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The Most Common Personalization Mistakes Companies Make

Posted on 1.25.2015

With Gartner data revealing that customer experience was the top area of marketing technology investment in 2014, it is no surprise that many brands are clamoring to jump on the personalization bandwagon.

Novice mistakes, however, are easy to make when implementing new strategies and/or technologies. Read below to discover three of the most common personalization mistakes that companies make (so you can avoid making them too):

1. Mistaking investment for innovation.

It can be very easy for Web workers to mistake technology investment for technology innovation, and according to RichRelevance Director of Product Marketing Devang Sachdev, this can result in siloed data that creates a disjointed customer experience.

“With all the best intentions, marketing leaders are investing heavily in technologies and point solutions to that prioritize customer experience. The average enterprise runs over 30 systems and the amount of data generated will grow 20x in the next five years,” said Devang. “More data and systems bring greater integration challenges and costs – and ultimately less ability to coordinate data around the customer. Valuable data often remains siloed in each application, necessitating unifying, cleansing and enriching of data in order to take action. The result is that consumers are jarred daily by disjointed experiences that stem from point and channel-locked solutions and siloed data sources – and marketers see diminishing returns.”

2. Overlooking customer changes.

Another common personalization mistake is when companies don’t take changes that can occur throughout the customer lifecycle into consideration, such as behavioral or situational changes. In fact, SundaySky President and Chief Revenue Officer Jim Dicso reveals that even slight changes can have a significant impact on a company’s personalization initiatives for its customers.

“Businesses tend to overlook the behavioral and situational changes that occur when a customer moves through the customer lifecycle. Even if it’s a minor change in customer data, it can still make or break a personalized experience. Subtle yet significant changes should play a part in the business’s personalization strategy,” said Dicso. “For instance, new cable customers need to be educated on their new services in order to properly adopt them. As customers move through the initial 30-, 60-, or 90-day onboarding period, high utilization of these services may indicate to the cable company a high-value customer, whereas lack of utilization may be a red flag for an at-risk customer who is likely to churn.”

3. Ending customer engagement too early.

The abundance of channels available today can make it difficult for companies to follow the customer journey. This means that marketers must spend more resources investing in long-term and meaningful relationships with customers. In fact, Founder and CEO of Janrain Larry Drebes notes that the traditional purchase funnel is long gone.

“Because consumers have so many options and so many messages competing for their limited time and attention, marketers must now invest in relationships that develop over time, and that often form in unpredictable and surprising ways,” said Drebes. “Recognizing this change and planning for a funnel with multiple points of entry and exit across various channels and screens will help you better understand how to meet your customers at every point of interaction and drive conversion.”

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