Acing Personalized Customer Engagement: A Complete How-To Guide

Acing Personalized Customer Engagement: A Complete How-To Guide

Nowadays, brands are spoilt for choice regarding ways and means of communication. Consumers, too, access more channels than ever before. This has led to an assortment of messages. Yet, what still seems to be lacking is relevant and personalized communication. Many consumers receive messages that are not suited to their preferences.

“Brands are collecting so much data, yet so many brands are still sending out irrelevant messages.” – Shalini Devji-Jethwa.

Personalization has been a marketing buzzword for a long time. It remains a challenge for marketers. After all, it’s only with the right degree of personalization that consumers can be influenced and converted. Moreover, such personalized messages should remain consistent across the consumer lifecycle.

A 2021 customer survey highlights the main issues and offers insights into the way ahead. These trends and best practices can take personalization to the next level. The study also shows the value of an insights-led customer engagement platform.

Such a platform works as a personalization engine. It can segment customers based on activities and attributes and engage across channels. That’s not all. It can analyze behavior and trends to spot opportunities for further engagement. It can also optimize this with machine learning to create experiences across touchpoints.

This session focused on the importance of these issues as a valuable way to help marketers create great experiences. It was conducted by Shalini Devji-Jethwa, Head of Europe Marketing, MoEngage, and Linus Gregoriadis, Director, London Research.

Channel Communication Preferences 

The Personalised Pulse Check Report 2021, covering 1000 consumers across the US, Canada, UK, and Germany, offered valuable insights. As webinar participants pointed out, the channels that remain popular are mobile texting and in-app messages. They also emphasize that email still has an important role to play. When discussing critical insights from the report, Shalini pointed out that almost 33% of the respondees cited email as their preferred communication channel.

Much of this is because of work-from-home policies. At present, online channels are given more preference by consumers. The trend will continue even after offices open up because more businesses conduct most of their activities online.

The implication for marketers is that they need to adopt seamless and hybrid strategies that engage the consumer across channels according to their individual preferences. For example, a bank consumer may prefer to check the bank’s app for account updates but will expect immediate text messages for fraud alerts.

Customers Expect Personalisation

Brands collect a lot of data all the time. Yet, many still send out irrelevant messages. This will disengage customers. It’s important to know customer preferences and behavior for personalized experiences.

After all, when consumers give away information such as names and purchases, they should get something in return. Consumers expect that when they provide personal details, they expect personalized communication.

“Brands should use data in the right way for the right experiences.” – Shalini Devji-Jethwa.

When it comes to preferences for personalization, consumers expect brands to be aware of previous purchase history, known interests, and, obviously, the use of their names.

Customers’ Frustrations with Brand Experiences

The survey results indicate that the top three areas of consumer frustration with brand experiences are inconsistent messaging across channels, irrelevant messages, and the frequency of messages. Brands need to address these issues or risk frustrating and losing customers. That’s why brands must take into consideration each consumer’s expectations.

In a post-Covid world, consumers will return to engaging with brands through a mixture of offline and online channels. Marketers need a 360-degree view of consumers and how they interact across channels. This will enable them to deliver the right messages at the right time via the right medium.

Delivering Immersive Customer Experiences

Five trends will shape the future of delivering customer experience.

To begin with, holistic customer views and insights-led engagement. For marketers, bringing in data from multiple sources allows them to gain an overall understanding of customers. This enables an understanding of how they are engaging with your brand and what channels and content they’re using.

Second, AI analysis combined with human-centric marketing can lead to a high degree of understanding of personalization. Using machine learning algorithm streamlines and tailors the process for easy applicability.

This brings us to the third trend, which leads each consumer to be engaged uniquely. Here, personal data can be collected on each individual depending on their stage.

Fourth is an acceleration of digital initiatives. Channels are increasingly online, and customer preferences should be mapped and used to the best effect.

Finally, omnichannel strategies: that is moments-based experience across different channels. This is an opportunity for marketers to create seamless engagement. It starts with not treating actions and analyses in separating compartments but unifying all of them.

Starting Multichannel Customer Journeys  

As businesses grow, they naturally acquire more and more customers. The question then arises: how do you keep scaling personalization? How does every customer get a personalized experience?

To begin with, it is helpful to look at customer journeys in four stages:

  • Reach. This is for discovery and awareness. Here, channels such as TV, print, online searches, emails, and events are employed.
  • Act. The aim is to trigger purchases with remarketing, affiliate marketing, and personalized messaging.
  • Convert. This stage is to promote repeat purchases. Omnichannel marketing and conversational engagement are some of the tactics used.
  • Engage. At this point, customers should be encouraged to turn into advocates by using priority services across channels.

Building a Personalization Engine

Marketers should get a holistic view of consumers across channels to build a personalization engine. This can be done by generating a unified view of each consumer that shows demographic data, RFM data, customer actions, and campaign reactions. This enables you to come up with engagement strategies for each customer type.

Another best practice is to layer customer path analysis across the customer journey. This helps marketers uncover and visualize the paths followed when navigating customer touch points. It takes the guesswork out of analysis and lets you stay on top of changing trends. Your analysis becomes precise and insightful, and you can spot potential problems before they occur. For example, app uninstalls or suboptimal onboarding.

Customer journeys apart, it’s also helpful to look at customer segments in four ways to tailor personalization. These are:

– Based on customer activity

– Whether they are loyal, lost, or hibernating

– Creating dynamic segments that evolve with activity

– Spotting performance trends to modify the frequency of engagement

It can be challenging to replicate a consistent experience across channels when it comes to using an omnichannel strategy. That is where tools and data come in. It’s essential to work with a platform that allows you to scale levels of engagement,

Such a personalization engine has built-in AI. So you can easily tailor all channels, whether email, in-app, text, or others, for optimal experiences. It’s a streamlined process on one platform, rather than having data and activities in separate silos.

To Sum Up

In a nutshell, the research shows that customers have high expectations about brand communication. Their experiences can make or break brands. Further, each person has unique requirements and preferred channels and frequency. That’s why delivering consistent, relevant, and well-timed messages is essential.

The bottom line: personalization and omnichannel strategies will be even more critical in the near future. With an all-in-one solution that streamlines processes and channels, brands can stand apart from the competition.

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