The key to marketing personalisation that captures the attention is well, you know… being personal. Not so personal you’re creepy but personal enough that you create an authentic connection.
To pull off marketing personalisation that actually hits the mark, you need the right combination of accurate data and powerful technology. It’s the harmonious relationship between these things that can make or break the practical delivery of your personalisation strategy.
But before we get into it – why bother with personalising your marketing? Well, it’s simple. Imagine walking into a party, you recognise a face on the other side of the room. Instead of bumbling through a half-baked introduction to someone you know you should remember, you know their name, their kids names and that they like hiking and recently adopted a puppy. By crafting a conversation around the other person’s own situation and characteristics, you’re making a far greater connection than if you can barely remember their face let alone their name, or worse yet – you get their name wrong!
So, let’s explore why we humans crave that personal connection and how you can take practical steps to create a lasting impact using personalisation in your marketing.
Oi… your name here!
Personalised communications can be so powerful. After all, whenever anyone calls your name across the street, you turn to look even if you don’t recognise their voice at first.
As humans, we’re hardwired to connect with each other, to build relationships. It’s part of our Stone Age survival manual – but in this (more) modern era, the power to be personal is wielded by every business collecting customer data in the world. But with great power comes great responsibility…
First-party data – the life blood of personalisation
You can barely exist in the digital marketing or ecommerce space without having heard the phrase ‘first-party data’. But that doesn’t mean the topic is any clearer than a muddy puddle on a soggy walk to work.
So, for the sake of clarity, let’s start with a good definition – first party data is data that an individual consents to share with a business about themselves. It typically includes personally identifiable information (in GDPR-speak) such as name, email address, physical address and phone number. But it can also include website activity, survey data, online chat transcripts and any other data collected via a channel that the individual has given an explicit opt-in for their information to be collected by the business.
It’s in contrast with data that’s collected, usually via third-party cookies, that the user typically hasn’t given explicit consent to share. Sure, they’ve clicked to accept cookies, but they aren’t consciously sharing their personal data in the same way as when they opt-in to share their first-party data.
Needless to say, personalisation is dead in the water without first-party data. It’s impossible to build a picture of the individual you want to market to without it. You can’t even address them by name without it, let alone get into recommending products or discounts that might appeal to them.
So how do you get accurate, up-to-date first party data to do effective marketing personalisation?
Active vs static data sets – the heart of personalisation
Gone are the days when it was ok to keep customer data in a spreadsheet on a laptop, and we couldn’t be happier for so.many.reasons.
Not only is this practice unlikely to be compliant with GDPR, CCPA and other data legislation, it’s also creating a manual workload of shepherding data around your various business systems in order to use the data.
Keeping customer records in this way is also a static data set. That means it’s disconnected from live updates and therefore is out of data from the moment it was created. Customer data is changing every second of every minute of every day. With every website visit, email interaction, customer service message and order placed – your customers are changing and so too should the data you have about them.
But how do you stay up to date with customer data through the many, many channels and platforms you use? That’s where the Single Customer View comes in.
Single Customer View – the Distil way
Imagine a single place you could go to find every detail about an individual customer’s relationship with your business? Their purchase history, website browsing activity, customer service interactions, loyalty status… everything. That would be pretty useful, right?
Well, that’s exactly what the Distil Single Customer View provides. It’s an active, unified collection of all the customer data in your business. Every platform, every database, every system where customer data exists in your business, connected. All those data sets come together to create a single record of every customer’s interaction with your business.
The single customer view is the undisputed foundation behind effective marketing personalisation. You need reliable, up to date data to do effective marketing personalisation – and this is how you do it. And just as your relationships with your friends change with every interaction, so too does your brand’s with your customers.
Turning customer data into personalised customer experiences
So, you’ve consolidated your data into a single source of truth, what now? How do you turn data into the personalised experiences that deliver conversions and generate revenue?
The answer is simpler than you think. You can create highly targeted cross-channel marketing campaigns by integrating your customer data platform or CDP for short with a customer experience and data platform (CXDP) like Dotdigital. The seamless sync of data allows you to easily personalise your marketing channels, from your website to your email and SMS marketing.
Capture customer attention at every touchpoint
A Single Customer View can reveal insights you never expected. You may discover that a persona segment are big fans of a specific product category. Or maybe they’re more engaged with SMS than email. With your CDP surfacing these insights, all that hard data crunching is done. Now it’s up to you to create experiences that make customers return time and again to your brand.
The goal of personalised marketing experiences is to make customers feel seen. For too long, brands have under-utilised their customer data, sending generic messages that make customers feel like a faceless name on a marketing list.
But times have changed. Distil and Dotdigital have the tools you need to inspire brand loyalty at every touchpoint. Let’s look at how you can surprise and delight customers with personalised moments-based marketing.
1. A personalised welcome
What better way to engage returning customers than with a warm welcome. A personalised popover when they return can utilise more data than just a first name.
Pulling in information such as past purchases or browsing history, you can direct visitors to pages that are more likely to deliver a conversion. Considering it takes a minimum of three website visits to convert a customer, messages like ‘pick up where you left off’ make for a seamless experience.
2. Geo-location personalisation
It’s often the more subtle personalised experiences that make the biggest impression. Dynamic content on your website or in your emails can pull in real-time data such as current location. Images, banners, and content can change according to where they are, or even the weather in the area at the time.
3. Behavioural targeting
As we’ve already mentioned, just as relationships with friends change, so does your relationship with customers. Make sure you’re delivering the right message at the right moment with experiences based on real-time behaviour.
This can come in many forms. For example, adding an exit intent popover with ‘you might also like’ product recommendations will capture customers thinking about leaving your site. When building customer experiences, think about which behaviours you want to address – cart abandoners, short-term visitors, frequent non-converting visitors – and create unique experiences based on them.
4. AI-powered product recommendations
Using data such as preferences, browsing habits, and purchase history, you can add AI-powered product recommendations to key customer touchpoints. Whether it’s displaying similar items on a product page, items within the same price range in an abandoned cart email, or cross-selling complementary products on an order confirmation page, personalised product recommendations are a guaranteed conversion driver.
5. Cross-channel optimization
If Single Customer View reveals anything about your customers, it’s that their journey is anything but linear. You need to be thinking about how you can continue these onsite personalised experiences across your marketing channels.
Testing is essential for success. You can quickly identify what tactics work on which channels and when best to implement them throughout the customer journey. This allows you to create more tailored marketing campaigns that resonate deeply with your target audience.
The bottom line
By combining Dotdigital’s personalisation capabilities with Distil’s data unification and single customer view insights, you can create unforgettable customer experiences that not only stand out from your competition but also drive tangible results. This powerful duo ensures that your content is always aligned with the customer’s needs and interests, resulting in higher customer engagement, greater conversion rates, and increased brand loyalty.