Building Customer Relationships Requires 1:1 Personalization Which Conversion Rate Optimization Cannot Deliver

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In a Martech Advisor article, Qubit VP of Product Simon Jaffery discusses how the definition of personalization has been “watered down”, the ways in which optimization and personalization differ and the role personalization can play in getting onsite visitors to convert to loyal customers.

The age of the customer

We’re living in the age of the customer, where loyalty is the new battleground, and according to our own data from 87 customers across four different vertical markets, 84.1% of retail shoppers only make a single purchase from any one  brand. When the odds of retaining visitors are so low, it's more important than ever for brands to engage first-time buyers and reward their most loyal customers.

The days of solely marketing to personas, target audiences, or segments are over because consumers increasingly expect to be treated as individuals, and have their unique needs and desires anticipated and respected by the businesses they interact with. This is particularly apparent in retail, where there is competition on every front - from the retailers who lead with logistics, like Amazon, to those that lead on distinct brand experiences, such as Apple and Nike.

Marketers have access to a large array of tools and platforms that are critical to helping brands differentiate from the competition. However, if brands want to make big strides in engaging first-time customers, with the hopes of making them loyal VIPs, then we have some good news and bad news: Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) is not the same as personalization nor can it take the place of personalization.

The efforts of some CRO vendors to market their offerings as personalization has contributed to market confusion over what true personalization is. This “watering down” of the definition of personalization has resulted in overselling optimization, the role it should play and its effectiveness in converting browsers to buyers or first-time shoppers into loyal customers.

In fact, optimization can “smooth the edges” and is effective at using aggregate performance and testing data to inspire a set of improvements that aim to lift the average response for all visitors and help brands prioritize their efforts as part of a rapid test-and-learn culture. But in no way is this process equal to the customer engagement and incremental relationship building that 1:1 personalization achieves over time.

Read the full article on Martech Advisor here.

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