Personalisation has been a snazzy buzzword for a little while now. For the past few years, as automation technology improves, customers have begun to expect a certain level of personalisation when dealing with a company. Which means that digital marketers have jumped on that bandwagon with gusto. But have we been doing it discerningly? Are we making sure our personalisation strategies actually help our CRO efforts?
Being in the world of digital marketing means that there are new technology developments, new pieces of software, and new trends all the time. It’s up to us to keep up with them all, if we want to stay relevant and competitive. But it’s not enough to blindly follow the latest gizmo without any analytical thought or consideration. We have to make these developments work for us, not the other way around.
So how can we make sure our personalisation strategies help CRO?
What are you personalising?
Thanks to automation and AI, there are all kinds of things we can be personalising for our customers. But does that mean we should be? Hopefully you’ll all agree that the answer is no. Personalisation can be expensive, so it’s not something to roll out willy-nilly. Plus, if you’re doing it all over the place, you’re likely to start annoying your customers, rather than helping (and ultimately, converting) them.
It comes down to easing pain points. Every customer journey has some speed-bumps or potholes along the way. It’s up to you to find out what they are, and apply personalisation to resolve them. It could be something tiny, like UX tweaks on a form, or it could be something massive, like targeted ad campaigns based on browsing behaviour. Either way, you need to understand the issues your customers face and find a way to remove them.
It will come as no surprise to any seasoned digital marketer that this means three things: surveying your customers, speaking to customer service teams, and testing, testing, testing. The key thing is to focus on the end goal. You are always working towards increasing your conversion rate. While that may sound obvious, it’s easy to forget when you’ve got higher-ups breathing down your neck, demanding personalisation in the wrong places, for the wrong reasons.
Why are you personalising it?
Which brings us neatly onto the question of why. Are you only personalising things because your boss said so? If you are, you’re going to need to stop. With personalisation, the clue is in the name. If it isn’t closely tied to the individual customer (the person), then it isn’t working. Your boss is not the customer and chances are, they never will be. Don’t fall into the trap of personalising for the wrong person. It’s an expensive and time-consuming mistake to make.
Thankfully, if you put time and effort into deciding what you are personalising, you’ve probably got a good idea of why you’re doing it too. The important thing is to keep this reason uppermost in your mind throughout the project. Don’t ever lose sight of why you’re personalising this particular thing and don’t let anyone steer you off course.
Managing upwards is no easy task, whether it’s a client, or your own CEO. But when you’re the specialist, particularly in a field that is constantly changing, you’ve got to stand your ground. Talking in terms of facts and figures is always the best option. When egos and emotions get involved, it’s much harder to see the wood for the trees and do what’s best for the business. If you bring it back down to actual statistics and realistic projections, then that’s hard to argue with.
Can you fix a misguided strategy?
If you’re already some way down the path with a strategy that doesn’t know what it’s doing or why, then all is not lost. As with anything in this wonderful industry, nothing is set in stone, and there are always more things to try. But you have to be willing to draw a line under your actions so far, and dedicate yourself to doing this right. The best personalisation is going to be different for every niche, every sector and every business, but as long as you are doing it for the right reasons, that’s what matters.
The biggest challenge might be convincing your bosses, and that’s no mean feat. But if you can get them to give you a chance, the improved conversion rates and increased revenue will speak for you. Pick your battles and fight them hard. Personalisation is a powerful tool, but only if it’s based on solid research and decent testing.