Numerous articles have been written about personalization throughout the past few years, but what’s different today is that we’re able to actually implement personalized messages, campaigns and experiences for our customers. When our strategy is supported by data sets and analytics, along with technology, our personalization goals are attainable and we’re able to communicate on a 1:You level.
1:You is about having a conversation with your customer, not just communicating to them. This means brands must anticipate and encourage feedback and create a dialog, assuming the customer wants to engage that way.
At last month's Loyalty Expo event, our own Tad Fordyce and Brad MacDonald participated in a panel with clients AutoZone and Dunkin’. During the panel, we had an interactive conversation on the topic of personalization, Forget 1:1. 1:You is the new reality when it comes to personalization.
During the panel, we discussed key themes around personalization, including the role of the human (your people or employees), the influence of the mobile app (your platform) and how consumer privacy comes into play.
Let’s further explore these themes.
The role of the human (your employees)
People are yearning for the human experience and it’s the next evolution of personalization.
As marketers, you need to engage your employees to create 1:You relationships with your customers. Brands who exhibit best practices encourage employees to enroll in the program and become advocates.
Darin Smith, Director of Loyalty for AutoZone, shared a 1:You experience as it relates to fishing: “When I go to my local bait and tackle store, I buy the fishing supplies I need for that day's excursion. But in thinking of how the store can take it a step further, the associate could share the best ‘spot’ to put the hook in the water, and/or the best bait to use at this location. It’s about creating the experience for your customers.”
As marketers, we need to invest in our employees and provide them with the tools and technologies so they can connect with customers beyond the product specifics. As Epsilon’s Brad MacDonald shared, “Nothing creates a stronger 1:You experience than human interaction”.
Technology and the influence of the mobile app
Having the right technology (such as a scalable platform) is essential for executing a 1:You strategy.
Saad Khalid, Senior IT Manager of CRM & Loyalty of Dunkin’ said, “Our platform is growing significantly, and the mobile app brings the 1:You concept to life. Within the app, we present content that’s relevant to what our members are interested in. We’re always thinking about dynamic content and capitalizing on things like the NHL playoffs, or the MLB’s opening day. It’s 1:You and your local team and with the mobile app, it’s drives behavior in-store and on the platform.”
And testing is an essential component. Saad shared how they had their employees test an offer that launched within the mobile app in which a hot beverage was available to be customized by preferred flavor, however, it was limited to only three flavor shots. Employees shared how they preferred flavors beyond which was offered, so Dunkin’ took their feedback to heart and perceived this as ‘the voice of the customer’ and modified the offering to allow members to personalize their own beverage with the flavor shot of their choice. Since then, the app engagement has skyrocketed.
How consumer privacy comes into play
Consider privacy regulation as an opportunity, not a barrier.
Epsilon’s Tad Fordyce, SVP of Loyalty, said “GDPR and CCPA are introducing additional complexities for brands, but if viewed as an opportunity to reach out to customers and proactively ask them how they’d like to engage with the brand is important. Customers value their privacy, and brands can increase customer loyalty if they demonstrate they are good stewards of customer identity.”
As you continue to enhance your personalization strategy, remember to take a crawl-walk-run approach. Put an achievable plan in place and make sure to create a culture within your organization, from the top down, in which everyone understands why the need to create 1:You connections is essential for success.
And always keep front and center the value your brand brings to your personalization strategy. We refer to this ‘brand value’ as Big L Loyalty which is the passion, dedication, feelings, emotional connection and trust consumers establish with your brand that motivates them to continue their purchases and move through the customer lifecycle towards lifetime brand loyalty.