Evergage - Feed https://www.evergage.comf Real-time behavior-based personalization Mon, 06 Apr 2020 20:05:15 +0000 en hourly 1 Profiles in Personalization: Bucket Studio’s Jeffrey MacIntyre https://www.evergage.com/blog/profiles-in-personalization-bucket-studios-jeffrey-macintyre/ Mon, 30 Mar 2020 19:08:22 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=58143





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We’re excited to share the next feature in our “Profiles in Personalization” series – with keen insights coming to you from Jeffrey MacIntyre

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A long-time personalization expert and aficionado, Jeff is a New York-based consultant specializing in personalization, experience optimization and content operations. Jeff writes Bucket List, a newsletter of tales from the trenches of connected experience. He also runs Bucket Studio, a consultancy dedicated to better results and richer orchestration from customer experiences, and smooth systems from messy content and data. He is a widely published writer, speaker and a founding fellow of the Consortium of Personalization Professionals. You can see Jeff’s musings on Twitter here.

Jeff’s insights and responses to our personalization questions are below. Check out the embedded video, too, which goes into further detail.

Q: Why are you passionate about personalization?

A: The world is noisy. Navigating it? Tiring. Attention is precious. Value is everything. Every interaction matters if you want your content to count. 

Personalization is about connecting with customers on that promise that you’ll give them time, relevance and confidence to trust your brand with their decisions – all while banking business results. That’s how you win. That’s the ballgame.

Q: What is personalization done right? 

A: It requires design thinking and design talent, foremost. You need a map for the territory of your user journey. Progressive personalization means balancing the driving of business objectives with user insight and feedback. Anything less is money and value left on the table for your savvier competitors. 

And with design, little things can be huge. A client of mine made a modest usability change –  slimming down a bloated screen for a calmer design – that is going to put nearly 7 figures of lifetime value (LTV) into that organization just in the next 12 months. 

Q: What benefits should companies expect to achieve from personalization?

A: Three things:

  • You’ll go farther and faster, and you’ll achieve customer intimacy
  • You’ll win customer trust – the widest moat going forward for every business in 2020.
  • You’ll also be on the road to business simplification, if you’re mindful with personalization, and you’ll stop “shipping your org chart” in your digital experiences. You’ll become more adept at prioritizing the key user action for your audience segments at the particular journey stages you come to study more closely in a personalization program setting.

 

Q: What trends are impacting personalization right now?

A: There’s a personalization gap; no doubt about it. We’ve all been conditioned to personalization through B2C leaders like Spotify, but they have immense resources and talent. It’s natural to doubt your own ability to rise to the occasion. 

Also, the tools on the market are so good, they shine a light on where we come up short on talent or practices. Every failure of personalization (I have a collection) is essentially a design fail. I include in here how we design with data. I’ve written and spoken extensively about the ways organizations need to put UX at the heart of their personalization programs.

Q: What’s your top piece of personalization advice for companies just getting started on their journeys?

A: Two things:

  • There are 3 on-ramps to connected experiences: automation, customization and personalization. No matter your budget or ambition, there are powerful ways to demonstrate early measurable value, even before making a personalization engine investment. There are crafty ways to explore business opportunities in live settings with real users, and I share more on that in my newsletter.
  • Don’t sleep on how transformative this can be. Your software is a dream kitchen. Your program is a cookbook. Your tactics are recipes. Serve a steady diet, varied nutritional meals, and know that you’re training your users, and they are training you. That’s why I say this is a holistic practice when you start to consider personalization more deeply and get beyond the gee-whiz factors and the eye-catching results.

Q: Can you tag someone else whose personalization responses you’d be interested in seeing?

A: Mark Abraham (senior partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group – BCG) and John Berndt (CEO of The Berndt Group – TBG – and co-founder of the Consortium of Personalization Professionals).

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Sara Card
Profiles in Personalization: Evergage’s Laura Zilch-Nivedith https://www.evergage.com/blog/profiles-in-personalization-evergages-laura-zilch-nivedith/ Tue, 24 Mar 2020 15:09:25 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=58130





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We’re excited to launch a new series on the Evergage blog: Profiles in Personalization. The articles in this series will spotlight personalization thought-leaders, influencers, practitioners and other experts – with must-read and thought-provoking ideas, examples, tips and trends to share, in a Q&A format.

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We’re kicking things off with an expert of our own: Evergage’s Laura Zilch-Nivedith. Laura is a senior portfolio success manager, working across verticals to help clients use personalization to improve customer experiences and grow their businesses. Laura previously served as associate customer success manager at Forrester Research, and worked in sales and marketing roles in the travel and retail industries. We hope you enjoy Laura’s insights!

 

Q: Why are you passionate about personalization?

A: Before I entered the market research and SaaS world (working in customer success roles), I was working in marketing and sales. I often got frustrated with the tools and technologies I had available to me to deliver the best customer experiences. I saw firsthand the need to communicate to customers with relevance, and the impact that can have on customer satisfaction and overall customer experience. Now, in my current role, I’m passionate about helping my clients improve the experiences of theirs with personalization.

Q: What is personalization done right? (and done wrong?)

A: Personalization done right is helpful but not overly intrusive – it is the right message to the right person at the right time. Personalization done poorly interrupts the customer journey or misses the mark. 

Q: What benefits should companies expect to achieve from personalization?

A: Benefits from personalization can be multi-fold. They often include improved customer experiences, increased conversions and revenue, and completion of KPIs. You can also expect reduced efforts for your marketing team over the long-term – since, for example, human-guided machine-learning recommendations eliminate the need for as much manual curation of content or products on your site.

Q: What are common pitfalls or challenges that users experience?

A: Companies often grapple with where to get started, including how to balance and prioritize ideas from different stakeholders. Establishing a personalization management office (PMO) with representation from across divisions (e.g., operations, analytics, digital marketing, brand marketing, etc.) can help. 

Explaining and evangelizing the benefits of personalization to your internal organization can also pose a challenge and take some getting used to. You can overcome this by showing incremental wins you’ve had already, while building out a roadmap for your future state. In addition, it’s important for other teams to feel you are including them in the process. You can forge unity, collaboration and buy-in by creating working sessions or focus groups with different departments, along with a submission process for new ideas.

Our “Ultimate Personalization Planning Guide” has more ideas and inspiration. 

Q: What advice do you have for companies just getting started on their personalization journeys?

A: Here are some tips that work well:

  • Forming your team  – Start with a small core team with members from across key functions (e.g., digital marketing, web dev, email, CRM, etc.).
  • Deciding on campaigns – Prioritize personalization ideas by ensuring they tie back to broader marketing and company goals and KPIs. 
  • Test and iterate! – If you’re afraid to fail, you won’t get to learn quickly and likely won’t experience as many successes. Test different page copy, images, button placements, calls-to-action (CTAs) and experiences against a control to optimize your results, and to deliver personalization that makes the best impact.  

Q: What are important areas to measure related to personalization?

A: It’s really important to align measurements to your existing goals and KPIs. For B2B clients focused on demand generation, their goals could be related to demo requests and/or content downloads. For financial services clients, they could be tracking quotes for insurance or applications for loans. For e-commerce clients, a secondary KPI to revenue could be email sign-ups.

Also, when you’re assessing engagement with your personalized experiences, don’t just measure clicks. Look at your downstream metrics as well (e.g., revenue, quote completions, demo requests, etc.) to see how personalization is impacting these areas that fuel your business.

Q: Based on your work with clients across industries, what trends have you seen?

A: A lot of clients worry about being behind their peers in their industry. By making personalization a priority, though, they’re already on the path to success. And for companies that are just getting started, it’s often helpful to start small. Focus on what you can do right now, while continuing to gather ideas and benchmarks, and continuing to “clean” your data across channels to build out your future state. The learnings you gather along the way will inform your journey.

Information exchanges are also important, and even companies across different industries can learn a lot from each other. For example, e-commerce companies can look to B2B and financial services ones for how to utilize blog content across a site, whereas B2B and financial services organizations can look to e-commerce for ease of use in a check-out flow.

Remember, too, that no matter what industry you work in, your customers are looking for the best and most relevant experiences in their day-to-day. That means customers are comparing the experiences they have across your channels with ones they’ve had on Netflix, Amazon, etc. With the right strategies, processes and technologies, you can deliver outstanding individualized experiences too. Don’t be afraid to look at different companies and industries for ideas and inspiration. Good luck!  

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Sara Card
How Personalization Persuades Indecisive Shoppers https://www.evergage.com/blog/how-personalization-persuades-indecisive-shoppers/ Fri, 20 Mar 2020 14:17:39 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=58119





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Should I buy it? Or should I not? Ahhh – the indecision can be paralyzing! 

When it comes to making purchases online, vacillating seems to be a part of my DNA. For indecisive shoppers like me, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the near-ceaseless stream of products as I scroll through a site and feel like I’m drowning in options. And even when I do discover an item that matches my interests, I frequently find myself questioning whether there’s a better option elsewhere, wondering if the price will go down, second-guessing whether I really need it, anticipating buyer’s remorse, etc. 

Oftentimes, and regrettably, this leads to missed opportunities. For example, after I dragged my feet for weeks, a jacket I’d left in my cart sold out. My lingering uncertainty struck once again! It dawned on me too late that the jacket was actually something I could have really used. 

Just like that nudge I get from friends in a store (“C’mon Camille; you need it. It’s practical and looks great! And it’s the last one left!”), personalized recommendations and experiences online can also help my indecision dissipate (and could’ve helped me get that jacket I needed!).

Here are six personalization techniques that e-commerce sites can deploy to help indecisive shoppers like me find and buy the items they need with reduced confusion and doubt, and drive more and faster conversions.

1. Personalized Product Recommendations

With so many products to choose from, it can be difficult for shoppers to know where to start. Personalized product recommendations can help. Often enhanced by machine learning (for 1-to-1 relevance at scale), personalized recs factor in each shopper’s past and current behaviors across touchpoints, purchase history, interests, affinities, preferred price points and other attributes – along with items that similar shoppers have viewed and purchased. Delivered in the moment on homepages, category pages, product detail pages, in cart, in search results, etc., personalized recs keep up with shoppers’ evolving interests and should typically exclude items they’ve purchased previously. 

These recommendations work for indecisive and action-driven shoppers alike. For example, apparel and footwear retailer Zumiez increased conversions by 2.7X and average order value by 2% with individualized, machine-learning-driven recommendations. Durable workwear retailer Carhartt also deploys personalized recs, including on its out-of-stock pages (something I would have liked to have seen, once that jacket I wanted was no longer available!). Its “You May Also Like” out-of-stock campaign drove a 13% lift in conversion rate.

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If shoppers land on an out-of-stock page, Carhartt deploys personalized “You May Also Like...” recommendations to present similar options and keep shoppers engaged.

2. Recently and Heavily Viewed Products

As indecisive shoppers peruse mounds of products, it can be easy to forget about one that caught their eye even moments ago (not to mention one from days or weeks earlier). To keep items they’ve engaged with heavily at the fore, retailers can highlight shoppers’ recently viewed items, prioritized by each shopper’s interest (e.g., factoring in active time spent engaging with the item). It’s helpful to display an individual’s recently viewed items at the bottom of product listing pages, in shoppers’ carts and even via a slide-out widget or shopping companion (see below).

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Retailers can deploy automated and collapsible browsing companions like this one, enabling shoppers to see recently viewed items, prioritized by the interest level they’ve demonstrated.

3. Real-Time Viewing, Purchase and Inventory Counters

When debating whether to purchase a product, shoppers like me often feel more compelled to buy if they see that other people are really into that item as well. Real-time counters – which reveal the number of people who have recently viewed or purchased a product, or the number of items left – and badges – icons or images, such as a flame, that indicate the popularity of a product – provide this “social proof.” These indicators, which typically appear on product detail pages or the product listing page, drive urgency (“Hurry! Just 3 left!”) and inspire more confidence in a buying decision. 

When used to highlight engagement, the key to “social proof” messages is to set the threshold of viewers and purchasers high enough to make sure they only appear on special, high-activity items. These messages can lose their effectiveness if they are shown next to too many products.

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Popularity indicators like the ones above can give indecisive shoppers the push they might need to get an item before it’s gone.

4. Promotional Codes

When I’m agonizing over a purchase decision, I often wonder whether I’m getting it at the best price. Receiving a promotional code – via email, text or online – can provide the impetus that indecisive shoppers like me need to make a purchase. (It makes me feel happy to have received a “special” rate… definitely worth the purchase now!) Retailers can use machine-learning algorithms to deploy promo codes to those shoppers, in particular, who tend to need that incentive to make a purchase. 

Exit-intent campaigns can also prompt unsubscribed shoppers who are about to leave the website to provide their email addresses. Then, brands can trigger emails to new shoppers (and ones whose email addresses are already known) with promo codes and reminders about abandoned items (including real-time inventory counters and other social proofing messages, as appropriate).

5. Bounce Prevention Messages

Shoppers who are wavering can often be swayed with bounce prevention messages. Here’s an example of how they work: If a person highlights a product name, copies it and then moves their cursor to leave the page (presumably to price-check it elsewhere), a pop-up message could be automatically deployed. These messages might offer a discount or remind shoppers of the hassle-free return policy and free shipping, etc. They help shoppers feel more confident about purchasing that product on the retailer’s site, rather than venturing to another’s.

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Here’s a mobile example of an effective bounce prevention message. As a shopper highlights a product name and is about to leave, a message pops up to persuade the shopper to make the purchase there (notifying them of free shipping and a 30-day return policy).

6. Triggered Emails and Other Cart Abandonment Messages

As mentioned, personalized triggered emails can remind indecisive shoppers of items they’ve engaged with and are interested in. The messages can be automatically deployed based on shoppers’ behaviors (e.g., abandoned cart), product availability (e.g., “This item you liked is back in stock!”), inventory counters (e.g., “We have 5 left in your size!”) and more. It’s also possible to update the content and product blocks in triggered emails at open time, so they map to the recipient’s up-to-the-minute purchase history and behavior. 

Emails like these can keep shoppers from missing out on purchasing the products they need – creating a positive ending to their shopping journey – and help drive sales. 

Cart abandonment messages can be displayed on-site too (not just via email), as in this example below:

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This on-site cart abandonment message aims to drive urgency, encouraging the shopper to buy the shoes they’d engaged with before they’re gone.

Final Thoughts

Personalization plays a crucial role in driving urgency and helping indecisive shoppers feel more resolute in making their purchase decisions. Testing these personalization campaigns is important too, to make sure they’re optimized to drive the greatest results and that they help shoppers make decisions without disrupting their experience. With optimally personalized content and campaigns, retailers can enable indecisive shoppers to wear some newfound confidence during their shopping experiences (just like I wish I could have worn that jacket!).

To learn more about strategies for driving urgency, and to discover if Evergage can be the right personalization and interaction management platform for your company, request a demo today.

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Camille Ruykhaver
Evergage is Here to Help https://www.evergage.com/blog/evergage-is-here-to-help/ Tue, 17 Mar 2020 16:27:10 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=58111





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These are uncertain and unprecedented times. Our thoughts are with you – and your families, fellow employees and customers – and our hearts go out to those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many businesses like yours may be temporarily facing a “new normal” – with office closures and curtailed or suspended store/branch operations, virtual meetings and, in many cases, customer and prospect interactions moving entirely online. In addition to the disruption to day-to-day business processes, there are shifts in behavior and mindset to contend with.

Whatever your situation, we’re here to support you, so you can continue to support your customers. In light of COVID-19, we recognize that our clients still need to:

  • Communicate timely and critical information or changes to customers
  • Improve the relevancy of online, mobile and call center communications (especially if in-store, in-branch, or face-to-face channels are suspended)
  • Continue to engage customers and generate business

With our technology and people, we’re ready to assist you – whatever your need. 

In the near-term, as news continues to unfold rapidly and business conditions change day-by-day (and hour-by-hour), companies are working to provide updates via email and also prominently online. We are helping our clients use Evergage to create inline messages (blocks of dynamic content), infobars (persistent headers or footers) and pop-ups to immediately and flexibly highlight safety priorities and procedures, impacted hours of operation, refund and cancellation notices, etc.  

Our technical support representatives continue to be available by email at support@evergage.com, online via the Evergage Help Center, or by phone at (888) 310-0589 x2. Customer success managers also continue to be a resource, as do our executives. And the Evergage platform, of course, will remain up and active 24x7, which you can monitor here. We’re here to help you continue to deliver the best possible customer experiences, even and especially in trying times.

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Karl Wirth
How to Craft a Successful Personalization Plan https://www.evergage.com/blog/how-to-craft-a-successful-personalization-plan/ Wed, 11 Mar 2020 13:58:09 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=58105





Keep on reading: How to Craft a Successful Personalization Plan]]>
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Chances are if you’re reading this blog article, you work in marketing, customer experience or a similar area, and you’re interested in learning more about personalization and how to use it to increase engagement, conversions and customer loyalty. Given that personalization is top of mind for marketers across industries, there’s a lot of information out there about what personalization is and how it can be used to improve customer experiences. But how do you know where to start

A few weeks ago, we held our “Planning for Personalization in 2020” webinar. We produce a webinar like this every year to help marketers (like you! like us!) think about their goals and tactics for the year ahead. This year, Karl Wirth, Evergage CEO, and Andy Zimmerman, Evergage CMO, examined how to approach planning, executing and measuring a personalization program by thinking through five questions (Who, What, When, Where, Why) and four verbs (Understand, Decide, Engage, Analyze) to guide your efforts. As always, for the complete breakdown of this framework and more personalization inspiration, be sure to check out the full webinar on-demand

Strategy 

As with nearly every business decision, or any decision for that matter, it helps to think about what you’re trying to achieve before you start acting. In the case of developing a personalization program plan, it’s helpful to think about the five “Ws” in the order below: 

Why are you personalizing to begin with? Is it to increase engagement? Clickthroughs? Purchases? Asset downloads? Setting goals from the outset will help keep you focused. Also, consider setting goals that are easily measured. Do you want to decrease bounce rates by 10%? Increase average order value (AOV) by 5%? Drive a 15% lift in eBook downloads? Thinking about your objectives concretely will help guide your strategy from start to finish. 

Who are you personalizing to? Are you looking to deliver personalization at the individual or segment level, or both? What are the attributes of your target audiences? What information do you have that you can use to create relevant experiences? Each audience member is different, and you should use those differences to inform your strategy – thinking about what each person or group of people is expecting to see when they visit your site, use your app, engage with a customer service agent, etc. 

Where are you reaching your customers and prospects? There are multiple points of interaction (website, call center, email, mobile app, social, in-person, etc.), and you want to make sure that they’re having a good, cohesive, consistent and personalized experience across all channels.

When is the right time to present your customers and prospects with personalized content, recommendations, offers or promotions? In many of your channels, your customers come to you. For example, they visit your site, open your app or call into your call center – which gives you the opportunity to present a relevant experience at the moment they engage. In other cases, you are the one reaching out to your customers, perhaps in an outbound batch email, for example. Here, the decision you, as a marketer, need to make is determining when the right time is to show them that personalized experience. Using tools such as open-time email personalization, triggered email or triggered actions to other systems can help optimize timing and make those decisions easier.

What are you actually going to say after you’ve worked out the why, who, where and when? It’s now time to actually present the experiences, which includes, but isn’t limited to, things like product recommendations, messaging, or next-best actions and promotions. Of course, you want the entire experience and journey to be personalized, so figuring out the “what” at each stage is critical to your success. 

Execution 

After you’ve nailed down your strategy and know what your goals are; who your audience is; where you’ll be reaching them; when to present the most relevant experiences to them; and which content, offer or promotion you’re going to present, you’ll need to actually put your plan into motion. Keep these four verbs in mind to guide you through the process: Understand, Decide, Engage and Analyze

In order to begin executing your personalization strategy, you first need to understand the data that is going to power the experiences you’ll present to your customers and prospects. This data could be referring source, lifecycle journey stage, demographic or firmographic data, behavioral and intent data, and more. Once you know exactly what information you have and how to use that to inform your strategy, you can start determining what to show your audiences, all the way down to the individual level. 

After you understand your data, you can use it to decide both whom to target and what to show that audience. The goal is to use the data to determine which content, products, promotions messages, etc. to present to each segment or individual. This is where machine learning comes into play. With so much data available, it can be tricky to know what will perform best. Using a combination of rules and machine learning can help you sort through all your data and decide in a split-second which experience, promotion, recommendation, content, etc. is optimal for the visitor at hand. 

Now comes the fun part. It’s finally time to engage your audience with highly relevant, personalized experiences. Ideally, of course, this happens across channels, in real time. The goal is to “wow” each individual by showing them exactly what they want, when they want it. That might be a specific eBook, a product you know they’d be interested in, a credit card offer received from an email, etc. A successful personalization strategy should be seamless from start to finish during the execution stage. 

After you engage your audiences with well-crafted personalized experiences, it’s critical to analyze your results. Test the personalized experiences against a control to make sure your strategy is working. Test different page copy, CTAs, images, button placements, etc. – the sky’s the limit. You should even be able to test different machine-learning algorithms. Once you know what works, your strategy becomes scalable, and can be easily iterated and improved upon on a regular basis. 

Final Thoughts 

Creating and deploying a smart, well-honed personalization plan can seem intimidating, especially to a marketing team juggling multiple priorities and projects. Hopefully, this framework makes the process a little more approachable, and puts personalization more in reach for you and your team. Check out the full webinar replay for more strategies, tips and best practices to take your 2020 strategy to the next level. Our Ultimate Personalization Planning Guide is also an excellent resource to use. And to find out if Evergage could be the right real-time personalization and interaction management platform for your company,  request a demo today.

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Suzy Dolan
What is Zero-Party Data? https://www.evergage.com/blog/zero-party-data/ Fri, 06 Mar 2020 15:08:37 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=58097





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Marketers today are increasingly talking about “zero-party data.” In our blog post late last year on marketing trends for 2020, Dustin Ritter, founder and CMO of Personalization ONE, a leading source of personalization news, education, insights and events, identified zero-party data as a major area that will drive personalization efforts and campaigns this year and beyond.

This blog article will take a look at what zero-party data is, why it’s important and examples of it in action to fuel personalization.

What is Zero-Party Data?

Before we define zero-party data, let’s back up a little and look at some of the other types of data that drive personalized experiences.

  • First-Party Data: In the context of personalization, we’re often talking about first-party behavioral data – encompassing an individual’s site-wide, app-wide and on-page behaviors. This also includes the person’s clicks and in-depth behavior (e.g., hovering, scrolling, active time on page, engagement with images or reviews, etc.), session context and how that person engages with personalized experiences. With first-party data, you glean valuable indicators into an individual’s interests and intent. Transactional data (e.g., purchases, downloads, etc.) is considered first-party data too.
  • Third-party data: Obtained or purchased from sites and sources that aren’t your own, third-party data used in personalization typically includes demographic information, firmographic data, buying signals (e.g., in the market for a new home or new software), and additional information from CRM, POS and call center systems. 

Zero-party data, a term coined by Forrester Research, is what we also refer to as explicit data. Forrester Research’s definition of zero-party data is as follows:

Zero-party data is that which a customer intentionally and proactively shares with a brand. It can include preference center data, purchase intentions, personal context and how the individual wants the brand to recognize her.

Why is Zero-Party Data Important?

Forrester’s Fatemeh Khatibloo, VP principal analyst, notes in an interesting video interview with Wayin (now Cheetah Digital) that zero-party data “is gold. … When a customer trusts a brand enough to provide this really meaningful data, it means that the brand doesn’t have to go off and infer what the customer wants or what her intentions are.”

There’s the privacy factor to keep in mind too, another reason why zero-party data – in enabling and encouraging individuals to willingly provide information and validate their intent – is becoming a more important part of the personalization data mix. As industry regulations such as GDPR and the CCPA put a heightened focus on safeguarding consumer privacy, and as more browsers move to phase out third-party cookies and with users also able to easily opt out of being tracked, marketers are placing a greater premium and reliance on data their audiences knowingly and voluntarily give them.

Experts also agree that zero-party data is more definitive and trust-worthy than other forms of data since it’s coming straight from the source. And while that’s not to say all people self-report accurately (e.g., web forms often show a large number of visitors are accountants, by profession – the first field in the drop-down menu…), zero-party data is still considered a very timely and reliable basis for personalization.

With Great Data Comes Great Responsibility

You’re not getting something for nothing with zero-party data. Forrester describes the necessary perceived value-exchange (“You must use it to improve the value you provide to consumers”) – something Dave Parsons, senior customer success director at Evergage, wholeheartedly agrees with.

“We’re seeing a shift, and people are saying, ‘Is there a quid-pro-quo?’” Parsons says. “So when customers and prospects give and entrust you with their data, you need to provide value right away in return. This could take the form of: ‘We’d love you to take this quick survey, so we can serve you with the right products and offers.’”

Parsons cautions against letting the data fall into a void. “If you don’t listen and respond, it’s detrimental to your cause,” he says. “You have to honor the implied promise to follow-up. As a basic example, if you ask a site visitor: ‘Which color do you prefer – red or blue?’ and they choose red, you don’t want to then say, ‘Ok, here’s a blue website.’ Today, two weeks from now and until they tell or show you differently, the website’s color scheme should be red for that person.” He notes that, of course, this example is simplistic and maybe not-too-realistic – but that the concept can be applied to personalizing content and product recommendations and other aspects of digital experiences to map to individuals’ stated preferences.

Khatibloo says in the video that getting zero-party data represents “a phenomenal barometer of trust.” She notes: “If you have people engaging with your zero-party data platforms – whether that’s a preference center, or a digital experience, or a survey or a poll – they trust you enough to give you that information… Because we are asking customers to take time… we need to use that data efficiently, effectively and well. And we need to make sure that we are trading something of value for the customer.”

Examples: Using Zero-Party Data for Personalization

Let’s take an in-depth look at one interesting application of zero-party data: surveys and polls. Brief, targeted surveys with illuminating questions are one good way to put zero-party data to immediate use. Using personalization and real-time interaction management technology, you can use the information that someone gives you to dynamically and instantly personalize their experience.

Here’s a real-world example: Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) deploys surveys strategically and effectively. New visitors to the bank’s website see a one-question survey (“What’s your business goal?”), prominently incorporated into the hero area near the top of the site. Options include “managing my cash flow,” “finding the right loan” and “getting new customers.” How visitors respond dictates what they see next, with BDC immediately presenting content and solutions that map to each person’s stated needs. For example, a visitor who chooses “Finding the right loan” will see the content on how to get financing. Subsequent site visits also prioritize similar information on the homepage.

ZPD-image-1

BDC collects zero-party data via the survey above – and immediately uses each person’s response to present a helpful, relevant experience.

We use surveys and zero-party data at Evergage, too, to personalize and improve our prospects’ experiences. For example, for us, knowing someone’s industry influences the content we show and campaigns we run. We use reverse IP lookup to ascertain a first-time visitor’s industry, but if it cannot be determined that way (e.g., it’s a small business or the person is working from home), we ask. And once someone gives us that info, we immediately tailor our homepage and other areas of the site to display industry-specific images, copy, calls-to-action, customer logos, case studies, etc., so the visitor has a relevant experience.

Here’s a good B2C example, below, as well. Clothing retailers can present surveys like this one to learn more about their shoppers’ style preferences and then guide shoppers to items they’ll like best and that drive conversions.

zpd-image-2

When shoppers respond to surveys like this one, retailers can use their answers and apply machine-learning algorithms to immediately present engaging experiences.

Evergage and Zero-Party Data

Evergage enables companies to create and deploy “choose-your-own-adventure-type” surveys like the ones above. Our SmartSurveys voice-of-the-customer offering lets you do surveys the smart way – with the ability to immediately change people’s experiences for the better based on what they tell you. We also collect and store each individual’s responses in their unified profile – adding to the overall picture of who they are, informing future campaigns and helping us suggest next-best actions in real time across channels.

Surveys aren’t the only way we apply and engage with zero-party data. Evergage’s real-time personalization and interaction management platform can immediately trigger relevant experiences that map to customers’ explicit preferences – whether it’s something they’ve noted in a preference center, how they’ve filled out a form, what they’ve told you in a survey, etc.

We believe explicit or zero-party data is an extremely valuable source of personalization data that will only get more important in the years to come. To maximize its effectiveness, though, don’t overdo it – a little goes a long way! When you ask customers for information, you don’t want to overburden, overwhelm or annoy them. Be courteous about when and what you ask, don’t ask for too much, and show visitors you can use their data in the moment and responsibly to create better experiences. The more you demonstrate this commitment, the more likely customers are to entrust you with more data.

More Advice

Evergage’s CMO Andy Zimmerman penned an article in CMSWire last year (“Survey Says… They’re Annoying! Time for a Better Approach”) with solid advice related to surveys in particular. The piece is short and worth a read. Among the takeaways: “Taking CX surveys should be a microcosm of what a good customer experience is. … By designing and deploying surveys that are brief, seamless, contextual and helpful, you can create a win-win for your organization and its customers.”

Zimmerman and Parsons both take issue with bombarding customers with questions as soon as they land on your site or open your app, and before they’ve had a chance to engage.  It’s important to wait to collect zero-party data until you’ve earned the right and customers have shown some interest. Parsons likens it to walking into a physical retail store: “If I walk into a store, and an assistant immediately accosts me with a ‘How can I help you?,’ I automatically respond, ‘I’m just looking.’ Even if I’m not; it’s a reflex. But if the clerk waits, they can see I’m looking at one category more than another. Then, it’s an appropriate time to come up to me and make suggestions, and let me know that there’s a deal in the shirts I’m looking at – buy two, get one free.” 

Parsons continues: “It works like that in the online world too – it’s crucial to watch and learn, and then ask questions. In that way, you can collect and use zero-party data as a conversation tool, not as a shouting tool.”

Final Thoughts

When requested sparingly and applied strategically, zero-party data can vastly improve how you communicate with customers. As Forrester says: “Zero-party data is extremely valuable and will improve the effectiveness of your firm's personalization efforts.” 

Importantly, too, zero-party data isn’t a zero-sum game. Companies and brands both benefit. Forrester further notes: “Ultimately, zero-party data can reduce marketing waste for a brand and improve the lives of its customers – a win-win situation for everyone involved.”To learn more about how to apply zero-party, first-party and third-party data to drive outstanding personalized experiences across channels – and if Evergage’s real-time personalization and interaction management platform is the right fit for you – request a demo today.

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30 Amazing Personalization Statistics https://www.evergage.com/blog/personalization-statistics/ Fri, 28 Feb 2020 15:17:51 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57870





Keep on reading: 30 Amazing Personalization Statistics]]>
https://www.evergage.com/blog/personalization-statistics/

Does one size ever really fit all? (The one-size winter sports beanie I got my husband for the holidays barely fit our toddler! Just sayin’…)

This all-encompassing sizing and approach – while hit-or-miss in terms of apparel – is definitely a “miss” when it comes to digital experiences. Every company has an audience that’s composed of individuals – all with unique preferences, needs, intent, histories and other attributes that necessitate personalized, rather than cookie-cutter, communications to drive genuine engagement.

A Dec. 2019 report from Forrester notes: “Personalization – delivering the right experience to the right customer at the right time – is not easy, but it’s de rigueur for companies that wish to thrive in the age of the customer. … It’s important to remember that customers are individuals that yearn for more personalized interactions. Be equipped to deliver the next-best experience by ingesting signals across the customer journey and tailoring your customer experiences accordingly.”

Looking for more info on why personalization matters – and how and why it works? The following 30 statistics – including from Forrester and other research firms and organizations – illustrate the power of personalization strategies, approaches and technologies.

Personalization is Top-of-Mind

1. “Personalization” was selected by ANA [Association of National Advertisers] members as the ANA 2019 Marketing Word of the Year. (ANA)

2. 73% of CEOs acknowledge the need for products, services and experiences that are more meaningful to their customers. (Accenture)

3. 74% of marketers think personalization should be a bigger priority in their organizations. (Evergage and Researchscape)

4. 48% of global B2C marketing decision-makers with marketing budget for technology said they would increase their spend on content and personalization technologies in 2019. (Forrester)

Generic Content is a Turn-Off

5. 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. (Salesforce)

6. Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests. (Janrain – now Akamai)

7. 63% of consumers expect personalization as a standard of service. (RedPoint Global and Harris Poll)

8. Nearly half (45%) of consumers won’t spend time with branded content if it’s not relevant to their interests. (OneSpot and Marketing Insider Group)

9. 52% of customers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t personalize communications to them. Meanwhile, 65% of business buyers say they’re likely to switch brands if a vendor doesn’t personalize communications to their company. (Salesforce)

10. 55% of business buyers (and 54% of consumers) say they get annoyed if they’re targeted for an ad for something they’ve already bought. (Salesforce)

11. Half (50%) of Millennials and Gen Zers say they generally ignore communications from companies unless they’re personalized for them, and 73% expect companies to communicate with them in real time. (Salesforce)

12. 33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship last year did so because personalization was lacking. (Accenture)

Buyers Want (and Expect!) Personalized Experiences

13. 69% of business buyers expect Amazon-like buying experiences – such as personalized recommendations. (Salesforce)

14. 50% of consumers say that they would pay more for products and services from brands that do a good job of providing personally relevant content. (OneSpot and Marketing Insider Group)

15. More than 78% of consumers are only likely to engage with a brand using coupons or other offers if those promotions are directly tied to how they have interacted with the brand previously. (Marketo)

16. 64% of customers expect tailored engagement based on past interactions. (Salesforce)

17. 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. (Salesforce)

18. 62% of customers expect companies to adapt based on their actions and behavior. (Salesforce)

19. 80% of U.S. online adults feel comfortable sharing some personal information with retailers in order to personalize their experience. (Forrester)

20. More than one-third of U.S. online adults want retailers to do more to offer them personalized experiences. (Forrester)

21. 70% of customers say understanding how they use products and services is very important to winning their business. (Salesforce)

Personalization Trends

22. 4 in 10 marketers (40%) employ machine-learning personalization, using artificial intelligence (AI)-based algorithms and predictive analytics to dynamically present recommendations and experiences at the 1-to-1 level. (Evergage and Researchscape)

23. Digital marketers today employ personalization in their emails (78%); on their website (58%); in person, such as through store associates and kiosks (42%), in online advertising (35%); and in their mobile apps (28%) and web apps (19%). (Evergage and Researchscape)

24. Marketers report personalizing content and experiences based on campaign source (49%), pages/content viewed (35%), email opens (34%), products purchased (33%), email clickthroughs (32%), demographics (32%), clicks (30%), geolocation (28%), stage of customer journey (27%) and previous visit behavior (26%). (Evergage and Researchscape)

Personalization Drives Results

25. 90% of marketers report a measurable lift in business results, attributable to personalization, and 58% say that lift is greater than 10%. (Evergage and Researchscape)

26. Nearly all marketers (98%) note that personalization advances their customer relationships – with 7 in 10 (70%) describing the impact as “strong” or “extremely strong.” (Evergage and Researchscape)

27. In 2018, $87.5 billion in sales were influenced by personalized offers that resulted in consumers making a purchase they did not otherwise intend to make. (451 Research)

28. 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. (Epsilon)

29. Personalization can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and lift sales 10% or more. (McKinsey)

30. Personalized emails generate 6X higher transaction rates. (Experian)

These stats show the importance of harnessing the power of personalization and the far-reaching benefits it can bring to organizations.

Discover if Evergage could be the right real-time personalization and interaction management platform for your company, request a demo today.

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2020 Personalization Trends Survey: Participate Today https://www.evergage.com/blog/2020-personalization-trends-survey/ Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:44:34 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57863





Keep on reading: 2020 Personalization Trends Survey: Participate Today]]>
https://www.evergage.com/blog/2020-personalization-trends-survey/

Together with Researchscape International, Evergage has conducted and published our well-known “Trends in Personalization” study for the last six years. We invite you to participate in the 7th iteration of this report, which will reveal marketers’ perceptions, attitudes, usage and future plans related to personalization. Respondents should be marketers or those involved in their company's digital marketing, e-commerce or customer experience efforts.

The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete, and when you enter your business email address, you’ll get early access to the report. Plus, the first 100 respondents will receive a $5 Amazon gift card. All survey responses are collected by Researchscape and used only for anonymous, aggregate analysis.

Each year, the highly anticipated findings are cited by top business and industry publications – including Forbes, EContent, eMarketer, Loyalty360, RetailWire and many more. We are proud to offer this report and contribute actionable information to the marketing and customer experience community.

A Look Back

While we collect this year’s data and await the findings, let’s take a look at some of the key personalization trends revealed in our 2019 report.

Marketers overwhelmingly agree about the advantages and business benefits of personalization:

  • 98% of marketers say personalization advances customer relationships.
  • 85% believe their customers have come to expect personalization.
  • 88% use personalization to drive better customer experiences.
  • 90% see a lift in business results, attributable to personalization.

Due to these perceptions and results, marketers continue to invest in personalization – 97% said in last year’s study that their budgets for personalization would stay the same or increase in the year ahead.

It’s also interesting to see the growth in personalization over the years. For example, last year, 93% of marketers reported using personalization techniques, compared to 58% in 2015.

Over the years, companies also have gotten more sophisticated in their use of personalization – applying AI and machine learning to drive individualized experiences at scale. In 2019, 40% of marketers used machine-learning approaches for personalization, a significant increase from 26% in 2018.

Participate Today

So what will our 2020 personalization trends study reveal? Take the survey, and help us uncover this year’s findings, and use the results to benchmark your own personalization initiatives and results.

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How to Personalize for First-Time Visitors https://www.evergage.com/blog/how-to-personalize-for-first-time-visitors/ Wed, 19 Feb 2020 16:01:44 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57847





Keep on reading: How to Personalize for First-Time Visitors]]>
https://www.evergage.com/blog/how-to-personalize-for-first-time-visitors/

Good personalization is based on good data. The more you know about a person – and his or her interests, intent, prior history and behavior across your channels, and other attributes – the more you can deliver a relevant, engaging experience that drives conversion.

What about personalization for first-time visitors, though? Is the concept itself an oxymoron? When it comes to personalization for first-time visitors, marketers may be tempted to throw up their hands. After all, when someone lands on your website for the first time, there’s no data to drive a personalized experience, right?

Wrong. B2C and B2B companies can access and tap into various data points to deliver relevant experiences to first-time visitors, and make them feel welcomed and confident they’ve landed in the right place.

Personalization-Worthy Data Points

When visitors come to your website for the first time, your personalization platform should detect and factor in data including:

  • The fact that they’re a first-time visitor
  • Where they’re coming from (e.g., a referring source, paid media, email, etc.)
  • The page they’re landing on
  • Their geolocation
  • Their device (for optimizing how content is presented)
  • Firmographic data (for B2B – such as company name, employee count, revenue range, industry, etc.)
  • Initial intent data, once they’re on your site (e.g., What kinds of messaging, campaigns and categories are they engaging with?)

Examples & Tips

Here are five strategies – many mapped to the areas above – for deploying personalization to first-time visitors.

1. Personalization Based on First-Time Visitor Status

When you detect that individuals are first-time visitors, there’s an opportunity to present content and campaigns that give them more information about your company – and that help you get more information about them (to feed into further personalization efforts and analyses). Here are some ideas:

  • Educate First-Time Visitors – If someone lands on your homepage for the first time, your personalization engine can prioritize displaying introductory and how-to content and videos, to better familiarize the individual with your company and offerings.
  • Highlight Trending Products and Content – In the absence of detailed information about the visitor’s interests, you can showcase recommendations of popular products and content in your banners, inline content, etc. (Then, once the visitor starts clicking and engaging, you’ll have more intent data to drive better-targeted, real-time recs.)  
  • Present Email Capture Opportunities – If someone is on your website for the first time, you probably don’t have their email address yet (unless, of course, it’s an email clickthrough!). If that’s the case, use the opportunity to strategically display a message inviting them to opt in to receive email – ideally waiting until the person has shown additional indicators of interest (scrolled down, clicked to visit a second page, spent at least two minutes on the site, etc.).
  • Show a (Brief!) Survey – If there’s not much data to go on, and you have questions about a visitor’s interests and intent, sometimes the best action is to ask! When you deploy brief, strategic surveys – and then immediately use the person’s response to trigger a relevant, in-the-moment experience – visitors are much more likely to share their information with you. The below B2B and B2C examples highlight how to use surveys effectively to deliver in-the-moment personalization to first-time visitors:

BDC-Blog-image-1

New visitors on the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) homepage see, incorporated into the hero area near the top, a survey that directly relates to their experience – asking what their business goals are (with options such as “managing my cash flow,” “finding the right loan” and “getting new customers”). Respondents’ answers dictate the information they see next – helping connect visitors to the information they need.

Blog-image-2

A clothing retailer, for example, could present surveys like this one above to engage first-time visitors – using their responses and applying algorithms such as collaborative filtering to immediately start deploying experiences likely to engage them.

2. Personalization Based on How a Visitor Arrived

The source that brought a first-time visitor to your site can play a driving role in the experience you then display. For example, if you’re a security solutions provider, did a new visitor click on an ad related to threat management to get to your site? Use that indicator of interest when personalizing the visitor’s experience.

Or if someone searching for dresses arrived at your clothing site, it makes sense to highlight recommendations related to dresses as well.

For e-commerce companies, in particular: When running multiple promotions, it’s important to keep track of which promotion brought a new (or repeat) visitor to your site. By keeping that promotion visible to the visitor as he or she engages across your channels – as clothing and swimsuit retailer Venus does in the example below – you can drive a streamlined, cohesive and personalized experience that eliminates confusion and increases conversions.

Venus-blog-image-3

The infobar highlighted above, targeting promotional traffic from email and mobile (and displaying the same offer across all channels), increased average order value (AOV) for Venus by 19.6% and conversion rates by 14.1%.

3. Personalization Based on Where a Visitor Landed

Let’s say the first time someone visits your site, they land on a blog page (B2B) or product detail page (e-commerce). You can capitalize on their interest by prominently showcasing (“above-the-fold”) recommendations for related content and items. In essence, you’re telling your visitors, “If the item you clicked on doesn’t strike your fancy, check out the other, similar options we have available.”

Screen-Shot-2020-02-20-at-9.26.49-AM

This clothing retailer highlights suits that other customers also viewed – so shoppers can find just what they want.

4. Personalization Based on Geolocation (e-commerce)

For e-commerce companies, in particular, a first-time (and even repeat) shopper’s geolocation can provide great data for personalization. Carhartt, a durable workwear retailer, has tapped into its customers’ propensity to buy items for using right away – personalizing its homepage to reflect weather conditions for individual visitors (e.g., If it’s raining, the site will recommend a raincoat – and not the same raincoat in Maine as what’s recommended for Florida). This utility-based approach drove a 24% lift in conversion rates and a 15.5% lift in average order value.

Carhartt uses geolocation data in other ways too. At Evergage’s Personalization Summit a couple years ago, Carhartt told CMSWire about a campaign that matched each online shopper’s zip code data with a map of where NFL team fanbases are located – so that Detroit shoppers, for instance, were recommended Lions items, and Boston shoppers saw prominent recommendations for Patriots gear, etc. See more detail in the brief interview below:

5. Industry- and Firmographic-Based Personalization (B2B)

B2B organizations can use their personalization platform to detect a first-time (and repeat) visitor’s industry, additional firmographic data and other attributes, and then immediately deliver a relevant experience – with related case studies, recommendations and other content that help visitors feel “at home.” For example, as part of its account-based marketing (ABM) strategy, human capital management (HCM) platform provider Paycor dynamically adjusts its homepage to present industry-specific content to prospects (e.g., a prospect in the healthcare industry sees a healthcare-specific version of the homepage, a small business owner sees a small-business version, and someone in a finance role sees finance-specific messaging.) 

This strategy has proven very effective. By showing the healthcare-oriented homepage (rather than its standard, generic one) to healthcare prospects, Paycor increased clickthrough rates (CTRs) by 72% and conversion rates by 47%. Displaying the small business-oriented page to relevant prospects increased conversions by a remarkable 164%. And the finance persona homepage – shown to finance prospects – increased their conversion rate by 121%.

Paycor-Blog-Image-5

By presenting personalized versions of its homepage in real time to visitors detected as healthcare, small business and finance prospects (among other groups), Paycor was able to increase CTRs and conversions.

Final Thoughts

Once a first-time visitor starts engaging on your site/channels – interacting with the experiences and providing behavioral indicators of interest (clicking, hovering, scrolling, active time spent on page, etc.) – you can then deploy better-targeted recommendations, build and enhance that person’s profile, and apply more advanced algorithms to refine your personalization. Don’t forget to continually test and optimize your campaigns, too, so you know what’s most effective for building interest and loyalty. After all, making first-time visitors feel welcomed and engaged is an important step to turning them into repeat visitors and customers!

To learn more and discover if Evergage could be the right personalization platform for your company, request a demo today.

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5 Reasons to Love Personalization https://www.evergage.com/blog/5-reasons-to-love-personalization/ Fri, 14 Feb 2020 15:48:22 +0000 https://www.evergage.com/?p=57831





Keep on reading: 5 Reasons to Love Personalization]]>
https://www.evergage.com/blog/5-reasons-to-love-personalization/

It’s Valentine’s Day – and whether you love the holiday, dread it or tolerate it, love is in the air (along with the bordering-on-overpowering smell of roses and chocolates). Mixed in with the red and pink cards, grinning plush animals and mushy sentiments is an opportunity to express who and what you love. And nothing stirs our passion here quite like personalization!

In honor of the holiday, we’d like to discuss 5 reasons to love personalization – today and every day! – with some examples and quotes from real-world deployments.

#1- Personalization Creates a Better Customer Experience (CX)

What would one of your loved ones rather get on Valentine’s Day? A thoughtful gift – that reflects his or her preferences, interests and personality – or the first thing you see when you walk in the mall (be it an automobile accessory that doesn’t work with their car, an infant’s onesie for a boyfriend or girlfriend, etc.)?

Seems like a silly question, with an obvious answer. Just as you know there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to gift-giving, personalization likewise acknowledges that individuals need individualized experiences. It’s the ultimate expression of customer-centricity – showing customers and prospects, across channels, what they actually want to see/get.

Our 2019 Trends in Personalization survey, conducted with Researchscape International, explored why companies deploy personalization. For 9 out of 10 (88%), a primary driver is “delivering better customer experiences.”

CX expert and Forbes columnist Shep Hyken sums it up: “Personalization is a relationship builder that makes customers feel welcomed, remembered and valued as individuals.” 

Take it from some of our clients, who are using personalization to improve CX:

  • Buildium, a property management software provider, delivers personalized in-app messages and triggered emails to their SaaS platform users to improve CX. The company’s product and customer marketing specialist describes the impetus for their deployment: “We really were running into issues where we needed to message people, but not everyone needed the same message. So, that was a struggle. You don’t want to be shouting into the void, which was what it felt like. … Personalization is the way of the future, and it’s really important for all of us.”
  • Quick Base, a low-code application development platform provider, employs personalization on its website. The company’s head of demand generation and digital marketing discusses how it necessitated a CX-focused shift in marketing’s mentality and approach: “Initially, we were doing a lot of demand generation, but it was like Quick Base-first, as opposed to thinking through the customer lens. So, we needed to reverse our strategy to think more about the customer and personalize their experience, because we were always going and saying, ‘Hi, you’re coming to the Quick Base website; now buy the Quick Base product. Look at Quick Base.’ It was always like an inside-out strategy, as opposed to led with the customer’s voice.” In addition to creating a better experience focused on what the customer wants to see, personalization has also enabled Quick Base to drive more leads, opportunities and wins.
  • Citrix, a multinational software company whose solutions help customers reimagine the future of work, also uses personalization to improve demand generation and CX. A web business analyst with the company notes: “Executing our personalization strategy… has been a game-changer in allowing us to educate, guide and inform each visitor with content that is relevant to their unique situation and journey with Citrix products and solutions.”

#2- Personalization Increases Engagement

It follows that a good, personalized experience would be an engaging one – driving customers and prospects to stick around, browse further and engage with your content more across channels, because it’s interesting and relevant to them.

Many of our clients love personalization as a way to boost engagement among their target audiences. For example:

  • Dell Outlet, which provides new and certified refurbished PCs, servers, workstations, monitors and more, improves engagement and conversion rates with personalization. According to the global marketing director: “We really focus on engagement because we know engaged customers convert at a higher rate, and the overall brand awareness and advocacy is higher when we have engaged customers… Personalization has really enabled us to drive higher engagement and have higher conversion, and it has been a great investment for our business.”
  • Zumiez, an apparel and footwear retailer for skate and snow lifestyles, applies personalization to create unique brand experiences with 1-to-1 recommendations. The VP of omnichannel and development explains: “Driven by our innovative culture, we are always looking to test new approaches to grow engagement and conversions among our shoppers. [Personalization] allows us to try out new tactics to power our multi-channel customer experience… We can show our shoppers that we truly understand them with relevant recommendations and brand experiences that are unique to each individual.”

#3- Personalization Improves Loyalty

Rather than being loyal to companies, more and more customers are loyal to experiences. In fact, 52% of B2C customers say they’d switch brands if they didn’t feel they were receiving a personalized experience, according to Salesforce’s 4th annual “State of Marketing” report. The 5th edition of that report also notes “69% of business buyers expect Amazon-like buying experiences – such as personalized recommendations.”

It’s easy to relate to this sentiment. Conditioned to receiving individualized recommendations (via Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, etc.) in their personal lives, many consumers (rightly!) feel this experience should extend to all their business interactions. Simply put, it’s often individualized experiences that keep customers coming back to a brand – rather than the brand name itself.

#4 – Personalization Promotes a Better Understanding of Your Customers

Good personalization requires good data – so that content, recommendations, offers and experiences can be mapped accurately to the individual receiving them. 

A real-time personalization platform that processes an individual’s current-session activity and deep behavioral data – combining it with the person’s historical behavior and activity across channels, and third-party and attribute data – can generate recommendations and experiences that resonate at the 1-to-1 level. The platform should immediately track the person’s engagement with the personalized content too – feeding that data back into his or her profile as another actionable data point.

This wealth of information can be synthesized and readily available for future campaigns and trend analyses – providing important business insights on customers’ and prospects’ behaviors and affinities. For example:

  • Invaluable, an online marketplace for fine arts, antiques and collectibles, uses a personalization platform to deeply understand the collectors it serves, and connect those people with the items they love, before they’re gone. With hundreds of thousands of items – many unique and one-of-a-kind, and a product catalog that changes over monthly, it’s important that the company know who their customers are and the types of items that will interest each one. The company’s VP of marketing notes: “[Personalization] has given us the ability to understand each person and deliver truly individualized experiences across web and email.” 

#5 – Personalization Drives RESULTS

One of the most important reasons to love personalization is that it truly works – generating meaningful, positive business results. Invaluable, mentioned directly above, drives 12% of monthly revenues through recommendations that are personalized on its website and at open-time on subscriber emails. 

Other clients describe results they love:

  • Carhartt, a durable workwear brand, notes: “We’ve seen great success... We have several campaigns running on our website that have generated a conversion rate lift of up to 15% and email campaigns with lift of 100+%.”
  • CIEE, a non-profit study abroad and intercultural exchange organization, has made personalization a central strategy across all of its marketing channels. The director of digital marketing explains: “Very quickly we were able to see results as far as being able to generate leads that converted at a very high rate: over 20 percent.” 
  • Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, an internationally renowned ski and mountain resort, increases conversions with personalized, persona-driven experiences. The resort’s web and social media manager says: “As a resort that offers so many products and has hundreds of pages of content, [personalization] allows us to serve timely and relevant information to each of our key personas. The platform has helped us respond to the dynamic needs and interests of our diverse customer base and drive incremental revenue.”

There are many more reasons to love personalization – and many ways to use personalization to show your own customers the love! To learn more about the technology benefits, and if Evergage could be the right personalization platform for your company, request a demo today.

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