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How to make personalization your brand’s competitive advantage

by | Sep 18, 2018 | Analysis, Public Relations

In today’s highly competitive market, brands need to determine what makes them special and what convinces customers to pick them over another seller. This advantage goes beyond just the products and services that your company provides; in fact, the very experience that your brand offers can actually have more of an impact on your customer’s decision to purchase.

Today’s consumer cares a lot about the experience that they have when they interact with a company. According to Infosys’s report, one of the best ways that a business can provide a positive UX that entices a consumer to become a customer is by offering personalization. 89% of shoppers prefer to buy from companies that recognize their purchase history, offer relevant suggestions and recommendations, and offer external personalized experiences like emails, texts, etc. Furthermore, customers are even willing to pay more for a brand that delivers customization.

The idea of creating unique experiences for each and every customer intimidates even the most experienced marketer. However, there are some simple, easy ways to implement personalization strategies into your website to help your brand establish this truly profitable competitive advantage.

Use AI for relevant experiences

It seems like AI is the answer to nearly every problem in the business world. It can predict changes in the market, offer solutions to various issues, and even help leaders make smarter, data-driven decisions. AI is also an incredibly beneficial tool for marketers to utilize because of its ability to gather/analyze enormous amounts of consumer data and transform the numbers into actionable strategies.

In order to create personalized experiences, marketing teams will need to create internal consumer databases that track their customer’s behavior and preferences. Using an AI program can help your team harvest and transform engagement data into powerful insights to guide your personalization efforts. For instance, tracking how your audience interacts with your website’s content can help you determine which posts can bring them towards the next stage in the buyer’s journey, whether it be asking for more information, checking out additional products, or following through with a purchase.

How to make personalization your brand’s competitive advantage

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This information can then guide your marketing strategy so that certain web content can be prioritized and displayed in such a way that it is highly relevant to customers in various stages along the journey. Going back to Infosys’s report, the vast majority of consumers wish that brands offered more content that is uniquely beneficial to them, and 59% noted that personalized experiences played a significant role in their decision to purchase. By utilizing AI to help gather and analyze your own internal data sets, your brand can offer this experience to every customer.

Make transparency the priority

While customers clearly want brands to understand what they want and offer personalization, they are turned off when businesses become too invasive with their personal data. In a report conducted by Accenture, 73% of consumers had experienced “creepy” levels of personalization from brands that were tracking their behavior without their knowledge.

However, this does not mean that customers do not want their data to be tracked; 83% reported that they would gladly share their information if a brand was open and honest with their approaches. This clearly shows that consumers do want to know how and why they are being tracked before sharing their information.

The key here is to be transparent with your data collection methods. It is important that customers know when they are being tracked and what benefits this will offer them. For this purpose, it can be helpful to offer an opt-in notification when customers initially visit your website. This can be an invitation for them to share their data and let them know what type of personalized benefits they will receive, such as curated shopping recommendations or unique offers.

Another way to invite customers to willingly share their data and preferences is through interactive content that delivers customized experiences. For instance, an online clothing retailer could offer to create a personalized list of items that a customer may like if they take a style quiz to determine the colors and clothing types they would be most likely to wear. This not only creates a personal experience for each shopper, it can also provide your business with the kind of datasets it needs for even more relevant recommendations in the future.

How to make personalization your brand’s competitive advantage

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Know when and where to personalize

Referring again to Infosys’s report, 67% of customers want to receive customized and unique coupons, offers, and promotions based on their shopping and viewing history, and 58% want personalized shopping recommendations based on their preferences. In order to offer this kind of personalization, brands will need to optimize their website for this kind of experience.

One way to do so is to invite visitors to create customer accounts to make it easier to collect purchase and product view history data. Some e-commerce platforms will allow you to offer personalized checkout capabilities, such as options to include unique offer codes or loyalty perks.

How to make personalization your brand’s competitive advantage

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Keep in mind, not every aspect of your website needs to be personalized for every customer. Instead, your marketing team can get much more bang for their buck (so to speak) by focusing on the types of customization that are preferred by customers and actually lead to conversions.

Conclusion

In order to stand out in today’s highly competitive market, brands must offer something that is not only unique and special, but attractive to its visitors; this does not necessarily mean expanding your product line or offering additional services to attract customers.

By making personalization a priority, your business can create the kind of experience that your customers crave and will influence them to purchase. Remember, your competitive advantage is not always the physical product that your business sells; the experience that it offers to customers can actually be its greatest strength.

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Taral Patel
Taral is a digital marketer at E2M Solutions Inc who focuses mainly on the off-site SEO and content marketing. He keeps on researching on the latest content creation and promotion techniques that can perform well organically. He specializes in creating highly researched content that is well in line with modern content quality requirements.

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