Driving personalization at scale through omnichannel journeys
Learn 4 steps any business can take to break silos, enhance CX, and increase conversions.
Customers’ expectations are higher than ever before. No matter how unpredictably they move between physical and digital channels, they want a seamless experience. Customers are taking note of brands that understand exactly what they want at the right time, and they’re responding with their loyalty and hard-earned money.
Unfortunately, many brands aren’t meeting these customer expectations — and they’re unable to anticipate customers’ needs or deliver personalized experiences. This doesn’t just apply to B2C brands either. “Personalization, especially in a B2B environment where a committee is buying, requires focus on the decision-maker and who is influencing the decision-maker,” Bill Kircos, chief marketing officer of Honeywell, said during Adobe Summit 2022. Put simply, all businesses need to know all of their customers. And to know their customers, they need to take actionable data out of silos and into one unified place where everyone involved in the customer journey can use it to build one-to-one engagements.
Personalizing the customer journey takes the right technology and a customer-centric strategy — and all brands have the potential to implement both, no matter where they are today. Based on our experience with all types of businesses, we’ve identified four steps to delivering consistent, relevant experiences on the channels your customers use, when they use them.
Solve for silo-free stacks
Omnichannel journeys are on the rise. In a study by PwC, 41% of respondents reported shopping daily or weekly via smartphone compared with 39% six months ago and just 12% five years ago. Even as customers return to some form of in-person shopping, it’s clear that online shopping is here to stay. Still, customers are surprising brands with their relentless traffic across both physical and digital touchpoints — and brands feel the need to act fast no matter the channel.
But fragmented marketing technology stacks may be hurting brands in their attempt to keep up with the dizzying speed of customer interactions. Solutions implemented by disparate teams prevent a complete, accessible view into customer data, dispersing it across the enterprise and away from experts who rely on it. Often, even solutions themselves are the culprit — many are built to focus on one channel at a time, resulting in a solution-per-channel system full of tools that don’t work together or communicate with one another.
This proliferation of silos makes it tough to ensure a cohesive customer journey and adapt to customer behavior in real time. As a result, customer journeys can feel disjointed and inconsistent. Customers get overwhelmed and frustrated as they attempt to navigate from channel to channel, and companies face obstacles in their attempt to lead customers through their journey.
Dive deep into data
While ineffective experiences hurt conversions and cause customers to look elsewhere, companies that do connect the customer journey reap big rewards. “Personalized experiences simplify long and complex customer journeys,” says Glover. In doing so, customers find just what they need to make a purchase — and companies get the revenue they need as a result.
When organizations have the tools, information, and customer-centric strategy they need to make these experiences a reality, everyone benefits. Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vodafone Business, has prioritized a shift toward making teams more data-centered across the enterprise. “Everyone involved in customer experience should know how to look at data insights and use those insights to optimize the experience of our customers across digital channels,” he says.
Companies like Vodafone Business are finding these efforts effective for their bottom line. “We doubled down on investment during the pandemic across digital, technology, and innovation and saw a number of our customers do the same,” Kumar says. “The benefits are there. We’ve seen customers roll out new applications in six weeks rather than six months.”
Create a clear path for personalization
Teams who break technological and organizational silos gain the capabilities needed to meet customers where they are through content that resonates with them. To help you personalize campaigns across all touchpoints, we’ve outlined four steps for effective omnichannel engagement designed to boost conversions.
Step 1: Know your customer
After chatting with customer care, one project manager using a tech brand’s business platform has given the call a five-star rating. The user was very impressed with how seamless the transition was from virtual assistant to live agent, and how communications around their issue were consistent and catered to on the individual level. This doesn’t have to be complicated — it can be done with profile attributes for audience segmentation and personalization.
When companies go beyond basic segments, they not only use ad spend wisely — they can also use virtually any variable in a customer profile for more accurate targeting, including their interests, demographics, channel preferences, and other granular details. Brands then send the right message to the right customers, that they’re tuned in to their preferences and needs.
Step 2: Orchestrate the customer journey
A national retailer can combine door-buster campaigns with personalized interactions that take customers step-by-step along a path to purchase, encouraging the next best action both in store and online during peak shopping events. By identifying all channels and touchpoints where customers engage, brands orchestrate the customer journey from end to end.
Creating a cohesive customer journey requires knowing which channels your customer is using, as they’re using them — then sending personalized messages that are in sync with their behavior. For example, a mobile ad featuring trending footwear for summer is likely to entice a consumer who has just researched what’s currently in season. Actionable, real-time insights like this are what help companies drive desired behaviors, conversions, and purchases.
Step 3: Personalize messages and offers
Let’s say that shoe enthusiast buys the summer shoe that’s been targeted to them, and then misfortune strikes — inclement weather causes shipment delays of that particular item.
Seeing which customers have not received their shipments, the brand can engage those customers with a personal email apologizing for the delay and offering a discount code with product recommendations based on past browsing.
With the right technology, brands can craft one-to-one messaging for customers when they need it most, as well as tap into a centralized content library to send marketing assets that are relevant throughout the entire customer journey. Through intelligent, automated decisioning, teams can decide how personalized to get — and when.
Step 4: Measure and enhance
For marketing teams launching new products, cross-selling, or upselling existing products, publishing promotional content across channels is a small victory. But how that content performs is what keeps the celebration going. That’s why it’s critical for teams to understand the complete view of performance across inbound and outbound channels every step of the way.
Effective marketing solutions do more than help brands push content live. When they can experiment and test the various aspects of the customer journey to determine optimal content and offers, they personalize it based on learnings and predictive insights.
Personalized experiences everyone can get behind
When you know your customer, the channels they use, and the content they enjoy, your organization will be able to deliver seamless customer journeys and, ultimately, personalization at scale. You won’t just be meeting customer expectations — you’ll go beyond them by delivering content customers want. That, in turn, makes them want to purchase your products again and again.
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