True personalization makes brands competitive, but what does true personalization mean?

True personalization gives brands the opportunity to be wholly customer-centric at every point of engagement. Rather than just increasing conversion rates, personalization involves a continuous effort to improve your customer experience so that visitors will return, purchase and become loyal.

It's not about collecting mountains of data or testing based on legacy assumptions about visitors, but the actionable insights which improve customer experience and drive revenue. These insights don't come from a single A/B or multivariate test, but rather the evolution of how you understand your customer micro-segments. It’s a chance to develop a dynamic understanding of how visitors mature, and not just who they were during their last click.

It's About First impressions (and Second, and Third, and ...)

Take a moment to imagine a customer the first time they walk into your store …

They’re unsure if you have what they’re looking for or how they will be treated. These are human interactions, the kind that build relationships. Face-to-face, a good salesman knows if he is looking at a married man, approximately age 40. A good listener can learn even more.

If you’re not thinking about personalization as the same kind of opportunity, you’re doing it wrong.

Strategic personalization can have a massive impact on three major organizational goals:

  1. Building Brand Loyalty
  2. Driving Revenue
  3. Increasing Omnichannel Engagement

So how can marketers overcome the data disconnect and improve customer experience to meet evolving expectations?

By both understanding and optimizing on a foundation of unwavering customer centricity. Clicks and conversions aren’t enough. Optimization is not just listening to your customers, it’s having a conversation with them.

Raising the Customer Experience Bar

In the digital space, conversations don’t function the same way. Being a pioneer in customer experience optimization means taking CRM, historical, real time and behavioral data and turning it into journeys that wow your customers.

Use your optimization solution to turn each visit (regardless of the channel) into an opportunity to identify customer attributes that are predictive of visitor preferences and leverage them to assemble a working model of a real personality. Present each visitor with an experience that is optimal for them based on their preferences.

For example, when a customer comes looking for maternity clothes, about three months later you can offer a great experience by presenting her with the infant clothes she wants and needs. A year later, show her clothes for a growing one year old -- and so on. By setting that experience to expire after an allotted time period, you’re taking into consideration the fact that she may again become pregnant and will expect to be served an experience which reflects that reality.

Understanding customers and what they want is the framework on which any successful business interaction is built. The long-term success of your brand relies on customer loyalty. Make your brand’s digital transformation is one that continuously improves customer experience -- inspiring loyalty and return business for the long haul.

The customer experience bar gets higher every day, are you doing everything you can to catch up, or better yet, exceed it?