Personalization is an increasingly important strategy to meet consumers’ growing expectations for a personalized customer experience. Today’s consumers are increasingly aware and want the smoothest possible experience when buying for a brand. According to Epsilon, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when a brand offers a personalized experience.
The growing advancement of technology, data collection and processing, and analytics are three elements that allow marketers to offer an experience that is increasingly relevant, personalized, and adapted to their customers.
However, good one-to-one marketing is not easy to do and its execution can be challenging at all stages of implementation, use, and optimization.
You must therefore be well prepared to face these various obstacles, which we present in this article to be ready for any eventuality and better able to overcome them with simple solutions. After that, nothing will shake you down and you will be ready to become a master of personalization!
Choosing the right technology for your needs will be a large part of the reason for the success or failure of your personalization strategy. This is why it is essential to identify your main decision criteria and to take the time to analyze each solution in order to make the best choice for your company. In fact, our first challenge is the ever-increasing number of new technologies on the market, because having too many choices can often make the process painful.
1. 1 Too many technology choices on the market
The technology you choose to implement your personalized marketing strategy will play an important role in the experience. Just because it’s the most advanced technology on the market doesn’t mean it will suit your needs.
So, how do you ensure that the technology you choose will be the best tool to exploit, track, and collect your data for optimal use in the future? Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all, but there are ways to find the technology or technologies that best meet your needs.
First of all, you must have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Then, you will be able to find the tools that will allow you to execute, analyze, and optimize your marketing actions throughout the entire customer journey. Also, choose a set of technologies that will work together to properly measure each action performed and facilitate collaboration between your internal teams.
Next, make a list of what you need as tools. Here is one that can help you get started, but that you will have to adapt to your business reality, your industry, your available resources, etc. :
- Data management (collection, storage, processing, and use);
- Content management;
- Orchestration of personalized and automated marketing campaigns;
- Data analysis and performance reporting;
- Predictive analysis.
You need to ask yourself what exactly you need for each of these elements. How far you want to go in the future and choose the tools that best match your ambitions. Because having the most tools with the most possibilities isn’t exactly what’s best for you if you don’t use half of the features.
Make a list of your needs and compare the different solutions according to your priorities, your available resources, your data, your desired marketing actions, and your different criteria of use and you should find the shoe that fits! This is the first step, but not the least important, so take the time to do this step in a thoughtful and planned manner.
1.2 System autonomy
This element is closely related to the choice of adapted technology, as it refers to the choice of a technology that allows you to be autonomous in your actions. Not always having to rely on the IT team to implement a customization tactic saves a lot of time by avoiding delays between each action.
Being able to execute your personalization strategies on your own is a great advantage, it gives you more latitude and more possibilities in terms of personalization options, in addition to limiting the loss of time and the risk of errors that can be caused by a misunderstanding between the marketer and the IT team.
Moreover, by knowing all your tools, you will be able to know all the options available to you, to see them evolve, and to make your strategy evolve with them.
Data is the basic element of good personalization. Indeed, without customer data, personalization remains impossible. It can, however, create some challenges, as it is a fairly new subject and often not well enough exploited by companies.
2.1 Integration and sharing of your data
One of the main data challenges when doing customization is integrating data from different touchpoints and getting it into your system that processes it so that you can then use it in your personalization.
Data sharing is also an issue here, as some systems only specialize in data integration and processing, while others specialize in creating and orchestrating marketing campaigns and others have developed expertise in analytics. If this is your case and you deal with different systems for each task, connectivity between systems will be paramount.
The best advice we can give you in relation to this is that when making your choice, you should prioritize a system with flexible connections. As other platforms will emerge over time, more channels will be available and you should be able to add these connections when the time comes, all while maintaining the quality and structure of your data.
If you have a system that directly integrates multiple platforms, it’s a little less complicated for you, but you should still make sure that there are integration options if you want to add a different data source or a new communication channel eventually.
2.2 Data quality
It’s because of the data that marketers are able to work miracles with personalization. That’s why the better the data, the better you can make good decisions, create relevant experiences, and maintain a close relationship with your customers.
Many believe that the more data we have, the better. And I regret to say that this is not true. Your business is going to grow, and the bigger your business grows, the more complex your customer journey will become, and your users will be able to interact with your brand through more and more channels and new platforms. This means that the amount of information you will get about them will be more and more important, but not more relevant. Data collected from all over the place without context or structure and which does not necessarily provide relevant contact information is not an ideal situation.
Data from many different systems and channels are fragmented, so it is essential to have a good data architecture from the outset so that you don’t get buried by a ton of more or less relevant or unusable data. Poor data architecture, lack of standards, and siloed storage will negatively affect each of your future communications, as it limits you in creating the right multi-channel experience for each user.
A good data architecture should eliminate silo storage and be able to create an integrated 360-degree profile for each contact. This profile should aggregate and provide a detailed, comprehensive, and consistent view of each client, their past behaviors, their current situation, and a good forecast of their future interactions. This is called the single customer view.
If you are not sure if you are on the right track, we advise you to do an audit of your database so that you can get an overview of the data you are currently accumulating, what is relevant to you versus what is not, and suggestions for improvement. Dialog Insight can help you with that if you want, you just have to contact us and we can certainly do something for you and your data.
2.3 User identification capability
Most of your users, visitors, or prospects will be anonymous and this limits the possibilities when it comes to personalizing their experience. Known users give you more information on which to base your customization and make your job as a marketer much easier.
By properly identifying your users, you can more easily make offers to them based on their customer profile and provide an appropriate experience for each of them.
To remedy this, you can simply ask them to identify themselves in order to receive the best possible experience. You can also request the creation of an account on your website and put forward that they need to log in so that you can base your offers on their past behavior, for example.
An organizational structure in silos is a great hindrance to frictionless customization. Consumers are increasingly expecting more and more from the experience they receive, and for them, your internal structure is of little, if any, importance to them. All they ask is to live an experience personalized to their profile when they are in your journey. It doesn’t matter if different teams handle the customer experience independently of each other.
This is why, if you are in this situation and your different customer experience teams are not working together, you should put some effort into restructuring your organization and work methods: your teams should be interdisciplinary and work in collaboration with each other for the success of one and the same goal, namely customer satisfaction through a personalized experience.
This, of course, includes the consistency of your message across the different marketing channels, the alignment of the different marketing tactics, and the personalization strategy within your company.
4.1 Content management
Your marketing strategy will become more and more sophisticated over time, and so will your customer database. With segments multiplying, interests, behaviors, and profiles diversifying over the years, and the different ways of interacting with them increasing enormously, the amount of content needed to reach all these people will quickly become huge. So not every company has the time, resources, and effort to create and assemble so much content for each customer segment. So you need a system and structure that can handle this astronomical amount of different content.
Lack of structure is one of the reasons why so few companies do customization properly and that’s what you need to think about from the start. Investing in tools to support the creation of content that encourages collaboration between teams and can deliver the right messages at the right time to the right people is paramount.
As your business evolves and grows, you should also be able to validate the performance of all your marketing efforts: content, use of each channel, offers, visuals, calls to action, overall campaigns, in short, everything.
Since you will (hopefully) increase the number of marketing offensives carried out, you need to be able to track your performance to evaluate all your efforts and keep an eye on it over time, even if your customer journey becomes considerably more complex.
This will allow you to always make better strategic decisions and use concrete results to achieve them.
5. Privacy and consent
Transparency about how you will use your contact data is key. People are becoming more and more comfortable with sharing their personal data with companies, but you still need to reassure them and tell them what you will do with their data and how they will benefit from it. Especially since recent data losses have been noted in various companies with a serious status, this may be of concern to many. It is therefore your responsibility to take the necessary steps to keep your contacts’ data secure and to inform them of the actions you are taking to ensure this.
In addition, some places are regulated with respect to the consent of people who give you the right to contact them under certain restrictions. You are required to comply with the law in force in the territory served. Make sure you comply with these laws when doing business in a region, as it can be very disadvantageous for you in terms of reputation, but also in terms of the fines given for non-compliance with the Laws.
These are the 5 most common challenges that companies may encounter during their journey to become a master of personalization. Several elements are absolutely necessary if you want to be successful, including a good data structure, quality data, and technology adapted to your needs. Other challenges are very important, although not essential for personalization, such as the autonomy of your system, respect for privacy, and an adapted organizational structure.
Of course, this list can become much longer if you think on a smaller scale, but these are the most important ones, and if you have overcome these 5 challenges, you are definitely ready to overcome the smaller challenges that customization will bring you on a daily basis.
In the end, what’s important is that all these efforts are worth it and that’s guaranteed!