Engage Customers through Real-time Personalization

Real-time Personalization (RTP) is the ability to adapt content to a site or store visitor in real time. The personalization engine builds a visitor profile based on CRM and Analytics data, and uses the profile attributes to determine what content to display. The result is a targeted customer experience that boosts conversion rates and customer loyalty.

Some key questions must be addressed to implement RTP effectively.

  1. Who is the customer? The most successful initiatives leverage two kinds of information: identity (encapsulated in demographic information and customer interests) and behavior (reflected through browsing and shopping patterns).
  2. What should be personalized? Attention to both form and substance distinguishes your message delivery from mass marketing initiatives, and has higher chances of engaging your customer. Personalize the look-and-feel of the content, in addition to the actual message.
  3. Where is the interaction happening? Web, email, call center, and the physical store represent different points of customer interaction, but should always be treated as an extension of each other. Keep messaging consistent across these channels to foster continuity.
  4. When should the personalization decision be made? Decisions made in advance may fail to factor in the latest contextual information about the customer, and lead to irrelevant recommendations. Make the decision during the interaction itself to maximize conversion without sacrificing user experience.
  5. How is the personalization message selected? In a deterministic approach, the marketer has exclusive control over the message. In a predictive approach, algorithms drive the best course of action. Blend these two approaches to capitalize on the best of both: the expertise of the marketer, and the automation of the algorithms.

Source: IBM Smarter Commerce: Rethink Marketing