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“The more personalized the services get, the less passive the experience will become.” – Anne Wojcicki.
Personalization is not a new concept, while it’s taking a driver seat in the development companies and they are increasingly cashing in on the concept to keep up with the modern users and ensure grandeur success. Not just the marketers, but developers are making efforts to weave the personalization DNA in mobile app experiences and web experiences.
Even app personalization advocates predict the personalization implementation as a must-have else the brands that ignore will find themselves shouting in a ghost town.
The applications are serving human beings through virtual means and for offering the services to the customers in a human way, it’s necessary to create personalized interactions, data-driven storytelling, and take the omnichannel approach. It further helps in treating the customers humanely and creating individualized experiences.
The next-gen customers expect to be dealt in a tailored way where they know what they want, the channels to communicate with, and the ways to be interacted with, and when the app resonates with the target customer’s goal, behavior, and preferences, there is no denying fact that the app scores a massive hit.
The most important thing is that businesses are nothing without customers. For stepping in with modern customers, personalization has become a prime focus for the businesses.
The statistics clearly illustrate that when users search for any service, there are hundreds of apps out there, but most of them go unnoticed. Moreover, the increasing competition leads to higher churning rate, reduced retention rate, and lower acquisition rate. The alarming facts create a dire need of implementing personalization and focus on enhancing the engagement that users feel hooked to the app.
That’s why from SMBs to leading enterprises are painting the app idea with the brush of personalization before the actual app development starts. However, the expert app developers are aware of the power that personalization carries, the benefits it brings and like to implement it, but the improper planning and insufficient guidance won’t bring expected results.
Here is a quick guide that helps in implementing the strategic personalization plan and avoiding potential pitfalls, which in turn, guarantees grand success.
Let’s dive in!
The businesses implement personalization engine in the app due to the plethora of reasons, including boost quality acquisition, valuable retention, high volume conversion, and wow the users with a breathtaking experience. But, before implementation, the businesses must set the personalization-specific goals such as improve engagement, drive more revenue, uplift upsell or cross-sell, reduce bounce rate, heighten average order volume, increase email signups, or optimize conversion rate that they want to fulfill across target users, industries, and organizations.
After setting the goals, the KPIs must be defined for the personalization engine to measure the outcomes that strategy brought. The analytics tools support the personalization initiative by providing detailed reports in the real-time. This step helps in defining the goals for personalization because the strategy can take several forms based on goals-setting decisions.
For instance, the setting of goals helps in identifying whether the customers acquired are converting or not, increased engagement levels are bringing conversion or not, or the acquired customers are generating high volume sales or not. Set the personalization goals in addition to metrics to measure the goals so that maximum value can be delivered and objectives can be met.
“Personalization is pointless without knowing the individual. Understand the dreams, hopes, and fears that motivate your customers then hit them where it counts.” – Paul Gillin
Undoubtedly, to deliver the users beyond the expectations and reach the target goals, it’s essential to know the target personas and identify the factors- purchase, product usage, demographics, location, device usage, or CRM interaction that can be used to personalize every individual journey. This step of the personalization strategy involves defining all the factors that help in mapping the user journey with relevant and engaging content, which allure the users and impact the future value.
Post-conducting quantitative and qualitative user research, the mapping of relevant criteria can be done, which further illustrates the number of segments to create for accomplishing the personalization goal. However, it’s not necessary to leverage all the criteria to segment the target audience when they have no bearing on the acquisition or to add any value to the users; else they are simply an unnecessary addition to the personalization plan that confuses the users.
The strategic process involves knowing the users, identifying the look alike, creating segments based on the services, and then targeting the personas with the relevant content.
The biggest myth is that personalization implementation is a set-it and forget-it activity that automatically augment the user’s engagement, conversions, and retention for longer runs. Instead, it’s an ongoing process because the users’ needs, behavior, and preferences are continuously evolving and to unceasingly create an experience that’s personalized to an individual; it’s indispensable to update the personalization engine time and again.
It’s feasible when the user’s data (behavioral data, attribute data, and survey data) is mined, and the meaningful insights are carried out of the data continuously. The business leaders use the rule-based algorithms (segmentation based on different factors), machine learning algorithms (Predictive analytics), or the combination of two for personalizing the app after compiling the data sources.
The step towards personalization is optimizing the user journey by optimizing the user’s on-site experience in accordance with the collected user’s data and on-site behavior.
Several marathon runners are known as ‘born to run’, but they have not started running right from the cradle. The natural process is followed where they first began crawling, then started walking, and later, running in full swing. The strategic implementation of the personalization engine shares the resemblance with marathon runners.
The implementation starts with personalizing home page banners, product landing pages, or other content shown on the mobile app or website, which creates a long-lasting impact on the user’s mind as they land on the app. Thereafter, based on the user’s activity, purchase, and demographics, the segmentation should be done for sending personalized updates to the users. Don’t create hundreds of segments that are difficult to manage and irritates the users as well.
When the personalized recommendations start hitting the user’s device, it’s time to create an evaluation plan for determining the metrics that help in identifying which approach is bringing results and defining success. Post-estimation, the updates, be it frequent (Modifying content or scheduling the content) or occasional updates (Bringing changes into segments, or rules set for tailoring the content) can be made to personalization plan to let it perform to the peak.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the personalization plan creation and its execution because what works for one website may not work for another app or the two different segments of the target audience.
When you have personalization idea and its execution process in place, then before setting the personalization engine live, it’s essential to test the QA’ed engine across multiple channels to ensure the personalization-specific goals and outcomes can be reached.
The Path from measurement to success can be traveled hassle-free using personalization-based A/B testing and multivariate testing where the customized content is shown to the app users of different segments and then experience it creates analyzed to measure the engine’s effectiveness. The real-time stats help in testing the personalization strategy for many personalization-specific goals, and then tweaking the algorithms and iterating the strategies certainly bring personalization success.
Put personalization into action with the careful planning and working iteratively to become the next Sqaw Valley Alpine Meadows website whose revenue is improved by 41%, or an Amazon app that has skyrocketed leads, conversion rate, average order size, and ROI by a high margin.
Personalization is not a trend; it’s about integrating relevance in the app design, features, navigation, and flow so that customers feel like it’s for them. The businesses are taking the personalization as a lucrative opportunity to outgrow, outperform, and outdo the competition, but it’s no guarantee that it can be achieved with a simple personalization engine implementation.
There is no golden answer to implement personalization site-wide or app-wide brilliantly. Moreover, catering individuals and offering personalized experiences seems like a daunting task. So how the businesses wanted to make personalization a priority, can get started and implement the personalization for bringing estimated success in the long run.
Here the strategic personalization planning guide comes to rescue. In the step-by-step guide, from designing the personalization plan and setting goals to the measuring and iterating the results against the objectives defined are elaborated so that the winning upshots go hand in hand.
Think strategically, create a personalization plan strategically and implement it strategically to be personal, speak to the customers in their language and meet their unrealized needs.
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