Personalization is a buzzword in the industry today. The digital market driven by data and the increasing needs of the customers for personalized suggestions, services, and interactions is the main force behind the evolution of personalization. To meet the market demands, companies are using various methods to ensure that the customer gets what they wish for to ensure sustainability in the highly competitive market. NLP enabled chatbots, AI-powered algorithms, and many such options are the go-to methods for businesses. These techniques, however, provide communication over a single medium.
Most customers today own multiple devices of different sizes to suit their varied needs. They are connected to brands, businesses, and peers via various mediums such as calls, texts, and social media, among others. Hence, it is imperative for brands to connect with their customers’ overall mediums to ensure continuous connectivity and seamless experience. This is where cross-channel personalization comes into the picture.
But what is cross-channel personalization?
Customers expect seamless and uniform experience from brands across all channels. Cross-channel personalization offers just this. Also known as omni-channel personalization, it is the idea of providing uniform experience and service to customers across multiple channels simultaneously. It can be easily confused with multi-channel. However, the two terms are different. Multi-channel allows companies to provide personalization to customers individually over the various communication channels.
To understand the concept of a cross-channel approach, let’s assume that a person browses the web. With their browsing information, the person can then be targeted via social media advertisements which s/he can then check on their phone or desktop. So essentially, cross-channel takes a multi-channel approach one step ahead to create a seamless experience for the customers.
Best Practices for Cross-Channel Personalization
Clearly, implementing cross-channel personalization is no cake-walk. However, the following are a few pointers regarding the best practices while designing your cross-channel personalization campaign:
This is a very crucial component, hands down, for your campaign. The content you design should reflect what the consumer wants to see. This requires proper research to know your target audience and what they are currently looking for.
You can create buyer personas with your research data to help understand various factors such as what is it that the consumer wants to see and which device he is more likely to use.
The next step for you will be to create personalized content and also decide where it should appear for individual consumers based on their trends.
Once your content is in place, you need to make sure that you project your brand uniformly across all the channels. There needs to be a proper working relationship between your channels. Your channels should showcase the story of your brand. Each should show a different part of the same story.
You can also add links to your blogs, eBooks, and/or any other content piece that you want to promote based on the interests of the consumer
It is efficient to have all the customer data at one common accessible location rather than having it distributed across the organization at various places. You can thus refer the customer activity and preferences at one place and design your strategy accordingly.
Analysis is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Attribution tools help us concentrate our time, efforts, and money where it is most fruitful to be spent on. They accurately highlight your audience’s data touch points across various devices for you to concentrate on so that you don’t end up spending unnecessary resources across all devices.
Usually, it takes multiple interactions for your leads to convert to customers. Retargeting allows you to get back in your prospect’s field of vision. For this, you need to re-personalize your message. The customer might have a slight change of requirement or might be searching from a different device. You can leverage your information about what did or did not work in the past to reconnect with your audience.
Cross-Channel Personalization Benefits
Cross-channel approach ensures that customers engage with brands on a regular basis across multiple channels. This increases the chances of them converting to customers and ultimately staying loyal to the brand.
As against multi-channel, cross-channel allows us to target and follow-up with customers based on their stage in the purchasing cycle. You are also able to avoid certain pain points with cross-channel across mediums. For example, in case of e-commerce, an advertisement on social media which redirects you to the home page of the website.
Irrespective of the environment and platform, cross-channel ensures that customers have the same experience with one brand across all the mediums. This increases the comfort level of the customers while dealing with your brand, thereby increasing satisfaction and improving loyalty.
Reaching out to customers over one medium is successful to a certain extent, but it comes with its limitations as well. For this, you rely on a certain type of behavior for your marketing efforts.
With multi-channel or cross channel, you are able to reach your consumers at various times of the day, via various mediums, custom to their stage in the purchasing cycle. For example, you could send a delayed push notification along with an email reminding them to complete an incomplete purchase.
Taking another example, in case of an e-commerce website, you could give a link to the cart at all times to the customer, so that they are able to view what they have in the cart in case they wish to complete a purchase.
It is well known that word-of-mouth plays a big role in the marketing of a brand. If a customer has a good experience engaging with a brand, he/she is more likely to recommend your brand within their community.
Cross-channel Personalization tools
RichRelevance has introduced its tool named Hyper-Personalization with Deep Learning. The tool uses AI technology to bridge the gap between marketing and e-commerce clouds.
Their one-time setup platform enables you to create automated personalized interactions based on customer behavior across various channels. As given on their website, the tool works in six basic steps – customer identity resolution, customer segmentation, real-time interaction management, predictive marketing, product recommendations, smart campaign management.
Braze works across multiple platforms such as mobile, web, and emails. It enables you to send push notifications, in-app messages, news feeds, and emails based on consumer behavior across channels.
Cross-channel personalization is the new in-thing in the current digital marketing arena and shall be the go-to mode of marketing tactic for many until something new arrives to take its place. We can clearly see how the marketing scenario has changed and how brands are opting towards singularly reaching out to their customers for a more personalized and seamless experience. This is the future of marketing, and it is now!