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How Much Personalization Is Too Much?

How Much Personalization Is Too Much?

Personalization is indispensable for effective mobile marketing. But is there such a thing as too much personalization? That’s one of several key topics from our recent three-part virtual roundtable series on building a seamless multi-channel customer experience. In part two of the series, five of today’s most influential marketing leaders shared insights and strategies on using personalization in omnichannel settings.

 

Table of Content

 

Read on for insights and ideas from that conversation, and be sure to watch the video below for more!

 

First-Party Data Drives More Relevant Experiences

Third-party data is valuable, but it can only go so far. According to Steve Tan, VP & general manager, EMEA/APAC for Airship, the most meaningful personalizations are driven by the data customers give you, rather than assumptions based on third-party information: “First-party data is so much more critical to delivering a better experience.”

Panelists also highlighted the importance of leveraging behavioral data from all of your customer touchpoints, asking customers for preferences and other feedback throughout the customer lifecycle, experimenting and testing, and using that ongoing feedback loop to design better experiences and products.

 

Digital Disrupters Set the Bar for Personalization

The panelists agreed that organizations like Amazon and Netflix set the bar for personalization. As a result, brands must reckon with rising consumer expectations as they work to design great customer experiences.

Angela Byrne, director of digital banking & transformation at NatWest explains how they’ve responded to those expectations in the banking and financial services space, “because actually being just ‘good enough’ is no longer enough… We have to be design-led from a consumer perspective.”

Steve Tan reflected on how basic personalizations like back-in-stock notifications or abandoned cart reminders have become must-haves for eCommerce organizations, which means they need to go even further to stand out from the crowd. Brands should strive to take their personalization to the next level by consistently experimenting and fine-tuning messaging and experiences using customer data in order to optimize results.

 

A Persona-Led Approach Helps Brands Focus Resources

Panelists emphasized that even with today’s advanced marketing technology, it’s rarely practical or advantageous to tailor experiences and products for every possible use case.

It’s a balancing act, explained Neil Kirby, marketing & consumer director of Bupa Global. If you go too deep, you risk getting something wrong and turning the customer off. The key is to be persona-led and use segmentation, so you can focus on creating relevant personalizations for your most valuable customers.

Mantas Ratomskis, head of CRM & retention at Kilo Health explains “you always have to keep in mind that 20% of your customers will create 80% of the value of the revenue, so you have to divide your resources to serve that 20% first.”

He also described how at Kilo Health, despite offering more than 30 products and serving more than a million customers across the globe, “from a marketing perspective, we are technically dealing with just three micro-segments and our entire product development is all about those three segments.”

 

Brands Must Find & Manage Friction

Participants also discussed the importance of identifying and minimizing friction wherever possible, as well as managing customer expectations when factors like regulation impact the customer experience.

Angela Byrne described how as a financial services brand, NatWest must balance the imperatives of delivering a seamless experience and providing a highly secure and compliant experience. For example, confirming a customer’s identity may create friction. However, “it’s a worthwhile disruption,” not only because of regulations but because her customers truly value security.

Holly Ainger, CMO at Nuffield Health, added that brands should address those experiences head-on by “being honest with the customer about that situation and explaining what we’re doing.”

 

Conclusion

The good news, according to our panelists, is that advances in connectivity can help marketers overcome some of those challenges. Steve Tan pointed to opportunities to use mobile apps as controllers for other engagement channels and how that can reduce friction. Angela Byrne from NatWest emphasized the importance of investing in connectivity and APIs to drive those more connected experiences. Holly Ainger noted that while these investments can take some time, the COVID-19 pandemic has actually accelerated developments around APIs and connectivity.

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