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The Future of Personalisation: Creating Moments of Mutual Value With Data and AI

Marketing is at an inflection point. Advertising costs are increasing and campaign effectiveness is on the decline. A data-driven approach to marketing personalisation is needed to unlock growth.

Customer indifference is at an all time high. Brand loyalty doesn’t exist in the same way it did in the past and customers want more than another email with a 20% offer. To put this in context, email and SMS volume has increased 70% over two years, and in-app messaging has seen a 283.3% increase. Yet, the performance of a typical promotional campaign is down 10-20%.

These trends combined with declining ecommerce and a cookieless future all point to the need for a strategic shift in how marketers engage their customers. 

Our observations and studies of customer engagement data from some of the world’s biggest brands suggest a moment orientated growth strategy is key and the next step in marketing maturity. 

Embracing a moment orientated growth strategy

Marketing has traditionally been channel or journey orientated and success has been measured the same way. However, looking at individual channels and conversion rates is not a customer-centric form of measurement. It’s also not as effective as delving into causality and understanding the cause-and-effect relationships between variables. 

A moment orientated growth strategy is different and focuses on engaging customers in very brief, and yet predictable periods in time. 

To better understand what we mean by moment orientated, it’s helpful to look at how we define personalisation:

What is personalisation?

Personalisation is the creation of individualised moments of mutual value using a process or a set of predictions to enhance the overall experience of the recipient.

So what does this look like in practice? Imagine leaving a concert or sporting event and before you even get to your car or train, you receive an email to thank you for attending and to suggest related events you may want to attend in the future. 

Or imagine ordering a new pair of shoes online and the day they arrive, you receive an email to check if they’re the right fit and, if necessary, guide you through the return process. 

What we see with these use cases is how marketing is shifting from a model based on interruption to a model based on interception. Instead of interrupting the customer experience and degrading channel performance, marketers can intercede with moments of mutual value. These moments strengthen brand preference, loyalty, and advocacy, and can have a causal impact on customers’ future value to the brand. 

Discover the importance of personalisation, and how you can create a strategy of your own.

A new approach to marketing personalisation

Every customer persona or value segment buys and behaves differently, and this is why personalisation is so hard. Personalisation engines—like Marketing Cloud Personalisation—can help but an effective personalisation strategy relies on a solid foundation of data. 

This is where Data Cloud comes in. It connects marketing, commerce, sales, service, revenue, and campaign performance data into unified profiles that marketers can use to quickly create target audience segments and activate them across channels. 

Data Cloud also enables identification of lookalike audiences and dynamic personalisation based on real-time signals and behaviours. 

Combining these capabilities with data science, you can start to predict customer behaviour and deliver those moments of mutual value that propel engagement and spend. 

Of course in doing all of this, it is crucial to strike the right balance between privacy and personalisation by implementing transparent privacy practices, obtaining informed consent, and using data responsibly.

Taking data-driven marketing to new heights

Marketers are already dipping their toes into the water when it comes to personalisation and creating meaningful moments to deepen customer relationships. The challenge is then shifting to a data-driven personalisation strategy that delivers trust, and adaptability at scale.

Organisations also need help prioritising long-term customer equity goals with short-term revenue targets. Until now, efforts to scale personalisation have typically been deprioritised. However, with the emergence of Gen Y consumers and their ever-changing, sometimes erratic, buying behaviour, brands are experiencing a reckoning like never before. 

Slow and steady is no longer cutting it, and brands are being forced into more transformational efforts as they pertain to personalisation. 

In this new era, marketing requires a level of data science and application of machine learning and predictive analytics. So rather than marketing to audiences based solely on personas, you can tailor your strategy based on an understanding of how those personas engage with your brand. 

You can also observe and predict purchasing patterns, and intercede in those moments that most impact customer lifetime value. This includes the post- purchase phase where the experience a customer receives significantly influences their decision to purchase again. 

To do this effectively, marketing teams need data skills and also need to rethink how they measure customer experience and business outcomes. 

Creating a personalisation pod within your business can help. These pods bring together functional experts to focus on specific points in the customer lifecycle and develop use cases that can be applied to different products or divisions. 

In this way, you can start to really scale your personalisation strategy to unlock growth.

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