If “the customer is always right” is the golden rule of customer service, then “treat each customer as an individual” should be the golden rule for brand marketing. Every consumer wants to feel as though the brands they support view them as a unique entity, rather than another customer identification number.
For years, brands were able to get by delivering mass communications and services to their buyers, but those days are gone. Today’s consumers want assurance that brands hear their unique voices, consider their original feedback, and deliver products and services that are tailored to their personal lifestyle needs.
Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever for brands to facilitate two-way conversations with consumers in real-time. Buyers don’t want to feel as though brands are standing on platforms and preaching at them — rather, they want to see that companies are invested in speaking with them.
To deliver these heightened experiences, brands are relying on digital platforms more than ever. Building relationships with communities on Instagram and Snapchat allows organizations the chance to spark one-on-one conversations. In fact, according to a 2016 Twilio survey, 66 percent of consumers polled actually prefer to communicate with brands via direct messaging.
Brands are aware that if they fall short of new consumer expectations and fail to initiate real conversations and responses with individuals, they risk losing customer loyalty altogether.
But conversations and brand interactions are only one piece of the customer experience puzzle. It’s great to know that a brand representative has heard a complaint or piece of feedback, but what happens next? Does that feedback actually circulate the company and guide new product development?
Thanks to a growing prioritization of customer data, brands now have the opportunity to do more than just have personal conversations; by leveraging individual data, brands can now tailor their products to meet individual customer needs. Here are a couple of examples of brands leveraging individual customer data to deliver more targeted products:
Starbucks knows that its drinks are ingrained in the daily routines of millions of consumers across the globe. But the coffee giant is not resting on its laurels. Over the past few years the company has made major digital strides to deliver more personalized communications and recommendations to its loyalists.
Starbucks created personalized games on its mobile app as a means of maintaining customer attention spans and driving personalized recommendations based on past visits and order histories.
Just as makeup trends are constantly evolving, the ways in which people shop for makeup are also changing. Maybelline recognizes that today, more consumers are starting their makeup journeys on digital platforms — following beauty influencers on Instagram and watching makeup tutorials on YouTube.
It makes sense to deliver a digital experience that guides users along in their path to purchase, which is exactly what Maybelline’s Makeup Genius application does. The app allows women to virtually apply various makeup products to better understand how a product or shade will mix with their skin tones and features. Users first scan their faces onto the downloaded app to see how a product will actually look in real life.
Personalized data or bust
Consumers across all retail verticals want to invest their time and money in products that actually serve their interests and needs. Through the implementation of personalized data, brands today have the opportunity to deliver unique solutions and product recommendations at scale, without sacrificing timeliness or overall consumer experience.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.