The effective building of engagement and positive customer experiences nowadays goes well beyond the limits of traditional personalization. According to Salesforce’s State of Connected Customer report, more than 80% of respondents place the experience offered by a company on the same level as its products or services, and today’s consumers are closely following companies‘ activities. To meet customer expectations, companies are going a step ahead, reaching for hyper-personalization to predict purchase intentions and related likes and needs. This requires aggregating a large amount of data and analyzing it using artificial intelligence and applying marketing automation.
Many organizations still use traditional personalization, i.e., communicating with customers using basic data such as name and location. However, applying such measures on a massive scale can have the opposite effect, effectively discouraging customers from the brand. In the worst case, it can also become the subject of memes, like the now-famous bots selling solar panel solutions.
From personalization to hyper–personalization – a new aspect of marketing communication
Personalization has shifted companies to a customer-centric mindset, but consumers now expect brands to take an even more individualized approach – understanding their likes and needs. It’s a data-driven effort to tailor experiences and communications based on the information a company has about a person. Thus, the quality of this data, combining it from different sources to get a consistent customer profile, determines success.
According to the fifth edition of Salesforce’s State of Connected Customer report, based on 2021/2022 survey:
- 86% of customers confirm that they are more likely to buy from a brand that knows them,
- 73% say they expect companies to understand their needs and expectations,
- more than 80% of respondents believe that the experience offered by a company is as important as its products or services.
It is hyper-personalization that brings customer targeting to the next level, enabling companies and brands to effectively build engagement through tailored marketing communication. From a business perspective, this results not only in customer satisfaction and increased customer loyalty but also in the maximization of revenue, reduction of customer acquisition costs and improvement of service quality.
Data-driven hyper-personalization is an investment that will pay off because it has a real impact on building engagement and gives you an advantage in competing for customers.
How to effectively discover customer preferences using data?
Hyper-personalization primarily involves the use of real-time big data with the help of artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics. It allows you to get good quality information from customers and then take appropriate actions based on that information. In practice, the strategy is based on understanding customers’ preferences using the data they voluntarily share in the digital space by liking and commenting on selected content, clicking on emails, building lists of preferences (such as favorite movies or TV series), filling out surveys, using chat rooms and making purchases.
However, simply collecting and storing data is not enough to provide a unique customer experience – it is important to structure it properly. Moreover, personalization at an advanced level requires a holistic approach that takes into account every touch point between the user and the organization – from inquiry, through purchase, to customer service. Therefore, a complete 360-degree view of customer data based on a single source of truth available to the entire organization is essential.
Implementing data-driven marketing requires professionals to change their approach towards using customer information. Instead of the traditional model based on creating campaign reports, companies should focus on acting on real-time data and replace data silos with a single common customer profile that is accessible to all departments. By doing so, it is easy to get a comprehensive view of each customer and customer journey, customize communications with preferences on formats, channels and automate marketing activities. However, achieving the desired results and time to return on investment are closely dependent on the right choice of personalization tools.
Salesforce Data Cloud – the world’s first real-time CRM
The Salesforce Customer 360 solution is a portfolio of applications covering all customer-related processes, including sales, e-commerce, customer service and marketing. Thus, it provides a comprehensive view of customer data. But Salesforce, as a global leader in customer experience and hyper-personalization solutions, is going a step further and is delivering Data Cloud, the world’s first-ever hyper-scalable data platform that drives real-time CRM.
But how does this tool relate to the current applications offered at Salesforce Customer 360? Data Cloud extends the platform’s existing capabilities as it acquires and consolidates dynamic, real-time data from various channels and then feeds it to all applications in the Salesforce ecosystem at a massive scale.
So, it is about real-time personalization as data is updated in milliseconds and we can immediately respond to customer actions with an automatically targeted action or message. Salesforce calls it magic, but it is simply a precise response to customer expectations of the shopping experience and the essence of hyper-personalization – detecting customer needs and opportunities in real-time and responding to them with personalized, targeted content here and now.
Salesforce is going one step further and has introduced Einstein GPT generative artificial intelligence into its ecosystem. Einstein GPT combines public data with Salesforce’s own real-time data from the Salesforce Data Cloud, which retrieves, harmonizes and unifies all of the company’s customer data. With Einstein GPT, you can use advanced AI models in the form of natural language prompts directly in your Salesforce CRM to generate content that continuously adapts to changing information and customer needs in real time.
How do you begin the journey towards hyper-personalization?
A hyper-personalization strategy can be quite challenging, but it can be aided by a CRM system that, first of all, is well integrated with the organization’s core operating systems, and secondly, connects the various departments within the company so that everyone has a complete and identical view of the customer. The approach to advanced personalization can have different dimensions depending on the scale of the company’s operations or digital maturity. However, the tools that Salesforce provides can be flexibly tailored to these needs and scaled as the organization grows or as the hyper-personalization strategy is developed and planned to cover a selected market or brand in the first step, and after its implementation and adoption in the company, gradually expand it.
As a certified Salesforce partner, Sii Poland offers clients full support in implementing modern sales processes that enable data-driven decision-making. By working with our team of experts, companies can harmonize key information within a centralized, real-time platform, which in turn provides a higher level of business flexibility and noticeably better results.
How to prepare for the implementation of advanced personalization and where to start? First of all:
- Verify what customer data you collect, what sources it comes from and their quality.
- Focus on your own data, (first party data) i.e., data obtained from your websites, surveys, call center, CRM or customer service system, and verify whether it is being fully utilized.
- Look at your own shopping data and start segmenting it from different angles to get a better understanding of your customers (e.g., in terms of the value of purchases, frequency of purchases, how often your customers return, visitors without orders, etc.).
Start your hyper-personalization adventure with the support of experts from Sii Poland’s Salesforce Competency Center. Read more about our offer or contact us to find out what we can achieve together.