Why Marketers Must Raise the Bar on Personalized Experiences

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Personalization
Marketing
Personalized customer experiences have become table stakes. Consumers increasingly expect companies to remember their preferences and provide them with relevant content or offers.

Personalized customer experiences have become table stakes. Consumers increasingly expect companies to remember their preferences and provide them with relevant content or offers. At the same time, businesses are sitting on a mountain of customer interaction data that continues to grow. As companies strive to provide enhanced customer experiences, the personalized marketing landscape is heating up. A growing number of consumers say it's important that retailers offer personalized promotions, especially if they are available on demand. Forty-eight percent of shoppers value initiating a personalized communication with a retailer when they are online, according to a consumer study that IBM conducted from 2011 to 2014. Forty-one percent of consumers said it's important that store associates offer personalized promotions based on their purchase history or preferences, compared to 36 percent in 2013.

Vendors are racing to help marketers leverage their customer data. Today Salesforce launched its Marketing Cloud Predictive Decisions solution. Predictive Decisions is designed to analyze customer engagement data points and deliver recommended content, products or offers to customers. It uses customer interaction data from various channels like email, mobile, and social media and predicts which type of content--an offer, product, or graphic--would deliver the highest conversion.

Salesforce faces intense competition from Adobe, Oracle, IBM and other players though. Forrester Research and Gartner both recently crowned Adobe as the leading marketing cloud vendor in their respective reports. And Oracle has added BlueKai's cookie data to its tool box, along with DataLogix's extensive loyalty card records, giving it an enviable amount of insight into customer behaviors.

Personalized marketing used to mean inserting customers' names into an otherwise generic email or message. Those days are long gone. To capture the consumer's attention, brands are looking at sophisticated solutions and strategies that connect data across channels and foster customer loyalty. And as the competition grows, the ability to understand customer motivations and creatively engage people at scale will become key differentiators.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION