From Persona to Person: Omnichannel Measurement for the Individual Consumer
Today’s omnichannel landscape requires marketers to focus their efforts on the individual. With this in mind, marketers need to rethink the way they measure customer experience. Specifically, they need to focus more on granular, individual marketing measurements and less on general buyer personas.
This need stems from the overabundance of messages consumers encounter daily. Now, to break through the noise of the modern marketing landscape, marketers need to divert their efforts away from traditional buyer personas and toward marketing measurements that provide insights into consumer behavior at the person-level. In doing so, marketers will be able to connect consumers with the products and services that resonate, using the right channel, and the appropriate creative messaging that catches their attention.
Breaking Away from Buyer Personas
Traditionally, marketers have relied on buyer personas as a foundation for their customer journey mapping—which provides a holistic view of the customer experience from first touch to purchase decision.
The reasoning behind this makes sense: by better understanding the consumer, marketers can better understand why they interact with various touchpoints. However, traditional buyer personas, for the most part, are fictional representations of what an ideal customer within a target audience segment looks like.
As modern consumers demand marketing engagements tailored to their own unique needs, marketers who rely on the behaviors, pain points, and preferences of generalized audiences will fall short of the individualized marketing that leads to better engagement and ROI. Relying on personas like, “Becky, stay-at-home mother,” or “David, the IT professional,” won’t allow marketers to accurately understand when, where, why, and how they can personalize their efforts across online and offline channels.
Instead, marketers need the ability to understand the behaviors and insights of actual consumers, enabling them to map out a more accurate glimpse into the customer journey, while highlighting unique opportunities for increased marketing personalization.
Why Personalized Marketing Needs Person-Level, Omnichannel Measurements
When marketers rely on personas to map out the journeys they’re offering consumers, they’re essentially making educated guesses. In order to accurately understand the customer journey and provide the targeted communications consumers demand, marketers need to create their journey maps based on real insights that showcase individual customer experiences from start to finish. In other words, they need omnichannel measurements that can provide person-level insights.
To be able to accurately collect and organize these kinds of insights, marketers need to use a data analytics platform with the ability to effectively implement omnichannel measurements.
Marketers can then use those insights to create accurate maps that identify positive and negative experiences across the customer journey. These modern journey maps also help align customer experience with the behaviors and expectations of individual consumers. Lastly, they highlight key areas across the customer journey where marketers can optimize their efforts.
Creating a Customer Experience to Target Individual Shoppers
Once marketers have a modern analytics platform, they can combine their measurement efforts into a single unified marketing measurement strategy—allowing them to understand where along the marketing mix consumers are engaging. Additionally, marketers can view when individual channels are at their most effective, what messages are resonating, and how each channel assists additional channels throughout the media mix.
With these insights, marketers can create modern customer journeys to track individuals down the sales funnel. Armed with an accurate visualization of how consumers are engaging with their brand across touchpoints, marketers will be better equipped to target them across the right channel at the right time with the right creative messaging. Marketers can then combine the insights gained from their customer journey maps to provide personalized experiences across the marketing mix.
In order to personalize the customer experience and tailor it to unique consumers, consider the following best-practices and strategies:
Save current consumer habit insights for later
Consumers generally require six to eight touchpoints before deciding to purchase and will often engage with variety of devices and channels before making a purchase. By recognizing the individual habits of a consumer as he or she moves down the sales funnel, marketers can use those patterns to better tailor efforts in-campaign.
A/B test creative messaging
It should come as no surprise that creative messages impact consumers differently. Marketers who can find the right creative to reach a consumer will have a much easier time catching their eye and maintaining engagement across channels.
Pay attention to behavioral indicators
Behavioral indicators highlight a consumer’s unique interests and help further align touchpoints with the products and services they’re interested in. Additionally, marketers can use their analytics platform to understand what channels a consumer prefers, then connect that consumer with products and services where they’re most likely to make an impact.
Understand when and when not to target a consumer
81 percent of consumers want brands to understand when and when not to approach them. If a consumer feels overwhelmed by the number of ads he or she receives, it will likely have a negative impact on their association with the brand—regardless of how well-tailored those ads are.
In order to meet consumer demand for personalization, marketers need to move away from generic buyer personas and adopt person-level insights into consumers. From there, they’ll be better equipped to accurately create customer journey maps and tailor touchpoints to individual consumers, helping them place the right message on the right channel at the right time.