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Building Relationships and Strengthening Brand Loyalty through Personalization: Tips from Collective Bias, an Inmar Platform

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Targeting outreach is important when it comes to starting a conversation, but a lot of the focus for businesses is on is supporting the entire purchase journey, says Collective Bias, an Inmar Platform.

Only 22 percent of shoppers are satisfied with the level of personalization they currently receive from businesses despite 80 percent of brands feeling they meet customer expectations “extremely well.”

This discrepancy has resulted in a whopping 75 billion revenue loss for companies every year — but there is an upside: with this void, there is a huge opportunity for traditional companies to start connecting with their consumers on a more personal level to build relationships and strengthen brand loyalty.

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During a #SMWLA panel hosted by Leah Logan, Vice President Media Products Strategy and Marketing, Collective Bias, an Inmar platform, representatives from Facebook, HP, and Coty sat down to explore how brands are using data to personalize their communications and why personalization is so important in competing in today’s D2C space.

Personalization = product + loyalty + customer service

Targeting outreach is important when it comes to starting a conversation, but a lot of the focus for businesses is on is supporting the entire purchase journey.

Stated differently, we must think of modern brands in the context of a service, not necessarily the product or commodity it’s delivering. Attributes and level of quality are givens; it’s how you’re going to serve the customer and communicate how you’ll meet their needs that is key to success. Put into a simplified equation: personalization = product + loyalty + customer service.

This notion was echoed across the panelists’ definitions of what personalization means to them in the context of their companies and specific roles.

  • “Personalization is finding out about your customer, their problems, and solving them,” said Austin Ratner, Affiliate + Partnerships Marketing Manager, HP
  • “Personalization is the right product at the right time with the right message built into the right channel…Consumers are expecting brands to add value beyond their product offering,” said Jess Chu, Brand Manager, Fragrance, Coty
  • “Personalization to me is making sure I’m getting stuff that matters to me 100 percent of the time,” said Asher Rapkin, Director, Global Business Marketing, Messenger and Emerging Platforms, Facebook

Adding value through data

Brands are using data primarily to shorten the distance between the consumer and their particular objective, and in turn, introduce a unique value-add to the overall experience.

Chu introduced the example of Johnson & Johnson’s Zyrtec team, which tracks a variety of data points in the backend even before the need — in this case allergies — is identified. They then deliver their messaging based on a person’s geographic location and what the pollen count is for that area.

Utilizing data should be less about segmenting audiences and more about “how do we let a consumer raise their hand and say, ‘I’ll tell you what I’m looking for, and if you can utilize the knowledge you have to deliver the thing that will be most useful, then you have met my expectations,’” said Rapkin.

Leveraging new tools & emerging tech

Meeting consumer objectives directly and accurately was a unanimous theme raised by the panelists when discussing the use of new and emerging technologies.

Instead of using technical jargon, HP describes their computers in a user-first perspective so that their customers can easily choose a laptop that works for them.

Similarly, Facebook’s approach tries to distill down what exactly it is the individual is ultimately trying to achieve by employing an objective-driven approach to utilizing new technologies.

“Whether this is done through a mobile app, a website, an ad unit, or in a virtual world, whichever is the most effective emerging technology is the best technology to meet the goal, regardless of novelty,” Rapkin stated.

The convergence of content & commerce

Influencer partnerships can help brands get consumer feedback on their products. Give your influencers campaign goals and seek feedback frequently. Make it a conversation.

In this way, you can compress distance and more successfully take feedback to heart and incorporate it in a way that will be viewed favorably amongst your target audiences.

“We think of influencers as brand advocates in the sense that we want them to be able to talk about how our products fit into their life authentically. We never want them to push a product just because,” Chu explained.

In the fragrance world, this is beneficial to consumers especially because choices are keenly reflective of a person’s lifestyle. Is this for me? Is it recommended by someone I trust and who knows me? These are all questions that closing the loop between a person’s point of discovery and point of conversion can address.

By being connected through social commerce in this way, “we can shorten the path to purchase and get it to consumers in their hands in a very frictionless way,” she added.

Advice to traditional brands in competing with D2C competitors

  • Focus explicitly on the opportunity or the problem; not the experience first
  • Diversify your choices and solutions
  • Don’t be deterred by the need to “catch up”

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