Ken Rader & Imanol Gonzalez

CRO for campaigns: end-to-end personalization from first ad impression through web conversion

15 October 2021
10 minutes

Customers no longer tolerate siloed channels or touch points: they want a consistent experience that offers real-time personalization. This highlights the importance of end-to-end personalization, an approach wherein personalization influences the customer journey throughout the funnel.

An overwhelming 98% of marketing professionals agree that personalization helps improve customer relationships, as 72% say that they only interact with commercial messages if they are personalized. However, only 22% of consumers are satisfied with the level of personalization they receive from brands. It is clear that a good marketing strategy must be based on the creation of a unique experience for each user.

What is hyper-personalization?

Personalization need not only apply to one or two customer touchpoints, say a homepage banner or a mobile push notification. We have to consider all the steps in the funnel that customers go through in the journey from discovery to re-engagement. From social media advertising to checkout page fulfillment options, each commerce touchpoint offers frontend and backend opportunities for personalization.

The process of hyper-personalization consists of using a combination of data analytics, automation, and AI to collect and process all kinds of data to provide highly customized and targeted experiences. This practice has become a powerful tool for engaging and building unique relationships with customers.

As digital marketing becomes more and more competitive, hyper-personalized marketing provides the opportunity to engage meaningfully with customers to improve the customer experience.

How can hyper-personalization benefit campaigns?

Implementing this type of strategy in campaigns not only increases customer satisfaction but also drives brand loyalty, willingness to spend, and overall marketing effectiveness. Hyper-personalization strategies:

– Increase conversion rates, because it shortens the previous process and improves user engagement.

– Simplify the conversion path, reducing the number of steps required to fill out an information request or purchase a product.

– Streamline the work of the sales department, since leads will arrive at the bottom of funnel better informed and with a more favorable perception of the brand.

– Reduce the rate of returns, providing recommendations that are more likely to match the customer’s characteristics, which contributes to a well-founded purchase decision.

– Increase ROI, as traffic acquisition investments will be more effective.

How can hyper-personalization be applied to campaigns?

Through hyper-personalization, it is possible for an e-commerce company to adapt web content, activate email workflows, or customize display ads based on the brands that each user consulted, as well as the time they spent browsing, the internal searches they made, the average spend per order, or even their inclination towards certain colors. This strategy can be applied throughout the funnel:

  1. Data collection
    The first step is to collect the right kind of data, because hyper-personalization is only as good as the quality of the data. The more data is collected, the more segmentation can be added, and the more personalized the campaign will be. This also ensures that the right customers are impacted, which results in a higher potential for conversion.
  2. Customized offer
    People will likely only engage with a brand’s offer if it is tied to their previous interactions with the brand. Therefore, it’s a good idea to start with some simple personalization (like age or gender) and then start adding more segments based on who consistently buys certain products or when they purchase.For example, if there’s a group of repeat customers who always buy in April and October, it is good to start sending them hyper-personalized messages, adapted to their previous purchase patterns, with specific products in March and September.
  3. Personalized messages
    Enterprise marketing software now makes it possible for companies to create personalized, contextualized, dynamic end-to-end experiences for individual customers across every touchpoint. These experiences help make it possible for customers to develop an emotional connection to the brand and product, which ultimately helps fuel business growth and drive loyalty. For example, if you want to send contextualized emails, you can include:

    • Products that someone browsed before
    • Content that changes based on the time and place the email is opened
    • Dynamically changing SKUs when a product goes out-of-stock
    • Real-time pricing
  4. Various channels
    Combining the huge amount of consumer data with multichannel marketing takes hyper-personalization further by helping you create one-to-one relationships with users. Email, websites, social media, and smartphones all enable businesses to offer higher levels of customization.
  5. Automated data
    Attempting the process manually can be difficult since there are vast amounts of data to sort through, but there are several ways to make the process easier.In addition to using an automated marketing platform, businesses can also use predictive analytics to help them determine optimal times to deliver specific messages to drive desired responses.
  6. Consistent testing
    Multivariate testing can make identifying the most captivating elements of the messaging considerably easier. Also, through A/B testing, it is possible to measure the effect of several elements at once (headlines, images, copy, etc.) to determine which combinations perform best.Based on the results of the initial campaigns, it is appropriate to send even more accurate messages.

Best practices in hyper-personalized campaigns

End-to-end personalization is the end goal, but every digital journey must start with a first step. The beauty of personalization is that it can be implemented in bits and pieces, wherever it makes the most sense to tackle first.

For example, a retailer might need to personalize product recommendations within their mobile app in order to push inventory. Another company might decide it’s most important to personalize imagery on their homepage to decrease bounce rates. Both approaches are correct, but to pave the way for an ever-expanding personalization strategy, it’s important to follow these best practices:

Create a Short-Term and Long-Term Roadmap: Take some time to consider your ultimate end-to-end personalized experience and envision what the benefits could be.

Then, look at your immediate goals; how will you evolve from what you want to do now to what you envision in the future? Create milestones to expand your capabilities so that you can achieve your long-term and short-term goals.

Establish Buy-In: With a plan, you don’t have to worry about going to your boss with a one-off request – now you have a strategy. Use research-driven proof and competitive examples to show exactly how personalization can drive value. Involve your C-suite if possible, which will help when it comes time to incorporate disparate data sources and get help from your development team.

Set Measurable Goals and Build a Strategy: Once the plan is approved, determine how each goal will be met, involve the right stakeholders, and work backwards to ensure time is allotted for testing, integrations, and development.

To make goals more realistic, develop use cases that can be directly applied to current customer experiences. Remember that your strategy should be omnichannel — personalization doesn’t need to be limited to the website, or just to digital channels. This also applies to data; bringing all data together can unify your personalization efforts, the view of the customer, and ultimately, their customer journey.

Conduct a Data Inventory: Understand what is available and how it could be leveraged to achieve your goals. Some companies have a robust CRM that can be integrated into a personalization strategy, while others rely on 3rd party data or search behavior.

Many others combine a bit of both. Be creative: call center data, information about product returns, and loyalty information can all add to a good personalization strategy. Align on an Internal Governance Model: Make sure that stakeholders are empowered to operate as an autonomous “Personalization Task Force” that can prioritize new personalization efforts fairly against currently existing projects and priorities.

Modern consumers won’t forgive brands for not recognizing them in a mobile experience, or not acknowledging a recent purchase in one-size-fits-all promotions. That alone is justification enough for a unified personalization strategy. Bringing disparate data points together to create a single view of the customer, orchestrating order management to empower customers with seamless purchase and fulfillment, and providing ever-improving experiences by incorporating real-time inputs. End-to-end personalization shouldn’t be just a moonshot goal, it can be grounded in reality for inspiring organizational action.