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Customer Obsession Through Data-Led, Personalized Experiences: Brendan Witcher of Forrester

Michael Becker
Michael Becker

This article features content from Revolution 2018. Join us for in London March 2020 for our next event. Interested in learning more? Click here

In his presentation at Revolution 2018, Brendan describes how marketers want to be customer-obsessed – but that doing so requires us to be data-led, not data-driven. The personalization craze has actually caused many marketers to use less-than-optimal methods for creating personalization, leading to gaps in customer experience. For instance, somehow 89% of marketers say they are personalizing customer experience – but just 40% of customers say they get relevant, personalized content. Why is this and how can you overcome the odds?

As Brendan describes, we need value-added experiences for each customer that are highly relevant to their situation. Personalization based only on segmentation provides the wrong experience for many of your customers, and single data points to drive personalization, personas, and profiles are dangerous.

Personalization for anonymous website visitors, for example, just isn’t plausible. You can only truly personalize experiences for customers you recognize and know. So, the more you understand each customer, the more effective engagement will be.

The new age, digitally-savvy consumer touches multiple places with your brand and has even more data points to go along, including:

  • Profile. Identity, accounts, tech use and ownership, demographics
  • Behaviors. Web interactions, transactions, marketing and testing responses
  • Sentiment. Feedback, ratings, opinions, language
  • Content. Social media, apps, files, public records
  • Affinity. Memberships, networks, and affiliations
  • Attitudes. Preferences and disposition
  • Context. Time, location, environment, situation, journey, activity

The key to extracting this data? Exchange perceivable value for accurate data. Be OVERT in collecting data and COVERT in using data to deliver personalization.

“Be overt in collecting #data & covert in using it to deliver #personalization,” says @BrendanWitcher of @Forrester            CLICK TO TWEET

Understand that segmentation is not dead – use segmentation when that’s all you have. However, the goal should be individualization… which is still evolving.

Look for IoT, mobile engagement, experience centers, conversational commerce, and AI to all impact how you provide relevant experiences in 2018 and beyond. To get closer to true individualization, Brendan recommends taking these steps:

  1. Challenge your digital strategy – identify where you’re confusing company obsession and customer obsession.
  2. Challenger your thinking about customers – drop your opinions and evolve to a marketing strategy that is data-led.
  3. Review each digital touchpoint for its ability to both use and collect data across the enterprise.
  4. Solve customer pain points before focusing on movements that surprise and delight.
  5. Adopt and share the golden rule for personalization – be overt in collecting data, covert in delivering personalization.

➤ Interested in learning about other customers finding success with the Emarsys platform? Check out other stories here.

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