The Spectrum of Segments: Personalization, individualization, and X-Ray Vision

The Spectrum of Segments: Personalization, individualization, and X-Ray Vision

In the evolving world of digital marketing, companies are increasingly relying on personalized experiences to reach their prospects and customers. In fact, personalization is considered essential for digital experiences by 75% of company executives. While 80% of companies feel they provide personalized experiences, only 60% of customers agree. This is partly because the strategies used to facilitate customized experiences vary. Also, many companies think that using a customer’s first name or company in an email is enough, but this isn’t the case.

Tailoring customer experiences comes in three stages: personalization, individualization, and x-ray vision. It’s vital to progressively adopt all three strategies to provide the most optimally tailored customer experience.

Step 1: Personalization

The first step to creating a personalized customer journey is to utilize customer data and analytics to craft tailored content, messaging, and offers.

For example, a brand can have a better chance of capturing your attention when they send you a promotional email that addresses you by your first name and includes product recommendations selected based on your recent purchases and browsing patterns. The brand is only able to deliver such an interaction after they have captured your customer data and utilized it via a data-driven automation solution. Equipped with the tools to continuously gather and refine data on how you shop, what your browsing journey looks like, and which types of content click for you, the brand is then able to present products and communications most likely to pique your interest on a consistent basis.

craft tailored content

Step 2: Individualization

Once you have started using the personalization strategy, you can start targeting based on a customer’s individual attributes.

Individualization takes things to a more granular level and focuses on every individual's unique experience. This type of strategy delves deeper into the customer’s behavior and preferences, further fine-tuning their journeys with derived insights on propensities and intents.

For instance, if you shop for shoes on a big box store’s website often, every time you go to that website, their homepage will foreground their shoe collection, highlighting items that match your recent browsing history. This is incredibly effective as a personalized homepage drive about 85% of customers to make a purchase, and a greater impact can be achieved by weaving in individualized follow-up communication tailored to the customer.

individual's unique experience

Step 3: X-Ray Vision

Once you’ve mastered individualization, we can start using X-ray vision, which takes things one step further and involves harnessing all the relevant data and insights being captured by your marketing tool. This is about establishing a unified, segment-of-view of the customer and activating through a consistent, seamless, and continually evolving series of interactions.

In addition, businesses can utilize these insights to generate predictive insights such as what the customers will want to purchase next. These strategies work together to foster loyalty amongst customers. In fact, 56% of all online customers are more inclined to return to a website that offers product recommendations. Targeting based on unseen patterns and derived attributes will help you retain customers seamlessly.

To be sure, a dynamically curated homepage or a well-time pop-up message is not all that an individualized customer experience—which has proven effective in boosting engagement, conversion, and retention—includes. It also encompasses:

  • Notifications being delivered at just the right moment to keep the customer in their browsing journey.
  • Follow-up interactions, content, and offers on the website and other channels that are automatically adjusted based on their ongoing behavior.
  • An online-offline, omnichannel shopper experience being continuously optimized how this customer behaves and what they prefer.

unseen patterns and derived attributes

Bringing It All Together

There is a long path between addressing your audience by their first time to churning out individually curated customer experiences that are seamless across physical and digital channels. It is a journey that requires brand-wide commitment, serious reskilling, and investments in technologies that can deliver all the requisite capabilities.

There are, of course, tactical adjustments that can have an immediate impact without considerable costs. Reaching the final stage of X-ray vision will take some time as well as trial and error, but it will be worth it. 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations.

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