by Mike Edmonds, contributor to ClickZ
A pandemic that’s sent everyone online, a new breed of savvy online shoppers, and the ability to perform predictive analysis with vast swaths of customer data, suggest 2021 is the year brands need to embrace hyper-personalization.
- Hyper-personalization is the key to providing frictionless experience online customers have now come to expect.
- AI has made hyper-personalization a reality and Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are ways to implement this technology without having to overhaul your existing data infrastructure
- Algorithms are getting more precise, fast, and are providing surprisingly accurate customers portraits that marketers can leverage.
- It’s a balancing act. Customers are embracing personalized experiences, but still remain wary of keeping personal information private online
Hyper-personalization is an affordable and practical way to leverage AI
While many companies are still struggling to understand how artificial intelligence (AI) will ultimately enhance their menu of consumer products and services, one area where AI is already having a demonstrable impact is in the area of hyper-personalization.
The timing for this couldn’t be better. The pandemic has sent more consumers online to accomplish more tasks than ever before. What these consumers are looking for is the same quality of service they are used to receiving from traditional retail environments, typically from sales associates, in store promotions, loyalty programs, etc.
Add to this the fact that consumers have also been spoiled by apps that serve their every whim no matter how niche, ecommerce tools like “customers also liked” pop-up suggestions, virtual dressing rooms, and responsive chat bots.
The upshot? Today’s consumer expects more from their internet experience. They want brands to provide them with what they want, when they want, no matter where they are. They want sites to anticipate and readily fulfill their needs.
Hyper-personalization is making this type of customer interaction not only possible, but also immersive, appropriate, enjoyable, and customer-specific. Thank artificial intelligence for that.
AI is making it possible for businesses to finally leverage the myriad customer data they’ve gathered in the past and translate that data into personalized experiences their customers are looking for.
Capitalize customer data you already have
Using troves of new and collected customer data, emerging AI-powered platforms are able to determine the right products, services, or content to put in front of the consumer at the appropriate moment during their customer journey with the brand.
This is powerful because it gives AI-powered customer data platforms a full picture of the customer and drive personalized offerings accordingly.
The process benefits from being timely. In real time, hyper-personalization is helping brands capitalize on their omnichannel data to drive personalized customer experiences that result in increased loyalty and its accompanying sales.
Where does the data come from? The data comes from a treasure chest of information the brand has collected about online behavior, customer demographics, and previous buying history. It’s all information they’ve compiled from the various customer touch points from across their business.
CDPs make fast and accurate use of data
This information is analyzed by customer data platforms (CDPs) to paint a thorough and accurate portrait of each individual customer. Using a combination of AI, machine learning, and data analytics, the programs are able to suggest what personal experiences will appeal to that customer the next time they have an interaction with the brand.
The good news is, this isn’t pie-in-the-sky marketing. CDPs are available now and are redefining the landscape for brand marketers. Valuable information, once squirreled away in some other business department’s silo, now sees the light of day and is compared with other data nuggets to spot patterns and reveal consumer insights.
What use to take weeks or months to ascertain is now culled, analyzed, and interpreted in real time, giving brand marketers a powerful opportunity to react to changing data intelligence, like shifting consumer sentiments, quickly and proactively.
It also allows those marketers to produce highly personalized user experiences that will grab the attention of their customer and keep them glued to the sales funnel.
Best of all, these insights can be applied to augment the efficacy of other business tools such as email marketing initiatives, social media campaigns, advertising buys, and push notifications. This way, the brand is supporting its own efforts, across each of the customer channels, with consistent messaging and offers that the consumer is most likely to respond to.
Hyper-personalization offers a frictionless customer experience
What are the practical applications of a personalized experience? The list is growing every day. But say for instance you need more information about a specific product.
Rather than having to fill out a form with standard personal information, what if the form dropped down, pre-populated with all your information filled in, just asking you to confirm it? What if site already knew your clothing measurements, or your favorite colors, or what style you lean towards?
In the end, such a website saves you time and a degree of frustration, providing you with a much more frictionless experience.
The balancing act
The challenge moving forward into 2021 will be the continued delivery of personalized experiences while maintaining compliance with existing privacy laws and those regulations appearing on the horizon.
It’s a delicate balancing act marketers will have to pull off as consumer increasingly embrace the hyper-personalization experience, but also demand transparency when it comes to how their information is being used.
Article originally appeared on ClickZ.
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