In Sales, two-way conversation is key to building high-value customer relationships. Over time, the salesperson adapts the pitch based on what they know about the customer and how customers have responded in the past. The salesperson manages the relationship with a long-term view, thinking ahead about the sequence of activities that will lead to the best outcomes from the relationship.
Advances in data science and marketing automation set the stage for marketers to pursue similarly individualized two-way exchanges with customers. Algorithms can target customized offers, messages, and product recommendations derived from large volumes of online customer interaction data. Machine learning teaches systems to focus on a sequence of decisions, rather than optimizing response to an email campaign or the “next best action”.
The methodology underlying this advance in personalization is known as Reinforcement Learning. It is an iterative process that accumulates customer profiles based on all that is known about a customer, including past purchases and responses to past interactions, and identifies the next marketing action(s) to optimize customer value.
Start with a Data Assessment
Although the concept is simple, the road to fully achieving the vision is complex. Many organizations will start by carving out a near-term AI-based initiative that will improve on current segmentation-based personalization efforts and continue to build out in phases.
A good starting point for organizations hoping to deliver individualized customer experiences is an assessment of their existing customer data, exploring such questions as:
Are all touch point activities and responses tracked at the customer level?
Are touch points tagged with granular identifying attributes?
Do critical time lags exist in collecting certain data streams?
With the customer data assessment in hand, teams are better positioned to set goals to pursue with existing data, while executing plans to enhance data architecture.
Let's Start a Conversation
If you are considering how to get started with personalization or how to increase the maturity of your current capabilities, our team welcomes setting up a call to help you explore your options.