Consumers don’t just want personalized experiences when they engage with a brand; they expect them every time, regardless of the touchpoint or reason. If done well, highly personalized experiences lead to increased engagement and loyalty by delivering content and messages that connect every time. Not only by understanding customer behavior but anticipating what they are likely to do next, which helps grow loyal relationships and brand advocacy.
Current state of personalization
Personalization goes beyond the basics of using $FNAME in a text or email or using customer attributes for basic segmentation. As consumers bounce from one device to the next, accessing different touchpoints in a different context each time, they expect to be known, understood, and appreciated every time.
80% of marketers still struggle in gaining ROI from personalization. Why? Data.
Gartner notes that 27% of marketers believe data is the key obstacle to personalization.
There are challenges, though, with consumer’s high expectations and privacy considerations, scale in terms of volume and number of channels, and not having a single view that drives personalization efforts. Additionally, marketers often rely on too many tools, or data sets, that drive personalization or first-generation tools that don't address today's use cases for engagement.
Generally, first-generation personalization relies heavily on static business rules or pre-defined segments managed manually, where everyone in the segment receives the same offers, message, and creatives, across all channels. What is required to keep up with the personalization use cases for today, is next-generation personalization. Next-generation personalization does away with fixed segments, manual rules, or basic personalization. Instead, it happens in real-time and is rooted in data, technology, and analytics.
The next generation of personalization
Cheetah Digital recently partnered with the CDP Institute on a report covering the Next Generation of Personalization Technology. In this report, you’ll learn what next-generation personalization is defined as, real-life use cases for implementing next-generation personalization, what you’ll need to implement next-generation personalization, and the benefits you’ll see from it.
The report highlights that personalization requires changing the message content, regardless of touchpoint, to match the customers’ needs. In the first generation of personalization systems, the data assigned customers to segments, and everyone within each segment received the same message. While this was more effective than sending the same message to everyone regardless of segments, it was still far from the ideal of crafting a unique message taking into account context and each customer’s situation.
The report also covers next-generation personalization being fundamentally different because it works at the true individual level. This requires many more decisions than traditional manual methods can manage. Executing these decisions depends on automated processes to assemble data, select messages, and optimize decisions over time. It requires new technologies and new skills, which must be managed carefully for success. But it also delivers benefits that first-generation personalization
91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who
recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations
Most marketers do understand the importance of personalization and positive business outcomes if done correctly. It is also essential to understand relevant use cases that drive next-generation personalization, helping determine where to focus and prioritize. The report covers use cases such as:
- Website personalization: providing visitors with personalized, individual, and relevant experiences
- Live agent and in-store engagement: Provide retail sales associates with access to customer history and suggested actions, such as products to recommend based on past purchases and current situation
- Chatbots: provide personalized customer support of equal quality to live agents
- Cross-channel offer recommendations: hyper-personalized offers recommendations, content, and messages, taking into account context, such as date, time, and location of interaction(s)
What to do next
To support advanced marketing use cases, we are delighted to introduce our next-generation personalization solution, Cheetah Personalization, which includes three capabilities: Real-Time Personalization, Journey Designer, and Intelligent Offers. These capabilities allow marketers to deliver personalization at scale with the Next-Best-Experience, the Next-Best-Journey, and incorporate the Next-Best-Content.
While we are excited about Cheetah Personalization driving the next-generation of personalization, we know it is also important to understand additional factors, such as data sources to consider, analytics best practices, and organizational alignment for success covered in the report. Lastly, you'll need a plan and actionable next steps. The report will leave you with inspiration for creating a vision, team, and exploring quick wins that supports your next-generation personalization strategies.
Bruce is Senior Director of Product Marketing at Cheetah Digital. He focuses on the go-to-market strategies for solutions within the Cheetah Digital Customer Engagement Suite, as well as creating and delivering thought leadership at industry events. Before joining Cheetah Digital, Bruce worked at Adobe for over five years as a Group Product Marketing Manager supporting the Adobe Experience Cloud. Bruce lives in Bozeman, MT, with his wife and three children.