For a while, personalization was THE digital marketing buzzword. While it remains a top priority for our team at Blue Moon Digital and something we still champion, it appears to have lost its’ luster. We’re here to bring it back.
Perhaps personalization has fallen off our collective marketing radar because we’re bored of all the talk with not a lot of action, except for a few big brands doing it so well we barely notice. Maybe it’s because we’ve grown so accustomed to experiencing good personalization that we forget we’re being marketed to. If you’ve interacted with anything Amazon lately – whether making an app purchase or streaming a new Prime season – you may not have noticed just how custom that experience is to your Amazon purchasing behavior. Amazon algorithms are tracking your video viewing habits, online shopping behaviors, and now your grocery preferences.
I compared my logged in Amazon Prime app homepage to that of a few colleagues and the personalization was clear. Where my scroll prominently featured home décor categories and an array of chocolate items, theirs showcased trending movies and ads for Amazon Fresh (unlike me they’re not customers of Fresh… let alone using it for last minute chocolate orders).
Here’s the thing, not all brands will be able to achieve personalization at the Amazon scale. But, that shouldn’t deter brands from implementing a personalization strategy and tactics.
Use these three must-haves to achieve quick wins in personalization.
- Customer Level Data
With any luck, you’ve invested in a customer data platform (CDP) or better yet a complete data management platform (DMP) tech stack as well. Amongst many capabilities, these tools provide a record of the user’s past purchase history, onsite behaviors, and other key attributes at the audience level that can be hashed into a non-identifiable format and passed to your personalization location of choice. That means brands can serve up the most compelling content on a one-to-one user level in email campaigns, paid ads, and onsite.
- Customized content
Personalization demands customized content. Many brands fall short when that content is limited to basic customizations, such as product recommendations based on past user engagement or a standard offer for customers who appear to be new-to-file. When using customer level data, the opportunities to provide more compelling content are endless. If the user is a customer who has shopped before, you’ll know just what product they’ve recently engaged with, what they’re likely to purchase, whether they’ve been shopping at your stores or other banner brands, and much more. Should the user not match any customer records but rather to a third-party dataset of competitive shoppers, you’re now able to message compelling brand differentiators or a conquesting offer. These content strategies should be outlined in advance and continually tested to provide a more effective personalized experience.
- Tools and automation
We know it sounds daunting to say the opportunities to personalize are endless. No brand has the time to manually manage and test new content experiences at the user level. Luckily, there’s technology to do all that. Tools to centralize your data, such as CDPs and DMPs, are a great place to start. In addition to user level information needed to customize, they help group data into usable segments and audiences to make customized content more scalable in applications such as paid media audience creation. Other tools as A/B Testing, Onsite Personalization, and Dynamic Creative Optimization (CDO) providers automate these experiences elsewhere for benefit of the larger marketing mix.
I know, I just threw a lot out there and I hope that some of it stuck. But, if you have questions, feel free to drop us a line to discuss the next steps to your personalization strategy. Until then, keep testing and segmenting.