Way back in 2010, one of the conclusions of the IBM ‘Global CEO Study’ was the acknowledgement by 88% of CEOs that their priority was to get their businesses closer to customers in the next five years. Yet here we are, at the start of 2016, and it would not be an exaggeration to state that many global businesses are still far from achieving this target.
Many companies still find themselves stuck in pursuing the traditional methods of customer personalization. Even if they have embraced digital marketing, what they are doing perhaps is the bare minimum. If your company’s idea of adding a potential client’s first name in your mass email campaigns is “personalization”, you are one of those corporations.
Customer personalization is like the practice followed by brick and mortar, neighborhood stores where the shopkeepers knew almost every customer, and his/her shopping habits. Today, this one-on-one exchange has taken on a digital form called Adaptive Personalization, where data is used, preferably in real time, to build a foundation on which will rest an even more relevant customer relationship.
As one analyst said, “Adaptive personalization is all about using algorithms in a smarter way.”
Increasingly, today’s marketer, under tremendous pressure to transform marketing practices and processes, is turning to this kind of personalization to power a relatively new edition of direct marketing – Adaptive Marketing. At its core, Adaptive Marketing is devoted to re-align products and marketing tactics to match each individual customer’s needs. Product and experience personalization are the methods that increase customer satisfaction and the desire to come back again for more. Thus, analytics and marketing management tools can provide real time responses to customer needs. For B2C companies, Adaptive Marketing can turn out to be a great asset, but B2B firms, too, can benefit from it.
The technique of Adaptive Personalization uses the combination of machine learning and Predictive Analytics to not only tell your organization which of the products or services was a hit with clients but to also try and figure out the best-suited product for each customer.
Here are a few examples:
A customer recently bought a soccer ball, which means he would also need soccer shoes.
You liked action-packed X film which means your video library proposes you rent Y film, which is also action-oriented.
Where is Adaptive Personalization being used?
Two major areas where AP is being implemented are Content and Customer Service.
- Content: If your website has realized that its traffic is dropping, it could be because it is not delivering the right type of content. A content strategy revolving around Adaptive Personalization will help. Delivering personalized, omni-channel content to strike meaningful interactions with the readers is what it must aim for. For that, website content providers must gather a profound understanding of every reader’s requirements and need, in addition of course to his/her location and device, and accordingly tailor-make and deliver content.
- Interactive Voice Response: As customers we have often found that most of the IVR at call centers are impersonal, automated and have a standard approach to a problem. That is now considered passe since customer relations is a crucial component in an Enterprise’ operations to get personal with its customers. It is often the face of a brand.
But with Adaptive Personalization, organizations now have the opportunity to respond to individual callers, know their behaviors and preferences, and adapt calls at the IVR interaction point.
The time for Adaptive Personalization in today’s digital age has arrived. Companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Pandora have already taken recourse to it, but it’s no longer the sole purview of the big corporations.
When implemented, you will be able to see the tremendous benefits of personalization – improved customer service, increased sales and customer loyalty. Vendors such as Express Analytics do offer such technologies that allow even smaller outfits to be able to personalize every buyer’s experience. After all, the collection and use of customer data allows companies to deliver the best possible experience based on their aspirations and needs.