Personalization is a familiar topic for customer-centric businesses today; it is a concept that has been increasingly discussed regarding building customer relationships, fostering trust with customers, and improving the overall customer experience. Post-pandemic, personalization is taking on an even bigger role. Jill Grozalsky Roberson, Director, DX Product Marketing & Evangelism for Sitecore, specializes in helping brands integrate personalization and offered some observations and insight into why personalization is so important for today’s consumers and how businesses can implement personalization in their own practices.
“Foundationally, really the role of personalization is building relationships and building trust,” Grozalsky Roberson explained. Personalization demonstrates to consumers that a brand understands and respects them fundamentally and cares enough to personalize the customer journey. In a world full of information, products, and constant marketing, customers feel a sense of respect and value when a brand tailors appropriate information to their individual interests and doesn’t make them dig through their website, emails, or catalog to find what’s relevant to them. Grozalsky Roberson continued, “when brands focus on building that relationship through personalization and personalized content, they increase the lifetime customer value for every customer with that brand over time.” This lifetime customer value can come in the form of a onetime upsell, increased visits to a storefront or online retailer, and even more purchases over time.
A recent example of personalization done right comes from the UPMC, which decided to personalize the information being shared about COVID-19 on its website. The UPMC network includes hospitals in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York, as well as abroad in Ireland and Italy. Using feedback and insight on community members’ comfort and experience with COVID-19, the healthcare facility decided to tailor content on their website. Although the basic information presented was the same to each visitor, the way it was presented was different. Using a red, yellow, green classification scale for individuals, UPMC successfully personalized the experience based on a number of factors including risk and comfortability so that every person seeking information received it in a way that was most beneficial to them.
Demonstrating to consumers that a brand understands their needs is done by putting all data points to work. If this information is collected and analyzed properly, it can show brands incredible insight into their customers. Grozalsky Roberson recommends that brands don’t wait for more substantial and involved data to begin adding personalization. She shared that “being able to start with personalization while you’re still figuring out some of that data strategy is definitely helpful because you don’t want to waste time.” For example, anonymous data, like how many pages someone has accessed in a session or their locations, can give you the backbone to start making the adjustments that show you know your customers. Grozalsky Roberson also emphasized the importance of investing in a strong CDP (customer data platform) to ensure that the data is not only collected but is also accessible across the organization. After all, data is meaningless if it is not available and utilized.
In today’s world, personalization is essential for brands to deliver moments that matter because it helps foster relationships and builds trust with customers. That feeling of being known, understood and recognized by a brand (similar to your local coffee shop knowing your order), helps differentiate brands and is increasingly becoming a factor in the buying process. The best news for brands is that it’s easy to get started with anonymous data to understand your customers’ biggest concerns and needs, and then to progressively profile and deepen the personalization prowess.
To learn more about how to embrace personalization for improved customer experience, click here.