Building Personalized Journeys at Digital Scale

Posted By: Greg Ness
October 23rd, 2020
5 minute read

Personalization is hard, even for tech giants with massive product development budgets. So how does a mid-sized company or agency easily build omnichannel personalized journeys at scale? You need a Mobile Experience Platform purpose-built to engage individuals at scale.

Personalized Digital Engagement… the New Oil

In graduate school we witnessed the remote sensing revolution and the impact it had on scaling discovery and extraction in the oil industry. [It also had an impact on the onset of the first Iraq War, but that’s another story.]
Who needs more evolution?

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As we enter the digital age, organizations of all kinds are investing in personalized digital engagement at scale. They’ve come to realize they’re competing for the attention of audiences… with shrinking attention spans. Remember the peak oil theory? Then you can get a real sense of the digital engagement challenge: building engaging journeys at scale while your competitors dabble in technical debt management tradeoffs. These journeys need to be personalized in order to grow or even maintain existing audience levels. See Technical Debt and the Digital Engagement Dilemma:

“Personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, increase revenues by up to 15 percent and marketing investment efficiency by up to 30 percent, per McKinsey...”

What is Personalized Digital Engagement? Maybe not what you think.

In recent discussions with digital marketing execs there were fairly broad ranges of interpretations for what constituted personalized engagement, and most definitions involved some level of minor engagement with static web pages, based on a shallow data set. It is very likely you’re familiar with these systems and their capabilities. They’ve been around for a while.

A Persona Journey is not a Personal Journey

Within the world of marketing automation most of the focus is on the vertical scale of shallow data sets (name, email, phone, etc) and interaction data. Services like Bombora track search activity and offer easy integration but what about the granular measurement of your audience interaction combined with rich data? Building journeys from shallow data sets or even personas is a bit impersonal, don’t you think?
Who needs more evolution?

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Privacy versus Technical Debt Limitations

When I brought up dynamic experiences based on deep (or rich) data sets I typically received one of two responses: 1) privacy and compliance limitations; and/or 2) “our existing platform is already tapped out.” Most marketing platforms were architected around shallow data sets and innovations focused on increasingly powerful list importation and send capacities.

In some cases integrations with other platforms generate some(static) content recommendations based on, again, limited shallow data sets (got account-based marketing?) and a few clicks.

Consumers Prefer Personalized Services

IMHO that’s mostly a technical debt problem. Why limit your personalization to “old school” architectures never intended to serve omnichannel, dynamic content? For some inspiration, see this Accenture report on dynamic digital consumers inspired by advances in mobile technology:

Consumers value personalized services that make life easier and seamless and 50 percent are comfortable with services becoming increasingly personalized through the use of large amounts of personal data.

Later the report predicts the evolution of AI to further deepen the personalization. Enter the notion of hyperpersonalization:

As AI takes center stage as a key enabler, hyperpersonalized services that deliver on today’s dynamic digital consumers’ expectations will need to constantly learn and evolve.

Do You Want the Personalization Edge? It’s Right Here

As you are competing for the attention of viewers static isn’t enough and the journeys will pale in comparison to robust, personalized experience. Who wants a journey based on persona or the name of the list one is on when they can get a rich, dynamic experience? Who wants to settle for technical debt payments and static content when they can build omnichannel, dynamic personal journeys without requiring specialized skills?

Give SmartStory a test drive and discover the difference.

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