Every company with aspirations of becoming a digital leader views customer personalization as priority. After all, what marketing team wouldn’t want to tailor their offerings to each customer’s specific predilections and needs?
But making it happen is a real challenge. To get personalization right, organizations need the right technology tools to enable them to sift through all their customer data. Solutions powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are especially attractive, with their promise of unlocking customer insights that otherwise might forever remain unknown.
Tools, however, are abundant. New solutions reach the market all the time, making it difficult for marketing teams to figure out which best suits their needs. That’s why the marketing technology solutions field is often referred to as the “MarTech jungle.” The sheer volume of tools, with their variety of features and capabilities, is overwhelming.
So marketers have a hard time deciding what tools to pick, how to integrate them, and how to generate the desired outcomes. In some cases, teams get creative with workarounds for specific projects, but those workarounds often do not scale.
It’s a team sport
When thinking about personalization, marketers typically envision 360-degree customer views, customer profiles, segmentation, and other components needed to build the experience. They know what they want the customer experience to look like but not how to make it happen. They may not understand the rules and the authoring tools to properly structure content.
But this lack of knowledge isn’t a deal breaker. So long as marketers recognize they should be tapping the expertise of other teams, such as IT and sales. Customer experience isn’t the responsibility of a single department. It’s a team sport. Different stakeholders should collaborate to build the infrastructure that supports personalization services.
Of course, everything starts with the data. Personalization teams also need to pay attention to the metadata. To deliver accurate personalized experiences, it is critical to understanding the metadata associated with the customer data. It’s what AI algorithms use to learn and deliver insights.
Avoid common obstacles
To avoid getting overwhelmed in picking the right tools, marketers should first address some problems involving vision, process, and the tendency of teams to protect their turf.
On the vision front, all stakeholders — whether they are from marketing, IT, business development or some other department — need a clear understanding of the customer experience they want to deliver. Setting common goals for everyone to subscribe to is essential for a successful strategy.
Corporate fiefdoms, for instance, must be dealt with. Corporate departments often tend to focus and protect their own piece of the personalization experience. But while different teams may handle different tasks, orchestrating their work to produce a common goal is critical to success.
The last potential obstacle to address is process. By setting clear goals and getting all stakeholders on the same page, the personalization team can decide on the exact outcome. Only then can it leverage the right tools to drive the outcome.
Democratize the process
Clear vision and process help organizations navigate the MarTech jungle. Teams should choose platforms and tools that democratize the process so all stakeholders can use them as appropriate to work on their respective pieces. If only IT can use MarTech tools because they are too complex or technical, the outcome may be in jeopardy.
Teams should avoid vendors that try to dazzle customers with buzzwords instead of making a strong case around matching a solution’s capabilities to specific customer needs and goals. The tools should simplify tasks and enable previewing outcomes to determine if anything should be tweaked.
Ideally, teams will have access to a composition platform that enables them to integrate third-party tools and use them in a modular way. This makes it possible to reuse pieces of the project, accelerate and simplify development of future initiatives.
With all these elements in place, an organization can get on the path to digital success. It can create a level of intimacy with customers through data capture and personalized experiences, demonstrating the organization understands what motivates them. The organization can evolve with customers as their needs and priorities change over time. And once an organization gets this right, it can rightfully start to see itself as a digital leader. Learn more about navigating the MarTech jungle and discover how HCL Digital Experience can help you on the journey.