Consumers Confirm Personalization is Critical

A recent consumer study entitled Consumers to Brands: The Louder You Scream, the Less We Care by Marketo confirmed what many businesses are starting to understand, that consumers increasingly want more personalized, relevant messaging from brands with a more managed frequency. According to the survey, nearly two thirds (63 percent) of consumer respondents say they are annoyed with repeated generic messaging from brands.

Aside from this, over three quarters (78.6 percent) of those surveyed said they would only engage with a brand’s offer if it was related to how they previously interacted with the brand.

We sat down with Joe Pino, Director of Client Success for Clutch, who is on the frontline of  customer personalization with an array of leading brands, helping to design their experience strategy and execution tactics.

Q: What do the findings of this survey tell you?

JP: It really confirms what has been increasingly understood; that the days where marketing can rely on “one size fits all” engagements with an “all day everyday” frequency are gone. I think most brands wholeheartedly understand this, but have felt confined in adapting to it. The challenge that has held back many Marketing organizations is how to deliver personalization on a mass scale with millions of customers. With the onslaught of customer data from a spectrum of digital systems across their in-store POS system, ecommerce platform, mobile applications and social accounts, too many brands believe that it’s impossible to keep up with the data, let alone analyze it on an ongoing basis to tailor customer communications.

The good news is consumer management technology advancements in data integration and intelligent engagement, Marketers can now easily identify their best customers across different dimensions, getting a genuine 360-degree view of them based on their behaviors and preferences to deliver personalized experiences. There’s no longer an excuse for brands to continue the “one size fits” all marketing approach.

Q: What’s the primary driver of brands embracing customer personalization?

JP: Consumers largely want enhanced engagements and experiences that drive relevancy, convenience, quality and value, and they increasingly expect brands to responsibly use the data they expressly and inadvertently provide.

These individuals are largely savvy and realize they are leaving behind “digital footprints” with their interactions with a brand. Using that intelligence on their shopping tendencies or product preferences to deliver them an enhanced relevant experience is giving them the tailored experiences that they now expect. Those brands that are listening and reacting with smart intelligent personalization are gaining tremendous competitive advantages in their respective markets, so it’s a victory for company and customer.

Q: When you initially discuss engagement strategy with a brand, what are the primary elements you review?

JP: We conduct a comprehensive audit of their current marketing engagement approach and review a spectrum of dimensions, including:

Audience: Discussing the ideal customer the brand looks to attract aligned with a review of the current customer base. Aside from this we identify the brand’s best customers across varying dimensions to understand their behaviors, tendencies and preferences.

Enrollment: Understanding how the brand communicates and motivates customers to request engagements no matter the channel, whether through an app download, rewards program, email subscription, direct mailing list or social network like.

Channels: Reviewing the channels the brand uses to confirm they are appropriate and ideal for the target audience. Many brands brands believe if a channel exists they should engage it, but often many channels don’t support a brand’s strategy and end up consuming precious resources.

Design: Looking at the layout, promotions, offers, products, events, content and specials the brand incorporates into their engagements as well as the supporting strategy behind the usage of each element.

Triggers: Analyzing the actions, milestones and events that are used to deploy engagements to customers across their path-to-purchase and overall experience with the brand.

Frequency: Examining the current rate and timing of customer engagements with an eye towards identifying the right cadence and deployment timing for customers to maximize response and interaction.

With each of these dimensions we analyze the customer response to the approach and identify the points of strength and weakness across the strategy. We then adjust each element based on the data and best practices and analyze the results, all with an eye on identifying the ideal approach to maximize personalization in order deliver relevancy and motivate the customer in order to increase trust with eye towards earning loyalty and even evangelism.

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