to figure out what information should be captured for the different types of content they’re generating.”

Step 5: Combine data and creativity effectively

Understanding the effectiveness of your ad campaigns is essential so you can easily assess which content hits the mark and which falls short.

“Get your measurement framework in place,” says Justin Merickel, vice president of Adobe Advertising Cloud Creative. “Once marketers have the content, understand what metrics they want to measure, and the analytics to process the data they are receiving, they can work on a feedback loop to deliver experiences that really resonate with the customer.”

By following these steps, ad creatives and marketers can marry data and content to deliver stellar hyper-personalised experiences for customers.

“It’s extremely important for brands to do this consistently, in a connected way, and in context of the channel and customer journey,” Haresh says. “If you’re just focused on the data and not the content, you won’t impact experience. If you’re just focused on the content and not the data, there’s no context. Right now customer expectations are very, very high.”

Deliver on those expectations by connecting your content to data and you’ll be able to satisfy the customer — and you’ll be able to do it within that all-important seven-second window.

Full story can be found on Adobe

Marketing  ●   Tuesday 19 February 2019

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