Is Hyper-personalization the future of Digital Customer Experience?

hyper-personalization

Exciting promise of hyper-personalization

Hyper-Personalization has improved customer experience in B2B and B2C businesses.The demand for personalization is so high that it is predicted that Personalization will be the key driver of marketing success in future.
Though the potential for creating personalized customer experiences are very high and rewarding, enterprises are unable to drive personalization at scale.Advances in technology, data and analytics will help marketers in future to achieve personalization at scale by creating more personal and human experiences across moments, channels and buying stages.This will reimagine the physical spaces and will support customer journeys far beyond the brand’s initial connect.
Personalization have helped enterprises drive 10-15% increase in revenues and 25-30% improvement in marketing spend efficiency by deploying product recommendations and triggering communications across multiple channels.

Future of Hyper-Personalization

The future of personalization will be aligned to three major shifts. Successful businesses have built capabilities in order to respond to these major shifts.

Hyper-personalization shift 1 – Digitization of Physical spaces

  • Currently most of the personalization is happening in the digital medium, but enterprises need to deploy personalization beyond digital channels to improve customer experience.
  • At present, offline person to person experiences in the store visits are not personalized.This can represent a significant opportunity for enterprises to drive personalization. Companies can achieve this by leveraging advanced analytics to provide insights to their front line employee on each customer in order to deliver a personalized experience.The personal shoppers can use AI enabled tools like facial recognition, location recognition and biometric sensors to improve service.
  • As AI evolves, systems can generate recommendations based on analyzing customer behavior and emotions in real time to tailor what to recommend.At the same time, using digital tools and technologies to drive personalization will still need the human touch.
  • The next level of personalization will incorporate adding Virtual reality and Augmented reality to help customer experience products and services in different environments.

Hyper-personalization shift 2 – Empathy

  • Empathy is very critical to drive personalized relationships because it helps understand other people emotions.High empathy forms the basis of strong relationships. Trust is formed when people understand and adapt themselves to social cues.
  • Machine learning has been building better algorithms to get better at reading and reacting to emotional cues.These algorithms are allowing programs to interpret new kinds of data – auditory and visual to extrapolate emotions much more effectively than in the past.For instance, Amazon has built-in new algorithms in Echo which will basically analyze changes in nasal voice to detect cold, cough and viral infections.Based on this, it will recommend medications like cough syrup which can be purchased through the device online and can be delivered at home.
  • These latest algorithms and models would help marketers interact with customers in a way that is tied to the specific mood, offering relevant recommendations that matches the mood.

Hyper-personalization shift 3 – Ecosystems

  • The world is moving towards the ecosystems where different providers join hands to own the customer experience.Each player in a ecosystem contributes to the customer experience. For instance a shopper’s buying experience is driven not only by the product he buys but also by mall operator and retail store.Establishing connections between the different players in the ecosystem represents a big opportunity in driving the next level of personalization.This is because each partner in the ecosystem helps to create a seamless and consistent customer experience across all stages of their decision journey.As AI systems get better at personalization and in predicting customer journey, personalization programs can navigate from one system to another.
  • Delivering customer experiences through ecosystems is only going to grow.At present, the global sales through ecosystems is expected to increase from 10% to 25% in next 5 years.Due to the increase in the number of devices, it is important that these digitized devices are able to work with each other in a common platform to be a part of a seamless customer experience.This will drive majority of the companies to move towards Platforms.
  • Industries like banking, healthcare and other sectors are forging ecosystems comprising businesses from different sectors to expand the array of solutions offered to improve customer experience.

Achieve Hyper-Personalization at Scale

Personalization would become a core driver of how companies would do marketing.In order to achieve Personalization at scale, companies can do the following.

Hyper-personalization at scale step 1 -Investments in Customer Data Platforms and in Analytics

  • Companies need to focus on their high value customers in order to achieve their personalization objectives.Marketers are developing systems that can integrate and analyze structured and unstructured data, algorithms that can identify behavioral patterns and customer propensity, then analyze and feed that information into dashboards.
  • Customer Data Platforms is needed to unify paid and owned data across channels to achieve the above objectives.Customer Data Platforms provide built in machine learning automation that can cleanse internal and external data, connect a single customer across devices, cookies and networks to enable real time campaign execution across multiple channels and touchpoints.The data collected varies from voice to visual, hence companies need to experiment with multiple technologies in order to use these data in a better manner.
  • In order to take this technology leap forward, it is critical that IT and marketing functions join forces.A cross functional product management team involving IT and Marketing folks should be established to build an organization’s Martech roadmap, build use cases, track pilot performance and then compile a list of best practices to share learnings.

Hyper-personalization at scale step 2 -Identifying and Training Talent

  • The talent required for personalization, moments and ecosystems is different when compared to Traditional marketing operations.The modern marketing requires Data scientists and analytics translators who can communicate business goals to tech stakeholders and data driven outcomes to the business.
  • The analytics translators are required because the data has become more complex and personalization use cases have become more advanced. Hence the ability to hire and develop translator talent will provide a significant competitive advantage in building advanced personalization capabilities.

Hyper-personalization at scale step 3 – Developing Agile Capabilities

  • Personalization requires iterative efforts, deploying cross functional teams and a commitment to Agile management.The cross functional teams are dedicated to specific customer segments or journey with the ability to execute rapidly.The performance criteria should be focused on success rates of these initiatives.
  • Agile development requires collaboration with multiple teams – IT, Analytics, Product development and Legal in order to resolve problems.The annual budgeting and strategy process should be flexible and happen frequently in order to reallocate funding, track initiatives and add additional funding or resources in support of key priorities.

Hyper-personalization at scale step 4 -Protecting Customer Privacy

  • The increasing usage of customer data to improve customer experience has also led to issues in data privacy.Customers are concerned that their personal data can be misused.There has already been a spate of data privacy scandals.This has led to introduction of GDPR and other regulatory standards to protect customer’s data privacy.Companies at the cutting edge of personalization are more prone to violate data privacy.
  • To address customer concerns regarding Data privacy, companies need to proactively be transparent to customers on how their data is used, limiting processing of personal data, and protecting their data against theft.Data governance and data privacy must be essential to marketing organization’s standard operating model.Privacy issues can break the trust between customer and business.Companies should safeguard themselves against this issue.

Conclusion

  • The first step towards hyper-personalization is to determine which use cases – (New customer acquisition or increasing spend of loyal customers) to focus on and then putting an agile team on each of these use cases to rapidly iterate to identify which offers delivers the best value.
  • As personalization is becoming pervasive, successful companies act quickly so that they can deliver value to both customers and their brands.


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