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Up Close and Personal: How Brands Can Enhance Customer Experience with Tailored Communication

Personalization is the currency that attracts and retains customers. The technological advancement in the last decade has ushered us into a  “digital-first” era which not only forced brands to heavily focus on the digital side of their business but also created opportunities for a lot of new and upcoming brands to showcase their offerings to the world. This also meant that customers now have a wide range of brands to choose from and this choice is reflected in their behavior.  Three-quarters of consumers switched to a new store, product, or buying method during the pandemic.

So one thing is certain, customer loyalty is up for grabs. But how do you get hold of that and run with it? The answer is personalization. Till a few years back, personalization was a choice, it was an extra step that brands took to establish intimacy with their customers. However, today personalization isn’t a luxury or a choice. It’s a NEED.

What Does Personalization Translate To?

It’s no secret that a “Hey ‘first-name’ “ email won’t fascinate customers anymore.  Brands need to start treating their customers as individuals and not as mere demographics. Some of these aspirations translate to customized in-app navigation, targeted offers, and contextual recommendations.

Avenues for Personalization:

We have established how indispensable personalization is in this day and age. But how do we create that personalized experience for our customers? Do we win them over with personalized emails or send them quirky push notifications? 

Well, let’s take a look at the various digital touchpoints through which brands can personalize experiences for their customers:


Emails that grab customers’ attention are the ones that include contextual information about product catalogs, product recommendations, customer milestones, custom offers, etc. with relevant rich media. In case you’re wondering how much impact personalization can bring, here’s the data: contextual email personalization drives 82% higher open rate and 75% higher click rate.

Push Notification

Personalized notifications based on past transactions and interactions can be a perfect hook to draw your customers back to your app or website.

Personalized Web/In-app interactions

Leveraging first-party data to deliver personalized interactions can be the key to driving higher loyalty, app usage, and sales. The numbers speak for themselves as apps/websites with personalized interactions witness 6x higher transaction rates and 40% higher user retention

Personalized digital ads

We see thousands of ads every single day and if we don’t want our target audience to click the “skip ad” button, we need to present them with personalized and relevant ads. Leveraging online user data and third-party data to target users with more relevant advertising content enhances their experiences and also enhances ROAS. Personalized ads can drive up to 2x higher engagement and 3.5x higher conversion rates

The Complex Backend of Personalization:

Personalizing experiences for users is indeed the future. However, for brands to adopt that, they need to have a solution infrastructure in place that will analyze customer analytics to send timely signals, produce creatives for different target audiences, publish the creatives and collect timely insights. Hence the total composite solution architecture required for personalization can be broken down into four parts:

  1. Data and Decisioning: This includes the first part of the infrastructure which will be responsible for the user data with a three-sixty-degree view and analytics. This data will be used to create ‘custom scoring’ and ‘signalization’. However, currently, the data and decision-making infrastructure are largely channel-based failing to give a holistic picture of overall user behavior. Brands need a combination of Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Data Management Platform(DMP)  augmented with Information and Data Management  (IDM) that stores and manages the data points of customers. Brands also need an integrated decisioning engine backed by AI models which can navigate the signaling both for cohort and individual interactions.
  2. Automated Production & Optimization: Upon getting the signals from the data and decisioning platforms, the next step is to produce and edit creatives at scale on the basis of those signals. However, this can be a challenge with a brand’s existing creative infrastructure. Enterprises need an agile CreativeOps system that can automate content production, make bulk edits a breeze, and aid experimentation.
  3. Automated Compliance & Delivery: With planning and production in place, the next step is to ensure the brand compliance of the creatives. However, manual compliance checks are time-consuming and error-prone. Brands need an agile CreativeOps infrastructure that will automate creative checks and will also automate content delivery to distribution channels.
  4. Creative Level Analytics and Insights: Once the creatives have gone live, the last step is to assess how they have performed. While campaign-level data is readily available, there is a lack of creative-level analytics. Brands need a creative analytics platform that not only provides creative-level data points across channels but also shares actionable insights during the process of content production.

Ideal Martech Stack to Enable Personalization at Scale

Enabling personalization at scale is way easier said than done and it requires a proper marketing technological infrastructure. For example, automated creation and optimization calls for a Customer Data Platform, and Information and Data Management Platform to take care of data and decisioning. A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a tool that allows businesses to collect, unify, and manage customer data from multiple sources into a single, centralized database. An Information and Data Management Platform(DMP), on the other hand, helps the business manage and govern its data assets effectively.

Then there’s the need for a Digital Asset Management system to organize and manage the creative assets made and a journey orchestration tool to execute the journey map

When it comes to automated compliance and delivery, brands need a system of engagement that will take care of email and push notifications, web and in-app content, and advertisement. The tech infrastructure required will be different based on the channels. For example, email and push notifications require mobile marketing and marketing automation platforms. Web and in-app communication need a content management system to create, manage, and publish digital content and catalog management that will aid in organizing, and maintaining a product/service catalog digitally. Finally, ad-tech will require dynamic creative optimization to ensure the creation and delivery of personalized advertisements to the right target audience.

Lastly, for analytics, brands need a system of insights that will take care of campaign analytics as well as web and in-app traffic. Campaigns would require marketing and ad analytics while web and in-app interaction can be tracked by web and app analytics.

Now, as we had previously discussed, the inputs from the data and decisioning center are imported into the process of creative production and compliance which will include automated creation and optimization. Once the creatives are prepared, they will be sent across various channels via automated delivery and the analytics from those creatives can be used as actionable insights.

Personalization Workflow: Bringing It All Together

The technology to unlock the value of personalization at scale is readily available, and you may be surprised how much of it you already have in place.

We begin the workflow with centralized data to ensure activity in one channel can immediately support engagement in another. For this to happen, three data and decisioning systems are needed:

Customer-data platform (CDP): As we briefly discussed, a customer data platform ​​allows businesses to collect, unify, and manage customer data from multiple sources into a single, centralized database. Its goal is to create a unified and comprehensive view of each customer by stitching together all of their data across all touchpoints and channels. With this data, brands can develop an addressable customer identity and send hyper-personalized communication that will have way more probability of converting.

Identity-resolution platform (IRP): It is a platform that allows businesses to identify and link data to a single customer identity, regardless of the channels or devices they use to interact with the business. It helps increase the match rate of known customers with otherwise anonymous digital IDs, thus expanding the pool of addressable customers and prospects. The primary goal of an Identity-Resolution Platform is to enable businesses to personalize the customer experience

Data-management platform (DMP): It essentially helps businesses manage and govern their data assets. DMP converts signalized data from the CDP and makes it available to activate in digital channels. It also makes third-party data accessible which aids in creating additional micro-segments and rich “look-alike” segments within the customer pool.

Once the data and decisioning engines are connected and firing, your CreativeOps stack does the rest of the heavy lifting. Rocketium can either integrate into your existing CreativeOps or form the single platform that automates: creative production at scale, compliance checks, and publishing these creatives to engagement channels. Rocketium’s analytics hub then forms the single source of truth for creative performance data that provides actionable insights to optimize creatives further, maximizing outcomes across channels.

Despite personalization being almost imperative in today’s day and age, not everyone is embracing it. New-age startups and eCommerce platforms were and are quick to understand the potential of personalization and they were quick to get on board as well. However, there is still some inertia among many established enterprises, to adopt personalization in their campaigns or on their website/apps. But note that this is a phenomenon that every brand, big or small, needs to embrace as soon as possible. The reason? Their competitors have already welcomed it! So if you want to win the trust and loyalty of your customers and not lose them to your competitors, we say, board the personalization train today.

Sreetama Chakraborty

Sreetama Chakraborty

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