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The Definitive Rant about Personalization

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We think something very unusual is going on in retail marketing today. There’s broad consensus that retailers should be putting resources toward personalization across web, email, and mobile apps. But few are walking the walk.

Published in: Retail
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The Definitive Rant about Personalization

  1. 1. Theweird,frustrating andinsanelyshort-sighted thingaboutpersonalization. An unseemly tirade by, for, and about retailers with ambition.
  2. 2. Youknowwhat’sfrustrating? Watching someone do something even when they know it’s going to end badly… and (sure enough) it does.
  3. 3. Well,ifthat’sfrustrating,howabout watchinganentireindustrydosomething counter-productiveevenwheneveryone knowsforafactthatit’swrongandeven agreesonthesmartthingtodo. That’s retail right now.
  4. 4. Today, as you’re reading this, everysingleretailer knowsthatapersonalized experienceisbetterthan ageneric,same-thing-for- everyoneexperience.
  5. 5. And the biggest news? Customersknowittoo. Theyexpectyoutotakeaccount ofwhatyouknowaboutthem. Whythehellwouldn’tyou?
  6. 6. Five years ago, some people would have argued that personalization isn’t worth it. But today, it’s an accepted fact: Ifyoucantakewhatyouknowabout someoneanduseitinyourinteractions, you’llgetbetterresultsthanifyouignore whatyouknowandtreatthemlike everybodyelse.
  7. 7. Retailersalsoknowthatpersonalization ismuchmorethanaproductrecohere anda“HiSophie”there. Every part of the customer experience can now be personalized. Any web page. Every email. All interactions on mobile sites. Anything and everything can be personalized (and even linked across channels). There’s no excuse for delivering the generic version.
  8. 8. Everyretaileralsoknowsthat theGreatGodofOptimization isactuallyamyth. And that if you test and tweak for ten years to ‘optimize’ that onelandingpageforallaudience segments what you’re actually doing is making it sub-optimal for every specific segment.
  9. 9. Whenyousegmentyouraudience, andtreatthesegmentsdifferently, youimproveeverymetricthatmatters: Whetherit’sengagement,traffic,conversion or loyalty. That idea is not even debated any more in retailing circles (yes, we hang out in circles).
  10. 10. Everyretaileralsogetsthatyoucan’tjust personalizeinonechannel,likeemail. They know that customers just don’t think ofyourbrandasabunchofspecialistteams that never talk to each other (even if that’s true) (which we really hope it isn’t). Your customers see you as one brand. One thing. Oneentityandpersonality andorganization.And you should return the favor. But if you get all chummy and personal in an email then treat a person like a stranger when they hit the website, it feels kind of… eerily fake.
  11. 11. Sookay. Remember that frustration you feel when you see a smart person do a not-so-smart thing? Now you know what it feels like to watch the online retail industry put their fingers in their collective ears and hum the theme tune to Gilligan’s Island.
  12. 12. 6% areactually doingit. 96% ofretailerssay personalizationisawesome butonly Because,eventhoughevery(andwe meanevery)retailerknowsthepower oftruemulti-channelpersonalization, onlythefew,thebestareactuallydoing anythingaboutit. A statistic from Econsultancy:
  13. 13. 6% areactually doingit. 96% ofretailerssay personalizationisawesome butonly Because,eventhoughevery(andwe meanevery)retailerknowsthepower oftruemulti-channelpersonalization, onlythefew,thebestareactuallydoing anythingaboutit. A statistic from Econsultancy: Shortpauseforthatdepressingrealitytosettlein.
  14. 14. Nowlet’ssnapoutofit.
  15. 15. Becausetheexasperatinggapbetween whatretailersknowandwhattheydois actuallyabig,fat,shinyandawesomely lucrativeopportunityforanybraveretailer willingtoclosethatgap. (We’re thinking of youhere).
  16. 16. Because, here’s the thing: Thereasonretailersaredelaying theirpersonalizationeffortsis basedontwototalmisconceptions. (Misconceptions that the vendor community has actually helped propagate).
  17. 17. The first misconception: “Personalizationishard.”
  18. 18. “Itwillcreatemoreworkforateamthatcan hardlyhandletheworkit’salreadygot. Themoresegmentswecreate,themore specialexperienceswe’llhavetodesign anddeployandtestandmeasure. That’sscary.” (Well, if we believed this, we’d hold off too.)
  19. 19. The second misconception: “Personalizationiscomplex”
  20. 20. “One-experience-fits-alliscomplicated enough.Shatteringourcustomerjourney intolotsofsegmentedcustomerjourneys isgoingtobehellishlymessy.Thiscallsfor amulti-yearresearchproject,withmaybe consultantsandmodelsanddata warehousesandroadmapsandstuff.” (Yikes.)
  21. 21. Theweirdthingisthatboth ofthesemisconceptionsare actuallytrueifyouapproach personalizationlikeatypical datawarehousere-platforming orITmigration. Done the old-school, IT-driven way, it’s gonna hurt. And take forever. And, let’s face it, probably fail.
  22. 22. But here’s the tragicomedy of it all: PersonalizationisWAYeasierand farsimplerthanretailersthinkitis.
  23. 23. ItdoesNOTtakeateamoften tocreateanddeploypersonalized experiencesforafewdozen meaningfulaudiencesegments. It doesn’t even take a team of five. It takes a team of you. Over a few lunch breaks.
  24. 24. AnditdoesNOTtakeyearsofresearchandasnafu ofsystemsintegrators(ooh:anewcollectivenoun) withanewdatawarehouseandsixcoderstolink toyourecommerceplatform. You can actually get going in a week or so. And once you’re up to speed, you can deploy new experiences for new segments in minutes. Without bothering the very talented but very overworked IT dudes.
  25. 25. Thisisn’tsomethingwewishtobetrue. Thisissomethingweknowtobetrue. We’ve seen dozens of retailers do it every day. We help them do it better every day. And, yes, we give them the platform that makes it almost embarrassingly easy to do it every day. (No, we’re not going to get all salesy on you. Yet.)
  26. 26. Solet’swrap thissuckerup:
  27. 27. Solet’swrapthissuckerup: Everyretailerknowsthat personalizationistheway togo.Butmostretailers thinkit’stoohardandtoo complextotackle. A dis am on to
  28. 28. Afewhavealready discoveredthisis amythandareacting onthisknowledge totheiradvantage. Solet’swrapthissuckerup: An su on An An t ay o
  29. 29. Solet’swrapthissuckerup: Andonehasjuststartedto suspectthere’sawayforward onthispersonalizationthing. Andthatit’sgoingtobegood. Andthatoneisyou.
  30. 30. Wecan’twaittotalk.
  31. 31. Monetatepowersmulti-channel personalizationfortheworld’s bestbrands. We do it with a powerful personalization platform that works with your technology stack to deliver real-time customized experiences to an unlimited number of audience segments. And it’s all ready to help you personalize now: with whatever data silos you have and whatever marketing tools you love. Dropinandseeus. The perfect place to start is exactly where you are. And the best time… is right now. Monetate. Personalize now. Aboutus.

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