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Martech experts reveal the “buzz” on personalisation

By Contributor
Thu 30 Jun 2022

Article by Cheetah Digital EMEA and APAC client success senior vice president Jerome Tillotson.

In the digital age, innovative technology must be leveraged to power an efficient and effective relationship marketing strategy. Cheetah Digital content and data vice president Tim Glomb and PepsiCo MarTech head Chris Muscutt recently discussed the ins and outs of relationship marketing. They shared their take on the use of zero- and first-party data and technology to power effective strategies.

Leveraging intelligence in a cookie-less world

For years, brands have been perfecting personalisation strategies that resonate with consumers and make them feel like individuals. For many B2C brands like PepsiCo, classic personalisation has meant plugging simple forms of data like email, names, addresses or recent purchases into outbound channel communications to ensure touchpoints are viewed as timely, relevant and contextual.

Personalisation marketing tools rushed onto the scene more than 15 years ago to help marketers more effectively engage with consumers in digital channels like web, social and mobile. These tools help marketers test out different colours, icons, images, and offers on websites to optimise the consumer journey.

However, rarely did they offer any meaningful psychographic intelligence about visitors, like their interests, hopes or needs. The cookie apocalypse and browser-based targeting solutions further contribute to the challenge of getting to know the customer, with Google announcing its plans to phase out third-party cookies altogether.

“Marketers have to look at all the different signals they’re receiving from consumers, even the more subtle ones, as the third-party cookie crumbles,” Chris says. “They have to prioritise the data that is useful in their marketing strategies and then focus on developing those data-collection opportunities. With that, marketers can start to build impactful strategies, which can improve the customer journey.”

Game-changing technologies

For maximum impact, brands need to invest in and bring together three game-changing marketing technologies, including:

1. Real-time personalisation: This allows brands to learn more about consumers to deliver a better experience every time. It’s about understanding what the consumer intends to do in that specific moment and includes monitoring web interactions as well as mobile SMS, web, app, social, point of sale, etc. This personalisation strategy ensures real-time data is captured from these touchpoints and brought back to the platform to be appended to the consumer’s profile.

2. Journey orchestration: Journeys should be simple in nature; think triggered events or a multi-pronged approach that unfolds over time based on consumer behaviours and preferences. Personalised customer journeys lead to growth in interactions, increasing the likelihood of purchases and conversions.

3. Intelligent offers: Offer management is being redefined by modern marketers. Leveraging the power of machine learning and analytics to score content and determine not only the right offer but the best sequence of offers, time and optimal context and channel is something that can be greatly automated at scale. This can drive efficiency and efficacy.

The “buzz” on personalisation

To remain competitive in today’s signal-saturated world, marketers need to deliver relevant, personalised content throughout the customer journey. According to a new eConsultancy report, in partnership with Cheetah Digital, entitled ‘2022 Digital Consumer Trends Index: Consumer Attitudes and Trends in Personalisation, Privacy, Messaging, Advertising and Brand Loyalty’, Australian consumers are rewarding brands that make personalisation a priority. In fact, more than half of the respondents shared that they would trade personal and preference data to feel part of a brand’s community.

At the same time, there’s been a near 50% increase in Australian consumers who feel frustrated with a brand that does not recognise their unique desires and needs in its personalisation strategies. Furthermore, real-time offers and content can be 10 times more effective than traditional outbound marketing campaigns.

With all the “buzz”, Tim says the term personalisation is getting thrown around a lot these days, especially with consumers being more aware of privacy than ever before. However, he isn’t convinced that marketers are truly grasping the meaning of personalisation. And Chris agrees.

“There’s definitely room for marketers to improve their efforts,” Chris says. “Making things relevant is one thing, but true personalisation is another journey altogether. There can be pockets of both, but they’re not the same thing. That’s where the gaps come — is it personalisation, contextualised marketing or journey planning? Many brands still have a long road ahead before they achieve true personalisation.”

Solving data dilemmas

Big organisations like PepsiCo have mountains of data, and it can be hard to find and make sense of it all. While the process improves as technology advances, Chris says, it’s still a struggle to secure insights.

And he’s not alone. According to a CDP Institute member survey, 63% of marketers can’t assemble unified customer data. Even more, Gartner research reveals that 58% of marketers say integrating customer data is a major obstacle in their multi-channel strategy.

And that’s a problem. With consumers empowered to engage with a brand whenever and however they want – and oftentimes, unpredictably – it’s critical for marketers to understand them to build a personalised connection. Why? Because personalised connections lead to better outcomes like increased engagement, customer loyalty and brand advocacy.

The solution, however, is actually quite simple. Brands need to have a single, accessible view of the consumer. Customer data resides in systems like analytics, email, mobile, campaign management, point-of-sale, and social – areas that weren’t designed to be integrated.

And while there’s certainly a lot of buzz around relationship marketing and personalisation, it’s important for marketers to cut through the noise, leverage technology and get to the heart of what truly matters – connecting with and delighting consumers.

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