It’s vital to gather as much pertinent information on your customers as you can—search history, e-mail history, browsing behavior, purchases and offline activity—to build the richest possible customer profiles. In its guide, Five Guiding Principles for Creating a Tailored Online Experience, Web analytics and marketing optimization firm Coremetrics lays out data-driven tactics to provide the optimum online experience.
1. Track every customer action, particularly the most recent ones. Customers needs change over time, so it’s important to know what interests them most right now. Keep a tab on the most recent items customers have viewed, downloaded, placed in their carts or purchased so you stay abreast on their interest du jour. What they need or want one day may not be the same the next, so you must track their behaviors in real time.
2. Communicate through multiple touchpoints. Different customers communicate through different channels. What works best for one may not work at all for another. Know which customers reach your site through search, which prefer display ads, e-mail or referring sites. Continue this personalized dialogue using detailed customer data and behavioral targeting. Also, consider direct e-mails using tailored messages and product recommendations that reflect consumers’ most recent behaviors.
3. Test, test, test. Experiment with multiple scenarios to understand the impact each has on results. Test the number of elements you personalize, where to place them, what types of recommendations you provide, and how frequently to rotate or update them, among other approaches.
4. Integrate offline data for a complete customer view. What customers do offline impacts how they behave online, giving you more information on how to tailor online messaging/offers.