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BizReport : Advertising : June 02, 2017

Top 3 tips to improve personalization

The creep factor is still a problem for many brands online; while more consumers are being served relevant and personalized content, the way in which it's being done can feel creepy. Here's how brands can improve their personalization strategy.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Last year, consumers began talking about the creep factor of online personalization. What is it that they're finding creepy and how can CRM professionals counteract that?

Tara Kelly, Founder, President & CEO, SPLICE Software: Brands have access to so much consumer data now, and that presents them with an incredible opportunity, but it's so important to use it wisely. The most effective way marketers can avoid the "creepy" factor is to establish and meet consumer expectations about data use, just as they would in any relationship. For example, if you meet someone and give him your email address, then receive a text from him, that could come off as "stalkerish" -- you didn't give him your mobile number. He looked it up, which seems vaguely creepy, even though its publicly available information. It's about expectations and levels of permission.

Kristina: Are brands getting personalization wrong?

Tara: Many brands are getting personalization wrong, but the good news is, there are more tools than ever now they can use to get it right. One of the worst ways brands go astray with personalization is misapplying data. It's important to have accurate, up-to-date information. And brands should also gather customer preferences and permission when obtaining contact information. Asking customers for permission to contact them and reaching out on the customer's preferred channels helps brands avoid the "creepy" factor.

Kristina: What are your top 3 tips for brands and CRM professionals to better use customer data to engage?

Tara: 1. Get customers' permission to contact them, and ask about their communication channel preferences, e.g., text, voice, social media, etc. Then make sure you respect their preferences.
2. Always offer something of value in exchange for customer data and permission to contact them. If you make every communication worth their while, you can successfully engage customers.
3. Make sure you deliver a consistent brand experience to customers across all channels. An SMS message that invites a customer to visit a mobile site should deliver customers there seamlessly, and all channels should have consistent branding and use customer data in a consistent way.

Tags: advertising, ecommerce, personalization, SPLICE Software

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