Every client I work with ultimately wants to deliver more personalized content to customers. They all understand that different demographics will react differently to different messaging and content. They also understand that sending nothing but generic content to a wide audience drives mediocre results. Why, then, isn’t everyone already sending the right message to the right person at the right moment in time?
The reason I commonly see is that marketers don’t know where to start. There’s a saying that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Today I’m going to give you five steps to help you get started on this journey. These five steps will put you on the path to delivering more personalized, relevant content that provides a better customer experience:
1) Digitize Interactions
The more you can log and track your customer’s interactions, the more data you’ll have to take advantage of. Do you have tools in place to track email, Web and mobile app interactions? What about other systems, such as POS, ERP, customer support and social media? If you’re not capturing these key behaviors, it will be tough to deliver the personalized content that will more strongly engage your customers and prospects.
2) Centralize Access
If you’re unable to access the data easily and in a usable way, it won’t provide much value. Having a centralized database with behavioral information you can act on is critical, since it enables you to set up business rules that trigger automated communications based on the cross-channel interactions you’ve captured.
3) Deliver the Right Content Across the Customer Journey
Sending the right message at the right time is the ultimate goal and crucial to overall success. For example, many B2C businesses are already implementing abandoned cart programs and seeing terrific results. However, in the C2B (Consumer-to-Business) world, waiting for the “add to cart” event may be too late. If you can determine your customers’ interests earlier, perhaps while they are doing their initial research into your product or service, you may be able to convert the sale sooner and circumvent abandoned carts altogether.
4) Test, Test, Test
Once you have your new programs in place, you should be monitoring and measuring your successes as well as your less-than-successful efforts so you can continuously improve. A/B testing is critical to this effort and should include subject lines, pre-headers, layouts and content.
5) Design a Better Customer Journey
Once data is flowing in, you can get a better feel for your customers’ decision processes and paths to purchase. Tapping digital marketing analytics tools, such as IBM Journey Analytics, will provide valuable insight into these processes. These insights can help you focus on key outcomes that create a more customer-centric experience and shorten the buying cycle, increase loyalty and retention, and boost customer lifetime value.
1) White Paper: “Customer Journey Maps and Buyer Personas: The Modern Tool Kit for Marketing”
2) Blog: “3 Tips for Building Your Behavioral Marketing Stack”
3) Marketing Automation Ebook: “Best Practices for Marketing Excellence and Organizational Efficiency”