A Personalized Customer Experience Requires Relevance

Feb 19, 2015


Part 2 of 4-Part Series on “Steps to a Personalized Customer Experience”

Providing customers with a personalized experience is a “holy grail” for marketers., and relevance is one of the essential elements of personalization.

In the first post in this series, we described the path toward relevance in the following way:

“Identify your users and provide them with content suited to their needs. This includes personalization based on business intelligence solutions and digital behavioral data.”

“Great,” you might be tempted to say, while your eyes glaze over. Since that statement is somewhat theoretical, let’s look at two key elements of that statement:

1. Understand your users by grouping them into personas

Personas are a familiar concept in marketing and essential for crafting personalized experiences. For many marketing groups, defining personas is an essential first step to making content relevant. There’s a wealth of information on that topic already, such as the following:

2. Use marketing techniques to identify user needs and target them with relevant content

Here are a few ideas, based on tools many marketers already have at their disposal:

Data services – group your anonymous website visitors by segment

SEO tools – identify the top sites that refer traffic to yours. This shows you what prospects and customers are doing before they interact with you.

Marketing automation & CRM – supports relevance in several ways. Consider:

1) A 360-degree view of your customer. Consolidate your records of users’ digital behavior (such as email open rates) with their demographic behavior (such as industry or company size). Then use that data to create profiles (personas).

2) Targeted content. Deliver information to contacts based on their specific needs.

3) Dynamic content. Offer emails and landing pages with content targeted not just to a segment, but to an individual’s specific profile.

3. How to make “relevance” a practical concept

Give yourself (or your staff) a quick test:

1) List your company’s top 3 types of prospects, and for each type, note the 5 pieces of information they need the most. How long did it take you?

2) Now repeat that exercise for your top 3 types of customers. Again, how long did it take you?

3) How much consensus was there in your answers?

Here’s the bottom line: Do you know enough about your customers to be relevant to them?

As you build your personas and user technology to learn about your customers and speak directly to their interests, you gain relevance. You are well on your way to a personalized experience.

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