These days, 63% of consumers expect Personalization from the brands they engage with and believe they are recognized as an individual when sent special offers. With this statistic in mind, it should be clearer than ever to businesses that customer personalization needs to be a top priority. But how can companies accomplish this mass personalization without a huge budget? In this respect, implementing Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to spearhead personalization and ensure the delivery of an effective brand experience.
There’s no denying that in recent years, digital and social media marketing have moved from a mass engagement approach to one that is more personalized in nature. Segmentation isn’t a new phenomenon, and was once a positive option when personal data was lacking. But the reality is that each consumer has their own communication or consumption needs, regardless of what segment they belong to. In short, one size doesn’t fit all. With the advent of Big Data, brands now have significantly more information at their disposal and can engage each lead with relevant and specific messaging or content.
Marketing Personalization Defined
Marketing Personalization is the implementation of a strategy where companies deliver individualized content to recipients through data collection, analysis, and the use of Automation technology. The aim of Personalization is to engage customers more effectively, by treating communication with them as individuals. It’s an area that’s evolved greatly over time, and now brands are adopting AI and Machine Learning to ensure the right content and messaging is delivered to each customer segment/individual.
Personalization Before the Emergence of AI
Traditionally, Personalization was overly focused on a set of rules based on existing data. For example, a customer would receive a subscription email that greeted them by name, rather than ‘Dear Sir/Madam’. But still, this email would show each recipient the exact same content. Obviously, treating all your customers as the same doesn’t allow you to create a truly tailored brand experience.
Brands used to collect data in advance without any real-time personalization. Marketers would analyze a large set of data and make strategic decisions based on it, which was an extremely time-intensive and laborious task. Without the use of AI, customer segmentation capabilities are reduced, making it much more difficult to build a granular strategy.
Companies may adapt their content slightly to target different age groups, but it’s not really possible for them to create endless variations based on demographics, browsing history, and other variables. Likewise, Personalization without AI is pre-programmed, not automatic. This means marketers need to decide what content is shown to each visitor, rather than the computer automatically serving the best version for each user.
Personalization and AI Today
With the introduction of AI, we now have what is called Predictive Personalization. This means profiling tools and data analysis adapt the content in real-time, which helps optimize every single conversion. It allows more detailed and refined personalization, driven by Machine Learning.
For example, a fashion brand may use customer data about previous purchases, browsing history and social media activity to predict the type of clothing that will appeal to each individual customer. This valuable data then enables them to deliver tailored content and messages to the user. It means the brand can deliver a message that is optimized to each potential consumer and give them a brand experience that resonates most with them.
Real-time capabilities also help elevate the accuracy of messages in a way that was never previously possible. With geo-location information, brands now know not just where a customer lives, but also where they are located at any time. This information can be useful when pushing out location and time specific brand messages. The fashion brand may want to promote special offers or experiences that are happening at specific store locations. Well, they can now do this and be confident that they will reach the right person, in the right place, at the right time.
Examples of Personalized Marketing Campaigns
Personalization in Marketing campaigns can take many forms. But let’s look at some of the capabilities now available to brands:
Personalized Emails: Thanks to AI and Personalization, brands have revolutionized their email campaigns. It has allowed marketers to create individualized emails to send to specific consumers with certain needs. To achieve this, they obviously needed to get better audience insights and collect customer information. Statistics show that by using AI to segment and personalize the message, click-through rates increase on average by 14%. AI is also being used by marketers to develop effective email subject lines and call-to-actions. In doing so, brands are increasing the relevancy of their email content and delivering a more positive brand experience that moves the customer down the sales funnel.
Social Media Marketing: By interacting correctly with potential consumers on social media, brands see increased loyalty and customer satisfaction. AI technology now means it is possible to send highly personalized social media content through Automation and collect relevant customer data for further use. It helps to understand social user behavior such as how much time they spend online and what they actually use social media for. AI tools also investigate the type of content your target consumer engages with and in turn suggests the kind of content that brands should be developing. With the use of AI-based chatbots, marketers can also ensure messages and queries receive carefully tailored responses, which appear as human as possible. This all improves the overall customer experience and keeps the consumer satisfied.
Product/Service Recommendations: A campaign like this pulls data to figure out what product or service a user will be most interested in and then offers a recommendation. For example, when browsing Netflix, you will see a “recommended for you” section. This takes into account the types of movies that you watched previously and by analyzing your viewing trends, it recommends similar movie titles. By asking the viewer to rate each movie they watch, Netflix can receive valuable feedback that will help them with future suggestions also. The fashion brand Thread is also particularly good at using AI to provide clothing recommendations that are personalized to each customer. By taking a style quiz, the brand can get a better idea of the items to suggest and constantly adapts their recommendations when a customer either votes up or down the recommended clothing.
The Bottom Line
As Marketing Technology and customer expectations evolve, a personalized Marketing strategy will become more critical for brands. Consumers want to be treated uniquely, and now expect a better brand experience that is tailored to them across digital channels. Using Automation technology and AI solutions, marketers can improve their marketing strategies and open up a whole new world of possibilities for brand experience.