Customer expectations are higher than ever as consumers are empowered to choose where and when they interact with a brand. As a result, marketers are faced with the seemingly impossible task of delivering a contextual experience at every customer touch point. Add in the requirement to deliver these experiences on a global scale across languages, brands and products and the challenge of marketing personalization becomes even more complex.
When considering the number of engagements that happen every second across various channels, it is no surprise that marketers struggle to manage the vast amounts of data. To make matters worse, the same marketers are also under pressure to prove the value of their efforts to the rest of the organization. Metrics around engagement, conversions, and bottom-line are all frequent requests.
The Rise of Personalization
In the early 2000s, marketers launched “personalized” email campaigns to engage their customers. Simply incorporating a customer’s name into the text of an email would surely create that intimate, long-lasting relationship marketers desired with their customers - right? All that while simultaneously collecting customer data in the company’s CRM was a fool proof plan. Until it wasn’t.
Options are limitless for today’s buyers as they have access to more information on brands than ever before. With vast amounts of online content, including product reviews and customer testimonials, consumers are able to research every detail of a brand’s offering (as well as that of their competition) before making a purchase decision. No product review page on a website? No problem for the customer. They can move their research over to one of the many social channels that have become a staple in their everyday life, or simply ask a peer’s opinion based on what they find.
This concept of user-generated content (UGC) changed the world of marketing forever as it officially marked the end of an era. No longer could an organization completely control how its audiences interacted with its brand. With this loss of control came the challenge of trying to understand their online customers’ needs and desires. Where and when a customer prefers to engage and what content that they want to consume are all key components of an impactful interaction.
Without the right customer data, the marketer is left guessing. Unfortunately, with the emergence of technology and content at the buyer’s finger tips, there is no room for error. One misguided interaction and audiences can shift their attention toward the competition who are after the same goal–the execution of an impactful, personalized experience that will convert prospects into loyal customers.