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How to make personalization work for you

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Somshankar Ghosh

Vice President and Service Line leader, Customer Analytics

November 1, 2017 - In this digital era, consumers are "always on" and have well-defined preferences. They divulge their preferences by leaving a trail of footprints across various digital and traditional paths, which they tread to satisfy needs that include both necessities and luxuries. Because these preferences are for the most part revealed silently, differentiating between those needs from aspirations becomes the key to personalization.

As consumers, we know how to scout for information about products and services to get the best deal to fulfill our needs. There is no defined path to purchase a product nowadays. It varies by situations and habits and is shaped during the decision-making process by marketing channels which are not necessarily sequential. And for marketers, reaching out to these individuals becomes a tall order! They have to rely only on data to understand the consumer better. Data, sometimes unreliable, incomplete, or sparse, streams in from a plethora of sources at varying speed and structure. However, to effectively engage with customers and deliver a better experience, organizations need to personalize content for every consumer.

That means marketers must assimilate contextual information (e.g., online behavior, consumer location, past exposure to advertisements, etc.) to present potential customers with the most contextually relevant personalized messages.

Analyzing a consumer requires

  • Understanding existing customers by splitting them into micro-segments and aligning them along similar traits and aspirations. Identifying target customers becomes crucial here!
  • Acquiring data to analyze customer needs across multiple domains, as these interactions provide insights into the "silently revealed" needs and aspirations discussed in the introduction.
  • And finally, matching customers' needs with products and services and crafting outreach campaigns through channels that are best-suited to each customer.

Identifying consumer persona

  • It is crucial to understand customer interests and life-stage dynamics — more than simply details about demographics, psychographics, etc.
  • For a holistic picture of customers' needs and aspirations, it is critical to combine interaction data from external sources (e.g., social and digital media) with internal ones (e.g., sales, CRM, contact center, etc.).
  • However, complexities arise when the buyer and user are different.
  • Understanding and aligning similar-“looking" customers is important — the initial step involves identifying micro-segments and calculating the probability that customers belong in each segment.
  • It is likely that an individual's needs vary depending on the product or service being sold. Individuals in a segment most willing to buy a mobile phone may behave differently when targeted for frozen entrees.
  • Also, past actions do not necessarily decide future targeting as life-stage dynamics change. Therefore, the need arises for re-classification of segments. Social intelligence helps understand the current issues faced by individuals.
  • The differing responses of individuals within a segment to specific campaigns can also help refine segmentation or re-classify individuals into more appropriate segments.

Omni-channel outreach and execution

As technology evolves, marketing execution methods change rapidly. Once segments are identified, the need for ensuring impeccable execution of every campaign becomes essential. Visual creation of a message that clearly aligns with the campaign message is a task for the creative team. Given the variety of channels, it isn't enough to focus just on a few channels and expect a higher ROI. Knowing your consumer is critical in figuring out which channels your business should use to optimally convey your marketing message. A perfect omni-channel campaign execution is the process of taking all these elements and delivering it to the consumer through the right channels as opposed to a cost efficient campaign that involves sending an advertising message to only those who will be influenced and can purchase the product or service.

Omni-channel campaign measurement

There are two ways of measuring campaign effectiveness: top-down and bottom-up. The former measures the efficiency of cross-channel marketing campaigns and helps in optimizing budget spend. It relies on an assessment of the likely impact of a campaign on consumer behavior. The latter measures every individual's reaction to an addressable campaign, after which the impact of each of these media impressions is evaluated at a granular level to understand the true path to purchase. A set of KPIs is deployed to understand the effectiveness of each channel, and corrective measures are taken in the event that expected ROI is unmet. This creates a closed-loop feedback system, which helps strengthen the process of attributing a higher probability of purchase to the consumer segments created.

The power of Genpact Cora

Genpact Cora, our AI-based platform that accelerates and scales digital transformation, powers the entire process of targeting consumers. Using Genpact Cora with a data architecture for downstream analytics, we assimilate structured and unstructured data from multiple sources. The platform also has a built-in library of advanced analytical techniques that data scientists use to create personas and provide real-time decision-making capability to execute campaigns across multiple channels.


About Somshankar Ghosh - Vice President and Service Line leader, Customer Analytics

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