Customer data holds the key to successful personalised marketing, says Optimove CEO Pini Yakuel.
The era of personalisation has begun
More and more marketers are beginning to use the goldmine that is hiding in their customer data. On a strategic level, effective analysis of rich customer data allows the marketer to better understand the various personas represented by their customers, their behavior, their preferences and their tendencies.
On a tactical level, the successful analysis of customer data allows the marketer to personalise offers and incentives to maximise their relevance to each individual customer. Not only does this help maximise customer engagement and spend (and reduce churn), it generates goodwill, enhanced brand perception and word-of-mouth promotion.
The evolving customer
Most consumers have become intolerant to the bombardment of mass marketing coming from every website, store or app with which they have interacted. Instead of encouraging engagement and improving brand perception, generic marketing to large swatches of one’s customer base leads to brand fatigue at best, and outright negativity at worst.
On the other hand, there are two encouraging differences between today’s average consumer and that of ten years ago: 1. Modern consumers expect that the brands with which they have interacted will try engage them via follow-up marketing communications, and 2. personalised, relevant promotions are no longer considered creepy. This means that savvy marketers, namely those who discover how to send highly-relevant offers to the right customer at the right time, will enjoy all the revenue and brand perception benefits mentioned above, as well as a hefty advantage against competitors.
The technology enabler
Parallel to the evolution of consumer attitudes is the evolution of marketers seeking technologies that can deliver effective one-to-one marketing. In turn, more and more technology vendors and service providers are developing solutions which attempt to deliver successful personalised interactions with customers. Due to the huge market waiting for the winning solutions in this space, both large technology corporations and entrepreneurial start-ups are focusing steadily-increasing resources on creating the ideal solutions.
The complexity of the technologies used is likewise evolving. Some of the more promising science-driven marketing algorithms include dynamic micro-segmentation, predictive analytics and automated campaign scheduling/testing/optimisation engines.
The future: personalize or vaporize
The primary implication of all this is clear: only the marketer who is able to interact with their customers in the context of their affinities and preferences will succeed. Consumers expect their favorite brands to understand what they want and need, and it is the marketer’s job to proactively provide those offers to the right consumers at the right time in the right way.
When done correctly, brand-customer interactions will become more frequent, the brand-consumer relationship will deepen and brand loyalty will increase. Those marketers who fail will foster negative brand equity, lose customers to the competition and will over-pay for customer acquisition with a negative ROI, because they will not benefit from return purchases.
In the near future, every brand will have to effectively personalize… or vaporize.
About the author
Pini Yakuel is CEO of marketing firm Optimove.