Over the last few years, brands across the world have seen massive disruption in their analogue operations and acceleration of all things digital. This has brought many challenges and uncovered exciting opportunities for all businesses. At the root of it all lies an undeniable fact: the digital economy is personal.
According to the McKinsey data, India is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers, with 560 million internet subscribers. With these realities, a holistic response is necessary to invigorate the digital revolution the country wishes to undertake. All stakeholders must be synergised for India’s tremendous digital potential to be realised.
While in-person experiences will always be important in brand-customer relationships, a new study on the state of personalisation in retail confirms that digital experiences are now on-par—and in the case of younger consumers, even more important—than physical experiences in building trust with brands.
While digital experiences may seem less personal, on the surface level, the combination of data and sophisticated analytics has allowed companies to gain a deeper understanding of customers than ever before, and respond with powerful, personalised experiences that deliver new levels of value to both companies and their customers.
More than ever, satisfying, retaining, and acquiring customers requires brands to embark on a complex journey away from the business-driven campaigns that they have traditionally embraced and toward customer-centric, data-driven, highly personalised campaigns that are always on and always evolving.
Personalisation at scale must replace legacy approaches
In the digital environment, customers choose their own journeys. Brands must be prepared to personalise their experiences in real-time at every touchpoint based on both immediate context and previous behaviours—as well as a company’s business objectives.
The old formula of delivering a customised experience to the right customer on the right channel isn’t enough to allow brands to tap into the full potential of the digital economy. To achieve that, brands will need to extend customised experiences to the right customer on the right channel—in real-time. This means executing millions of interactions in milliseconds.
According to McKinsey, personalisation at scale has the potential to create USD 1.7 trillion to USD 3 trillion in a new value. Building and mastering that capability is a transformative endeavour, one that requires not only new technologies but also a new vision of your entire organisation and operations.
Challenges on the way
Most brands are still a long way from being able to engage with customers this way. The massive volume of data and continually evolving regulations make it challenging—and all the more critical—to ensure brands properly manage privacy, security, and preferences.
Producing enough right content in the right format and delivering it at the right time and place is a heroic effort. Coordinating consistent experiences across multiplying channels will continue to get more challenging. And even brands that are personalising experiences have a hard time knowing which systems, technologies and operating models will allow them to effectively scale up.
Getting personalisation at scale right
While achieving personalisation at scale isn’t easy, here are three key elements to master the practice:
Data and insights
The first step is bringing together data from all relevant sources into unified customer profiles that brands can employ to build rich audiences, and then activate those profiles and audiences on all relevant destinations. Proper data governance will ensure compliance with data privacy and security regulations, as well as customer preferences.
Integrated analytics, an enterprise-grade customer data platform (CDP) with the ability to update and refresh profiles in real-time as soon as new data is ingested, along with personalisation systems will reduce latency, and allow brands to offer personalisation on-site or in-app within milliseconds. AI-driven decisioning and orchestration can help deliver seamless digital customer experiences that are connected and shippable.
Content and collaboration
Creative content that’s relevant and delivered at the right time and place is what makes experiences feel personal and build customer trust. To do this at scale, brands need to achieve content velocity by connecting all phases of content production—from creation to delivery to optimisation.
They need an architecture that allows them to quickly create, optimise, and transform assets for delivery across any screen size, device, or channel, and that also supports the reuse of assets across different channels and audiences. Marketing workflow solutions serve as a single source of truth that connects content and facilitate collaboration between creative and marketing teams.
Bringing these elements together to orchestrate and elevate customer journeys creates consistent experiences that increase customer satisfaction, conversion rates, customer retentions, and brand affinity. To achieve this, brands need to leverage real-time customer data to personalise the experience across their web properties, mobile apps, and campaigns to deliver the optimal combination of experience, layout, and offers.
AI-automated decisioning enables brands to respond effectively to real-time insights and engage customers in their timeframe. A brand must also ensure content and offers are consistent across both inbound and outbound channels.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
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