Cross-Channel Personalisation Should Be Music To Consumers’ Ears

The customer is the judge at this music festival, expecting a seamless and personalised performance from your orchestra.

Cross-Channel Personalisation Should Be Music To Consumers’ Ears

by Kristof Fahy

Posted on 08-08-2016

While I’m not a fan of the orchestra analogy, the key points behind Adobe’s latest white paper “Conducting the Cross-Channel Symphony” should—and have to—resonate across and through any business that wants to grow and succeed in the world we find ourselves in. [Adobe is CMO.com’s parent company]

The paper starts with a simple truth—that while we all know that delivering personalised experiences is what we should be doing, it’s bloody hard to deliver them day-in, day-out. Delivering a seamless, consistent, and truly personal experience is what we all want to do. But there are many challenges to this. Not only do customers notice when we can’t or don’t, their expectations of what it should be like are now higher than ever before.

The paper makes a great point that the poor delivery of personalisation is like a radio station that drifts in and out of tune—“harmonious experiences are interrupted by static, discord, and even silence”—the last thing any business or, most importantly, any customer wants.

Customer First

So where should we start? Obviously, with the customer. The paper makes the point that “mature cross-channel personalisation programmes think like their customers, not like their org charts.”

At Ladbrokes, much of our historic success has been built on a strong retail presence. With over 2,100 shops, we are pretty much on every U.K. High Street. Now there is digital success too—we know that our future is about putting the customer at the centre of the business and ensuring that, however they want to interact with us, they can. Deposit in shop and play online—no problem. Win on your mobile and collect your cash instantly from one of our shops—no problem. Have a customer service issue solved in-shop—no problem. Track your shop-placed Saturday football bet on your mobile—no problem.

Now, some of these we offer currently and some we are working towards. But the task we face, as do all companies in making this happen, is, as the paper puts it, “rethinking the organisation’s structure and recalibrating it so experiences can be synchronised across every possible channel and touch point customers come into contact with.”

As I say constantly, our customers don’t wake up and think “I’ll have a mobile experience in the morning, a retail experience at lunchtime, and a desktop experience in the afternoon.” It’s not their job to join the dots on the ideal experience—it has to be ours as brand owners and businesses.

But to drive that customer agenda through any organisation, you need facts, data. You need to know who customers are, what they are doing. You need as complete a picture as possible of how they are interacting with you on any one day, let alone the previous ones. The point is the more you can know me, pre-empt me, deliver what I want, when I want it, the more likely I am to give you more of my precious pounds than your competitor.

As the paper states, brands have been in the personalisation business long before the advent of computers. In fact, the VIP service at Ladbrokes is second to none, and the principles of how we treat and know our customers in that environment must drive our mindset as we look across our whole customer base.

Same View

So simply put, all the different teams that are responsible for that single customer experience need to have the same view. And any hand-offs between teams and responsibilities need to be seamless. Now, as always, the solution is simple—bring all the data that customers leave behind as they interact with you together.

As the paper puts it, “aggregating these fragments and snapshots … you’ll be able to develop a more complete picture of your customers.” Which, in turn, will “enable you to speak directly to customers, serve their unique needs, and even anticipate their desires.”

And this is the process we have in place at Ladbrokes. It’s not done—but we are making significant and tangible process along this path. We have well over one million interactions with our customers every day, whether that’s online on their mobiles or in our shops. Bringing this together and creating a true omni-channel opportunity is the way we view our future success.

Listen

And, of course, the final point the paper makes is—listen. Your customers are telling you things every day, from their habits, to their mood, to why they don’t like you, to why they do. Some of these may not be direct. But if you are listening well, then you should be able to hear them. And these, in turn, become some of the most powerful inputs your teams will ever have—real-time customer feedback. The trick is the ability to do something useful with it.

See also CMO.com’s recent interview with Kristof Fahy.

Topics: Campaign Orchestration, Experience Cloud, Insights Inspiration, Digital Transformation, Campaign Management, Marketing, CMO by Adobe

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