Jan 18, 2023

How to Achieve Personalization at Scale

By Vicky Sullivan

Imagine drafting a personal note to a customer telling them that an item they’d been looking at on the website has been marked down in price. Your customer would love it! Now imagine doing that for hundreds or thousands of customers—personalization at scale. It’s what customers want. According to a recent survey from Adobe, 87% of surveyed senior executive respondents agreed that the events of 2020/21 have rewired customers to be digital-first.

In today’s hyper-competitive marketing space, brands have no time to waste getting in front of customers. That means cutting through the noise and presenting customers with the right messaging for their needs. Doing that for all customers requires personalization at scale.  

What is personalization at scale?

Imagine being able to send each of your customers a promotional email showing them the items they are most likely to purchase based on their individual preferences. Personalization at scale gives companies the ability to present their customers with the most relevant and individualized experience possible every time — and also in real time. 

Personalization ​​utilizes the right data at the right time meaning that buyers are presented with messaging and offers that reflect where they stand along the customer journey, for example.. Having this strategy “at scale” means businesses can present all customers with personalized content to maximize the results. 

Why do companies need to deliver personalization at scale?

Personalization is no longer an option—it’s now a requirement. In a survey by McKinsey, 71% of consumers say they expect personalization with their online content.

Some of this change has come about as a direct result of the COVID pandemic. Consumers were forced to switch to online shopping. All that time online created expectations for better, more relevant, and more personalized content: 

  • 62% of consumers surveyed say they not only want, but expect companies to use personalization techniques and that brands without personal experiences could lose their business.
  • 56% of customers surveyed expect brand offers to always be personalized.
  • 88% of customers surveyed say the experience a company provides is equally as important as its products or services.

These expectations mean organizations must find a way for their customers to shift seamlessly from one method of communication to another, remember customer preferences across all touchpoints, and create excellent experiences throughout the entire customer journey. 

Personalized messages drive connection and conversion

With the majority of consumers expecting personalization, it’s no wonder that companies implementing cross-selling and personalized recommendations see a $5.6 billion increase in revenue, according to a recent study.

Personalization helps brands better communicate with their customers. A company can tailor content to demonstrate how the firm addresses a customer’s needs and behaviors. This gives marketing teams the ability to create unique experiences that can unlock, accelerate, and improve buying outcomes.

Here’s how enterprise-scale personalization can impact a business: 

  • First-time purchases: 67% of consumers say their decision to buy from a brand the first time is influenced by relevant product or service recommendations.
  • Repeat purchases: 78% of consumers reported how personalized experiences make them more likely to repurchase. The same number also say they are more likely to refer friends and family to companies that utilize personalization.
  • Share of wallet: 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very crucial to winning their wallet.
  • Transaction size: 80% of business leaders say customers spend 34% more on average when offered personalized shopping experiences.

The biggest obstacles marketing leaders face delivering personalization at scale

We’ve covered why personalization is important, along with highlighting some of the results you can achieve with personalization. Why do some marketing teams still struggle to deliver personalization at scale? 

We’ve found there are several reasons: 

New and changing customer journeys

It’s hard to predict the future. Even though the market had already taken a shift toward e-commerce, no one could have expected the impact COVID would have on consumer behaviors and preferences. Other factors, like economic uncertainties and supply chain stoppages, have also caused changes to customer journeys. 

Personalization at scale can help meet consumers where they are. But first,organizations must have the resources and agility to map out ever-changing journeys—and not all companies can do that.

Lack of integrated tech systems

A lack of updated technology frequently acts as a personalization roadblock as well. Around 37% of surveyed practitioners state that despite personalization being an established differentiator, they do not have the technical capability to implement it.  

Additionally, lack of budget or lack of technological expertise can further hinder marketing teams that would like to incorporate personalization into their strategy.

Concerns for a cookieless future

Despite the demand for personalization hitting new highs, many marketing teams are struggling to determine how to collect valuable customer data without cookies. In fact, 38% of practitioners surveyed by Adobe do not consider themselves prepared for a cookieless future.

Even with Google delaying the full demise of cookies several times, the uncertainty of what will come next has still prevented some teams from approaching personalization at scale. Additional privacy concerns and regulations, such as GDPR and the California Privacy Rights Act, have only heightened the pressure of finding alternative methods of data collection. 

Frequent organizational silos

In order for personalization at scale to be successful, it needs cooperation from more than just the marketing team. It’s imperative that departments across the organization have a shared understanding of success. In particular, a company’s IT team should work with the marketing department to ensure the technological side of the process is functioning properly.

However, breaking down silos to ensure cross-departmental collaboration can present itself as a challenge. Not only do under half of senior executives believe marketers are collaborating successfully with IT, but an even-lower 34% of practitioners score collaboration between marketing and IT at 8 or higher out of 10. 

How to deliver personalized communications at scale

Marketing teams should not be daunted by the challenges to implementing personalization at scale. There are several strategies and tools that can help teams see the benefits of personalization at scale without breaking a sweat.

For example, tools like Persado can simplify personalization. The Persado Motivation AI Platform provides organizations with an easy way to create personalized messages. Persado is equipped with the world’s largest customer motivation knowledge base. This allows Persado to accurately interpret the structure and impact of messages before they are sent out. 

Regardless of which tools you use, personalization efforts can produce results even at early stages of maturity. Here is what to focus on when developing a strategy to deliver personalized communications at scale. 

Data

First, you need to create an airtight approach to data management. This means your team should have a plan for tasks like unifying data silos, governing collected data, and integrating analytics to increase efficiencies and optimize real-time interactions.

First-party data is information a company collects directly from its audience via its own online and offline channels. This includes website visitors, social media followers, email subscribers, and customers. Because of the variety of information obtained, first-party data is an upgrade from the third-party data available with cookies. Persado can add to an organization’s first-party data resources with language data, a new kind of first-party data that enables organizations to create highly-targeted ads, relevant content, and personalized experiences.

Delivery 

When it comes to effective messaging, it’s all about the tone and approach of the message. Personalization is meant to encourage customers to take action, and AI allows you to generate messages that motivate.

In particular, Persado utilizes deep-learning transformer models trained to ensure each developed strategy is equipped with high-performing messages. The Persado platform can even be integrated with your company’s custom language model for organic brand-voice alignment. 

Decisioning

What can you do with the first-party data you obtain from your customers? Use it to make more informed decisions. Personalization leverages accurate, reliable data to develop messaging for different customer personas. The high quality of your first-party data paired with the intricacies of a personalization platform allow you to create data-driven personalized campaigns.

This helps with decision-making. Persado shows which messages are most likely to make your customers take action. Not only does this save time, as marketing teams no longer have to develop campaigns based on instinct alone. It also prevents companies from investing in strategies they know will not perform well. 

Experimentation 

Message experimentats help you discover which elements of the creative content drive the highest levels of engagement and conversion. This information comes from a combination of advanced decisioning and machine learning experimentation.

Persado allows you to uncover which versions of a message resonate best with your customers, giving you the ability to personalize messages at each stage of the customer journey. The learnings from these experiments can then be easily applied to other channels or campaigns at enterprise scale.

The ROI of personalization at scale

Implementing an enterprise-scale personalization strategy is not just good for your customers—it also impacts your bottom line. 

Along with driving greater customer retention and increasing a customer’s overall lifetime value, Adobe has reported that adopting personalization at scale can lead to:

  • A 3X increase in customer engagement
  • A 7-day increase in speed for time to market
  • A 50% improvement in workflow efficiency

With results like this, it’s imperative for companies to adopt personalization strategies. A marketing team alone cannot create an enterprise-level personalization plan, necessitating the use of a personalization tool. 

These tools will alleviate the burden placed on the marketing team and will also collect and analyze the data critical for successful campaigns. And if you’re worried about the accuracy of such products, some of them are more reliable than you might think: Persado’s AI-generated language outperforms control copy 96% of the time.

Hyper-personalize at scale with Persado

We have fully entered the era of personalization at scale. Regardless of the implementation challenges, personalization is now a mainstay for marketing companies that want to stay competitive. 

The Persado Motivation AI has the world’s largest customer motivation knowledge base that determines message intent, emotional context, and motivation. You can’t prevent change, nor can you predict when it will occur. But with Persado, brands can quickly adapt their messaging to stay ahead of change.
Now is the time to accelerate your personalization at scale strategy. Our solution experts are ready to start a conversation.

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