We know people's behavior has changed dramatically since early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also know that many businesses have struggled to accelerate their digital transformations in response to these changes and people's demands for contactless everything. In light of this, when customer experience (CX) leaders were asked which technologies and capabilities they're incorporating into their businesses, the top answer by far was "delivering personalized experiences in real time" – coming ahead of things like connected devices, enhanced payment technology, and AI.1
However, while most organizations are considering, evaluating or experimenting with personalization, only 9.3%2 report that they've been able to realize ROI from these endeavors.
And many brands' efforts around personalized CX are clearly still in nascent stages.
We suggest that based on all the changes in the marketplace and the digital ecosystem, it's time to reset your brand's customer experience and focus on being in the moment with your customers.
Marketing in the moment
So what do we mean by being in the moment? We often speak in terms of contextual relevance, dynamic personalization and real-time decisioning. And the payoff for getting it right is significant. In fact, personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 5% to 15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10% to 30%.4
This sounds good, but it is a complex thing to tackle. Good starting points include improving your website personalization, personalizing offers so they are relevant and timely, and even old classics like tiered loyalty programs.
Recent developments in digital marketing like the impending end of third-party cookies will create additional challenges, which is why it's so important to build a modern-era first-party identity graph and regain control of your CX from the walled garden.
Some tips for building your first-party graph include asking customers for data in relevant, appropriate ways like during online checkout, or an invitation to subscribe to a newsletter, or an offer or discount, or even a contest.
Whatever the tactic, remember that when you ask for information, aka data, you must make the value exchange clear and let people know what they then will get in return for sharing their information with your brand.
Marketing fast and slow
Customer experience is always changing. But in the past 18 months, it's transformed beyond recognition.
The buyer journey has become fragile and easily disruptable. Add to this the explosion of digital brand interactions that the average person is bombarded with every day.
The result? A very noisy, chaotic CX landscape – just when brands need to make the most of every moment in a fragile buyer journey. The technology (and the data) is available to help them optimize these critical moments.
A reset moment for CX, and for marketers
In many ways, this is about going back to basics. Here are three key takeaways:
- See the bigger picture
The message for marketers trying to optimize smaller and smaller moments in the customer journey is to not neglect the bigger picture. The only way you can create relevant, personalized moments is to understand your history with the individual, across channels and across time. To do the fast stuff right, you have to master the slow stuff.
- Focus on the prospect experience
Don't just concentrate on existing customers. Remember to focus on the prospect experience, too. Brands with long memories remember their customers when they were still prospects, and they started the hard work of CX in those early days.
- Lay solid foundations
To succeed at marketing in the moment, you need to master marketing with a memory. And all of it starts with getting the right data foundation in place. Make sure you've got a data strategy and the right expertise to help you realize it – mastering things like data management, integration, analytics, personalization, measurement and more.
Talk to Acxiom about building your data foundation today. [email protected]
Acxiom provides data-driven solutions that enable the world's best marketers to better understand their customers to create better experiences and business growth. A leader in customer data management, identity, and the ethical use of data for more than 50 years, Acxiom now helps thousands of clients and partners around the globe work together to create millions of better customer experiences, every day.
Acxiom is a registered trademark of Acxiom LLC and is part of The Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG).
- Experience Index 2020 Digital Trends | Adobe
- The State of Digital Customer Experience: 2020 | CMSWire, Simpler Media
- How COVID-19 Is Altering The Consumer Journey: 3 New Paths to Purchase for a Changed World | Grail Insights | Rob Stone | April 15, 2020
- Marketing's Holy Grail: Digital Personalization at Scale | McKinsey Digital | Brian Gregg, Hussein Kalaoui, Joel Maynes, Gustavo Schuler | November 18, 2016
- Building Contextual Awareness in the Future of Customers and Consumers | IDC | April 2021
- The State of the Customer Experience Report 2020 | Conversocial | May 22, 2020