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In this blog, we discuss the meaning of the term real-time personalization and the different ways it can improve customer experience.
Personalization… Personalization… Personalization…
It has become a buzzword for businesses – a proven tactic to grab customer attention and improve customer journey! Considering this, businesses are personalizing everything possible to entice their customers – from product personalization to personalizing their communication.
Now, going a step ahead, businesses have started real-time personalization! You may have some vague idea about it, but do you understand it? Well, you may have noticed websites and apps offering content based on your interests (essentially from your recent search history). That is real-time personalization for you! And it is a game-changer impacting customer experience.
This blog will discuss real-time personalization in detail and how it can positively impact your customers’ experience.
Real-time personalization can be defined as the mechanism using which marketers personalize the content on their website or application to suit the needs and interests of their customers. This personalization is possible through the information collected from customer data and then using it in your communication and service.
Further, as the name mentions ‘real-time,,’ you can understand that the changes happen within milliseconds. The core idea here is to ensure that you reach out to the customer at the right time and on the right channel.
Still confused about how it works? Here is an example
Imagine opening your browser and looking for the best customer success platform. You close the window after a few minutes and switch to an app. There you see recommendations related to customer success platforms. So now, you can know more by just clicking on the content hovering over your screen. That is convenient, right? Well, that is what makes real-time personalization a hit.
While we have given you a broad example of real-time personalization, there are several ways to offer real-time personalization. Some of the most popular ways include –
Direct, targeted communication: This can be done through emails, push notifications, and even via SMS.
Banner ads: Banner ads on websites and apps are a wonderful way to push product recommendations based on the prospects’ interests.
Landing pages: While most people confuse them with home pages, landing pages are more flexible and can be customized per user/ customer. These are the pages the users are directed to after clicking on an ad or a post. The pages can be customized according to the customers’ preference or the channel they have been redirected from.
Recommendations: This is yet another common technique that has been in use since 2003. This technique involves prompting users with recommendations based on their behaviors and purchase history.
So far, we have discussed how to personalize communication to attract the target customers. Another very effective way to attract them is through the product’s personalization. If you have ever observed it, customers tend to go back to the businesses that recognize them. Product personalization is always a success, whether with their name like Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign, or by offering a personalized customer avatar like Snapchat’s Bitmoji.
At the core of real-time personalization is data. This technique is only good when very strong data supports it. The right data coupled with the right targeting can work wonders for your marketing. Otherwise, your efforts can come off as spammy. It is especially important to understand that real-time personalization is all about promoting the right communication at the right time. Otherwise, the effort is a total waste, and it would bring real consequences.
The best data you could be used for real-time personalization is the data sourced from the Customer Success teams and the Digital Experience teams. Integrating the data from these teams and then creating customer profiles for the targeted, personalized communication would be a promising idea. This data would suffice to understand customer behaviors and their demographics.
Real-time personalization is quite intense as the users are provided with highly targeted content with relevant alternatives based on their (customers’) history. Using the technique, marketers can access customer interactions on online platforms. Along with information about their behaviors, marketers can also access customer demographics.
Using this information, marketers show users directly, targeted, and relevant information related to their interests and needs. This information is dynamic and takes milliseconds to reflect on different online channels. Thus, the content is more relevant to the customers.
Real-time personalization is not limited to websites, but the information is also seen on their email platforms, and social media. Thus, it increases the convenience with which users can access information. It further helps companies nurture customers, so they become loyal customers.
A recent survey on the ‘advantages of real-time personalization indicated that websites that adopted RTP saw
These statistics are due to the efficient usage of data when drafting communication, and products and services, to suit the needs and desires of customers. The messaging is more efficient because real-time personalization uses data curated by the CX teams and Digital experience platforms. The customers are engaged at each touchpoint, and ultimately, real-time personalization improves the customer experience.
While all sections of customers seek personalization from businesses, there are specific use-cases where real-time personalization works the best.
Account-based Marketing. Targeted messaging and reaching out are the core benefits of real-time personalization. Therefore, using the concept to support account-based marketing activities can yield high returns. It is possible to track anonymous visitors and see if they are from target accounts. If they are, your next step would be to approach them directly based on real-time analytics.
Local or Regional Content. Real-time personalization can be a tressure if you have more specific and relevant content in certain locations. For instance, if your business is hosting a tech show in a specific country, you could be targeting tech-enthusiasts from the region.
Content-specific to company and/or industry. Customers seek crisp and clear content. They are only interested in reading/ seeing what matters to them. Thus, content curated for a specific industry or a specific company works wonders. It brings in more traction as customers find it valuable.
Personalization starts when you understand your customers. For this, marketers need to focus on customer responses and reactions towards products, campaigns, their reviews apart from their browsing activities.
Several companies have already adopted personalization at some level. However, it is important to personalize at all touchpoints of customers’ interaction to reap maximum benefits from real-time personalization. For this, it is helpful to map their online behaviors. Having updated customer information is also very helpful.
This works like a gem. Send location-specific content, including promotions and offers to individual customers. This is also immensely helpful in evaluating content performance.
Real-time personalization involves sending targeted communication, including recommendations to customers. This is done based on their behaviors and activity on digital platforms. To do it better, it is recommended to use predictive learning analytics tools to be more precise with the recommendations.
The blog discusses real-time personalization in detail, and you may have already understood how it improves customer experience. Therefore, we recommend the implementation of real-time personalization the right way to gain the right results.
PS: Actual real-time personalization is when you use the personalization techniques to target individual customers rather than groups!35
Keep this in mind when trying to customize content/products for your customers.
Stanley Deepak is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with 15+ years of experience. He loves tech products and book reading. He writes on philosophy and culture on LinkedIn.
Published May 18, 2022, Updated June 06, 2023
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