Can a machine really know your customer better than you do? | DMA

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Can a machine really know your customer better than you do?

We’ve all experienced the recommendation tools of ecommerce giants Amazon and eBay but as marketers we’re probably not all that comfortable with the idea of a machine deciding how and when to talk to our customer.

To create a personalised customer experience that’s exactly what we need to be doing says Daniel Hagos, client solutions manager at Emarsys in yesterday’s (3 September) webinar. Marketers need to be willing to release some control of content and recommendations and allow automation and recommendation technology to do it for them, using real-time data to serve up the most relevant content, product or offer to customers.

The trouble with the data many brands and marketers are currently using is that it’s historical data such as preferences and past purchases, and may no longer be relevant. When was the last time you updated your preferences? Similarly, while your purchase behaviour is a fairly good indication of how you’ll spend in the future it’s usually of most use for upselling.

Collecting real-time data that will personalise your customer’s experience by serving up what is of most interest to them now starts with your website. Listen to your website, capture the real time data and use automation tools to help your customer discover the products of most interest to them.

Hagos likens it to the experience customers have in a physical store, where through a series of questions a succession of sales assistants will take them from the store entrance to exactly the item they want, and make suggestions about accessories.

Customers want a personalised experience – 74% of online customers are frustrated with websites when content appears that has nothing to do with their interests and 75% of consumers like it when brands personalise messaging and offers.
And yet, apart from the major players in ecommerce, few brands are using personalisation and automation effectively – 64% of CMOs having either an informal or no process to manage their marketing automation.

Hagos mentioned a number of barriers. There’s the lack of know-how, with many businesses saying they don’t know where to start; a lack of integration – an inability to connect data across multiple platforms; lack of IT support or resource and concerns over cost and uncertainty over the ROI.

What do you think are the major barriers to automation and personalisation?

The final webinar in the Emarsys series (Strategies to treat every customer like a VIP) is on 12 November. Register your free place here.

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