Changing Customer Expectations
One of the biggest personalisation trends of 2021 is the change in customer expectations that took place in 2020. As a result of everything that happened, customers began demanding a better customer experience and stopped doing business with companies that couldn’t give them what they wanted.
In particular, customers wanted brands to deliver a better digital experience. They didn’t want to have to enter the same information into a site or app multiple times, and they wanted targeted offers that met their needs. Those demands aren’t going away—marketers can expect to see this trend in 2021 and beyond.
AI in Personalisation
Another top personalisation trend in 2021 will be the growing role of AI in personalisation. There are a few ways we’ll see AI in marketing personalisation trends this year:
- Personalisation at scale
- Personalising content
- Personalising the customer experience
Personalisation at Scale
When you think of personalisation, what most likely comes to mind is a labour-intensive process that doesn’t yield a great ROI. Thoughts of being hunched over a computer, having to type individual emails, are what most people imagine.
AI allows marketers to personalise content for many customers at once, in a way that’s efficient and cost-effective. It learns customer preferences, so it will send the right marketing messages to the right customer, at the right time.
One of the ways you can personalise at scale is by personalising content.
For example, AI can tell you that Mark visits the Auckland branch of your coffee shop every day between 8:40 and 8:50 a.m., and he invariably orders a long black and a blueberry muffin. Mark would be the best audience for (and would certainly appreciate) a coupon for his favourite beverage via his phone when he walks in tomorrow morning.
Personalising the Customer Experience
The customer experience refers to the interactions a customer has with a company. As with marketing content, there’s a way to personalise the customer experience, too.
Let’s say you’re in the market for a content management system. You visit a CMS vendor’s site, and it piques your interest. The next time you visit, the site recognises that you’re a returning visitor, so it won’t ask you to sign up for the company newsletter. That’s a smoother customer experience for you, because you don’t feel as though you’re being pestered to share information.
Customer experiences don’t just take place on your website—they take place in person, on your social media channels, on your apps, with your chatbots, etc. To that end, you can’t just personalise a single channel; they must all offer a personalised customer experience.
When a customer visits one of your digital properties, then visits another, the experience should be consistent. Offers should be the same. Messaging should be the same. That’s omnichannel personalisation at work, and it makes the customer feel that you understand what they want and need.
Greater Collaboration between Marketers to Produce Personalised Content
Collaboration in the workplace is becoming more prevalent. Working together and being able to share ideas leads to better outcomes. This also applies to the marketing department.
Advances in marketing technology have made it easier for marketers to collaborate on personalised content. One person could craft a message, while his colleague could add the perfect image or video that complements the written content. The ability to collaborate on personalised content will be one of the top personalisation trends in 2021, because it gives marketers greater flexibility.
Even though customers want personalised content (when marketers personalise content and the customer experience, they typically see a 19 percent increase in sales), they still care deeply about their privacy. There is such a thing as too much personalisation.
Marketers aren’t just seeing customer pushback. They face pressure from legislators and regulatory bodies, too. We’ll see more broad, sweeping privacy regulations such as GDPR (which affects businesses with customers in the EU, even if the business itself resides outside of the EU).
Customer Trust Issues
There are two points to consider regarding customer trust:
- Your content has to be reliable
- You have to handle your customer data to preserve privacy and confidentiality
Unfortunately, we live in an era in which fake news reigns. People are constantly asking themselves, ‘Can I trust this source? Is this information accurate and valid?’
The relationship between marketers and customers and leads must be built on trust. Marketers must provide accurate, valid information to customers and leads so that customers and leads feel comfortable trusting the company.
Privacy and Confidentiality
To personalise marketing content, marketers need access to data. Sometimes, that data is personal and confidential.
Marketers must make sure that customer and lead data is handled in the most secure way possible. If there’s a breach, customers are apt to lose faith in the business completely.
Building Better Data Models
Building better data models is another of the top personalisation trends of 2021. A data model organises and standardises the way information elements interact with one another; by extension, a marketing data model means that marketing data is organised, and that elements will interact with one another in a standard way.
By creating a better data model, you’re increasing the chances of your success. You’re making sure that you're reaching the right people, and that you’re providing useful content that meets their needs.
Personalise Marketing Content Effectively with Enlighten Designs
Since 1998, Enlighten has been delivering amazing digital experiences to its customers, including personalising marketing content. We’re proud partners with Microsoft and Sitecore, each of which have deep expertise in AI and personalised marketing content. To learn more about how Enlighten Designs can help you implement the top personalisation trends in 2021, contact us.