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Implementing Cross-Channel Personalization

How to implement cross channel personalization

Personalization is the name of the game.

Whether it’s for your email campaigns or your website, personalization is an essential ingredient. Now that cross-channel campaigns are gaining popularity, it’s logical that one applies personalization across channels.

Revisiting cross-channel marketing

Cross-channel marketing refers to the practice of integrating marketing campaigns that are being run across different channels. This means making sure your website, email and social campaigns are talking to the same person in the same way.

Getting down to business…

The Need for Personalization in Cross-channel Marketing

As you would have noticed in our blog posts, we’ve been talking about how consumer attention today is getting divided between multiple media. This is necessitating marketing communication to be sent through different platforms. Every channel has unique characteristics and lends itself to a specific style of messaging. This often leads to inconsistent messaging in terms of tone and manner and occasionally messaging that seems irrelevant.

It is not easy to tailor your messages to suit each platform’s conditions and still capture audience attention. This is where personalization can come to your rescue. By personalizing cross-channel marketing, you tend to catch your prospects attention because the message is developed keeping in mind his interests, habits and other data you have picked up about him. It’s more relevant and therefore, more likely to strike home. Also, when you personalize your marketing, you stay with the prospect all through the communication cycle, otherwise the same brand may sound inconsistent or disconnected while talking to the same person at different stages of communication.

Important Factors for Implementation of Cross-channel Personalization

Identify available data

Personalization is dependent on data. Brands have different types of data about customers stored in different sections of the company. Create a culture of company-wide appreciation of the importance of data. Collate all data into a single database, which can help build an integrated view of the customer and enable creation of personalization strategies. You will be well prepared for more possible scenarios and can build a robust analytics strategy for your cross-channel personalization efforts.

Unify data sets

Brands typically have different data sets about the same customer. There is often disconnect between offline and online data sets. Consolidating all the data against one customer ID helps get an integrated image of the customer. As the database gets richer in terms of data, different user personalities emerge, each with a set of homogenous customers. This enables segregation of customers into different segments from your core audience to less prominent yet important segments.

Develop a connected profile across the customer journey

Customer touch points are many: onsite behavior, email campaign offers & responses, display ads, search terms used, customer support conversations and social media interactions. You will also have data from on-site customer behavior, the transactions they conduct and data from references:

  • Device related factors – IP address, device type, browser details etc.
  • Onsite behavioral factors – Time spent on site, site paths followed, product interests etc.
  • Offline factors – CRM system used, brand loyalty, data from third parties etc.
  • Time related factors – Time of day during site visit/engagement, day of the week, frequency of visits etc.
  • Reference related factors – PPC ads, natural search, referring domain etc.

All the above touch points are a part of the customer’s journey. Joining these dots will give you the big picture about the customer segment and specific cues about individuals’ profile.

Stay consistent across channels

Share the available profile data across all the channels that are a part of your cross channel personalization strategy. All your channels should carry the same message since they would be talking to the same customer depending on the channel the customer has chosen. If customers approach you through two different channels and see different offers, it will lead to confusion and indecision.

Build engagement rules

Establish rules that define engagement. Decide how you are going to engage customer profiles on different platforms. Have a plan in place that outlines your strategy after each customer engagement action on every platform. Base these campaign tactics on unique customer profiles.

Implement personalization across touch points

Provide personalized experiences for customers across various touch points. Coordinate these experiences by leveraging customer profiles and recommendations.

Reporting and Analysis

Generating reports and analyzing data will enable you to meet customer requirements better by optimizing your cross channel experiences. However, reporting and analysis can get complex due to the involvement of multiple channels. Knowing the end requirement from every channel can help you channelize the sub-points under every channel to drive towards that end need.

Do you run cross-channel campaigns? What have you learned?

Team Position2

June 25, 2014

By Team Position2