How to Create an Effective Personalized Marketing Strategy
If you’re a retailer reading this article, there’s a 50 percent chance that within the next 24 months you expect to gain the ability to send precise messages to customers at exactly the right time based on their channel preferences. And for good reason. A Deloitte Digital survey found that nearly half of shoppers spend more when receiving a personalized coupon, promotion or recommendation.
However, in a recent U.S. retailer survey from Symphony RetailAI, Marketing 360: Personalizing the Path to Purchase, we found that while half of U.S. retailers have or will soon make efforts to develop personalized marketing capabilities, there are still some notable gaps that will limit their ability to connect and engage with shoppers in an increasingly unified retail landscape. For example, while 74 percent of retailers have become broadly adept at personalized digital marketing strategies such as social media or retargeting, only 18 percent claim an advanced ability to personalize mobile content. Meanwhile, less than half expect real-time targeting to be part of their arsenal even two years from now. If those aren’t among your primary marketing goals, you may want to re-evaluate your approach.
Establish a 360-Degree Customer View
Fortunately, more than one-third of retailers are working to remedy their deficiencies in these areas by working towards a single, comprehensive view of each customer’s behavior in order to cater to them with unique offers and promotions. However, with the explosion of available omnichannel data, retailers struggle to collect the most valuable data from disparate business systems in a central repository. In addition, actionable analysis often requires extensive resources.
Make Customer Data More Powerful With Artificial Intelligence
In response to these pressures, we see that marketers are increasingly evaluating benefits of artificial intelligence-enabled personalized marketing solutions. These systems bring together every relevant data point — omnichannel customer behavior, product and category trends, supply chain and demographic data — and create predictive behavior models that are invaluable for effective campaign execution. When fast, affordable and effective is what you want — and why wouldn’t it be — these systems hold unrivaled potential.
Their machine learning foundations allow retailers to continually optimize campaigns in real time to address evolving competitive pressures, customer expectations and unpredictable supplier relationships. Personalized marketing helps investments you make across the business become more valuable, as conversions increase and insight into what works and what doesn’t becomes more clear.
In order to make personalized marketing a reality, approach it in three distinct phases:
- Establish business goals. Analyze how your future customer segmentation supports corporate objectives and use the insights to establish a clear purpose for all marketing initiatives. Are they intended to drive brand awareness, appeal to a new customer group or introduce a new product?
- Take advantage of your customer data. Use your point-of-sale system to track sales behavior and a CRM platform to create 360-degree customer profiles based on complete shopping behavior. Then, employ AI-enabled solutions to identify patterns and trends that help you create, target and trigger personalized marketing messages and campaigns.
- Use triggered delivery. Instead of requiring customers to trigger offers by presenting a loyalty card or clipping a coupon, use machine learning and solutions to significantly improve the effectiveness of intelligent and compelling offer optimization, beacons to trigger relevant in-store offers, and schedule emails based on behavioral triggers and audience segmentation.
Today, shoppers just expect better. So be better. Be better about personalizing their experience. Be better about using data to predict their needs and expectations. Be better about improving your return on investment across the enterprise by using AI to find optimal approaches and outcomes. And be better about pushing the envelope of what’s possible, because the future is already here.
Mike Bristol is vice president of personalized marketing at Symphony RetailAI, a provider of artificial intelligence-enabled solutions for FMCG retailers and CPG manufacturers.