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Personalization News & Analysis

1.75B Reasons You Should Redesign Your Website

2015-24-February-mobile.jpgThere are a lot of good reasons to redesign your website. It's dated. It's slow. It's hard to navigate. 

But there are 1.75 billion more.

That's the number of people who use smartphones or tablets, according to HP. And if your site isn't winning over customers on small screens, well, let's just say those people have a lot of choices.

How to Get Customers to Not Hate Self-Service

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Self-service portals are springing up everywhere.

Some customers love them, while others shudder at the thought of involving a database in their problems. At the same time many companies are doing a poor job of implementing self-service or avoiding it altogether for fear of driving customers away.

It doesn’t have to be this way. By understanding the potential benefits of a well-integrated self-service portal, you’ll be able to make sure yours doesn’t suck (and even pick up some new customers in the process).

So why consider a self-service portal?

Is Your Business Capitalizing On This $1T E-Commerce Market?

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With a population of about 1.3 billion and an emerging middle class, China is the largest market in the world.

In the past few decades, it has emerged as a global economic powerhouse. In fact, its population may be the very reason why China alone will exceed $1 trillion in retail e-commerce sales in 2018. By comparison, global e-commerce sales in 2014 totaled about $1.3 trillion — and by 2018, United States retail e-commerce sales will only be around $500 billion.

Although Internet access in China is reported as widely censored and monitored by the state, 645 million people in China regularly access the Internet. The US has approximately 253 million users, India has 215.6 million and Brazil has 107.7 million, making China far and away also the largest e-commerce market in the world.

So what is your business doing about it?

The Value Exchange Equation is Shifting

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Marketers are hungry for customer data. Every piece of information about a customer and their interactions with a brand helps marketers create complete customer profiles and guide the ultimate strategy behind the sell. From methodically timing each touchpoint with a potential lead, to personalizing digital content on a website to show each unique visitor what they’d most like to see, the link between data and marketing decisions is undeniable.

But this data isn't always readily available, and customers are hesitant to provide brands with the personal information needed to create this free exchange of profiling and personalizing. The reason is simple -- customers don’t see the value in sharing data.

The 3 C's of Personalized Customer Service

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Customer service is a key differentiator for many companies. But as the number of communication channels and devices increases, so do the challenges of delivering personalized service across those channels.

A unified view of the customer is needed for omnichannel customer service -- something that can't be achieved with siloed systems and disconnected information. Channels can't merely coexist, but must inform one another to provide the needed context that makes each customer experience better and more personal. To succeed at customer engagement you must meet three fundamental requirements: being consistent, complete and contextual.

Omnichannel Retail Gains Momentum at #nrf15

For the first time ever, the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show kicked off on a Sunday. The idea being that an extra day would give the estimated 35,000 plus attendees more time to walk the EXPO Hall floor and engage with the wide variety of vendors in attendance at the Javits Center in New York. Sunday’s keynote, Game Changer: Loyalty and Performance Lessons from Passionate Sports Fandom, was clearly designed to get people out as representatives of three of four of the major professional sports leagues (NBA, NFL and NHL) were speaking, but the major keynote was held for Monday after NRF CEO and president Matthew Shay’s opening remarks. Keynote speaker Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 2006 - 2014, focused his comments on “macro-economic trends for US, global and emerging economies as well as retail’s impact on the US GDP.”

The Problem with Personalization and Customer Experience

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“I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” -- Hal, 2001: A Space Odyssey

At the recent Henry Stewart DAM Conference in Los Angeles, the best and the brightest in Digital Asset Management shared their stories and showed their wares to an eager audience. The subject that recurred in presentations and many conversations was that of "personalization" and customer service in technology.

Consumers want more than just an experience -- we want a personal connection that identifies with who we are, our interests, expectations and abilities. Personalization of experience, technology and delivered results depends on accessible, comprehensive data feeding the website. Getting the right data at the right time requires understanding and effort from people, process and technology. The difficulty of providing personalization lies in leveraging the data to provide stellar customer service, inspire trust, gain efficiencies and meet expectations.

Want to Retain Your Customers? Get Personal

Many marketers are stuck in the personalization slow lane. Personalization is no longer a luxury reserved for big players like Amazon but is an expectation. So marketers who want to keep up with the competition must employ a personalization strategy. The good part? It's easier than ever to get on board with personalization. A number of tools exist that will amass customer data for you and provide you with opportunities to tailor your customers' online experience.

But there's one area where personalization can have impressive effects -- customer retention.

The Psychology of Personalization

2014-26-November-Personality.jpgLet's get right to the punchline, and then back it up with some facts. Automated personalization and the human touch are complementary, but systems will improve and automated personalization will handle more and more of the personalized interactions with customers. It’s not only because automated personalization is more efficient. Sometimes the results are better when human-to-human psychological baggage is subtracted from the equation.

Customer Service Isn't Personal if it Isn't Based on Trust

2014-21-November-Trust.jpgOnline business is fast paced and at times chaotic. Before making purchasing decisions, consumers draw from extensive touch points, such as previous experiences, recommendations from peers, personal research and brand marketing. While brands work hard to win customers over with complex marketing strategies and last-minute deals, the customer experience itself can often fade into the background. But businesses that take the time to personalize customer engagement and respond individually to support inquiries can encourage a customer’s trust throughout his or her relationship with the company, which establishes an invaluable connection between brand and consumer.

Optimizing the Customer Journey for the Game of Life

2014-20-November-Game-of-Life.jpgFor many marketers, current personalization efforts are like spinning the wheel in the Game of Life: you never know what you’re going to get. Today’s customers are willing to provide us with detailed information beyond the color of their car or how many pegs are in the back seat, and it’s up to marketers to use this data to craft the right message. Improving personalization to deliver useful, relevant content is the best way for both the marketer and customer to feel like they’ve landed on a pay day.

CMSWire Tweet Jam: Putting the Person in Personalization #CXMChat

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Automation -- marketers love it, customers hate it.

While automation may provide a seamless experience some of the time, a lot is to be said about personal attention.

So, how can companies put the person back in personalization while also using the automation techniques marketers have come to adore? Find out at our November Tweet Jam!

Personalized Marketing Can Help Build Lifetime Customers

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Whether they're buying car insurance or professional-grade skis, customers go through cycles of exploring, researching and purchasing. The most successful companies plot the purchasing cycle for every individual customer and tailor their messaging accordingly.

This degree of customized marketing requires effort, notably talking with customers to understand their wants, needs and preferences.

But in an increasingly digital world, brands rarely, if ever, interact with their customers face-to-face. Instead, companies must collect, connect and action the information they can gather about consumers from their online brand interactions to make the experience more personal and, ultimately, more profitable.

Are You Offering a Personalized Journey or a Guided Path?

2014-18-November-Disconnected.jpgHave you tried to get a real, live person on the other end of the phone lately? After pressing 20 buttons on the phone’s keypad to navigate through a labyrinth of menu options, you will likely find yourself still on hold. This familiar scenario illustrates how companies are struggling to find the balance between data-driven efficiencies --automated, generalized responses -- and customer expectations for a personalized experience --the actual answer they are looking for from a living, breathing human on the other end of the phone or chat session.

What's Trending in Digital Analytics

2014-17-November-Blackboard-Analysis.jpgDuring a walk up Camelback Mountain in Phoenix one recent morning with my colleague Joe Kamenar, Steve Harris, senior director web analytics, web digital group at Capital One and David Millrod, founder of visualization platform Insight Rocket, we talked about data integration. We talked about analytics staffing. We talked about multichannel attribution models. We talked about “huddles.” Huddles? These practitioner-led discussion groups are the heart of XChange, the digital analytics conference we were attending. Now in its eighth year, XChange huddles reflect what’s on the mind of digital analytics program leaders who work at both global and national brand organizations.

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