You’ve heard it before: “It’s not personal, it’s business.” But that absolutely should not be the case when it comes to customer loyalty. Where loyalty programs are concerned, getting personal makes for better business. Neiman Marcus’ VP of Customer Insight and Analytics, Jeff Rosenfeld, summarized it beautifully (and succinctly) when he told CMO.com: “Personalization is the new loyalty.”

If you don’t know your customers’ interests, preferences, and history — and interact with them accordingly — you are stuck in the dark ages of marketing. But fear not, there is a way out!

Why Personalization Matters

According to McKinsey & Company, targeted communications that are relevant and useful can create lasting customer loyalty and drive revenue growth by 10 to 30 percent. Ultimately, consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences.

Personalization tells the customer that the brand truly values their relationship, and it reduces unwanted and irrelevant communications. From the brand perspective, personalized experiences translate to deeper insights and more robust customer profiles. That’s great news for the bottom line.

The Good & The Bad News Of Personalization: Conquering Personalization Challenges

Fortunately most marketers know they need to understand their customers and prospects personally — close to a 100 percent said in a study this year by Evergage/Researchscape International that they “believe that personalization helps advance customer relationships.”

Unfortunately, the same Evergage study also showed that only 31 percent of marketers believe their peer group is getting personalization right, and marketers aren’t optimistic about their own personalization efforts. Just 12 percent are “very” or “extremely” satisfied and 38 percent are “moderately” satisfied with their performance. Forrester’s Loyalty Playbook reported that less than half of loyalty marketers use experiential benefits or personalization to tailor offers and brand interactions.

So, what’s the problem? First, Evergage reports that 55 percent of marketers believe they don’t have enough data insights for effective personalization and are challenged when tracking customer journeys across channels. Without the right data, you certainly won’t be able to leverage machine learning, which can help to track consumers’ behavioral patterns and uncover correlations between multiple groups of data sets to enable the desired micro-personalization.

Plotting Your Personalization Path: Finding the Right Personalization Partner

For a topnotch loyalty program that your customers will love, you need a data-driven loyalty system that will help your organization streamline the personalization process.  Look for a solution with:

  • A modern, cross-channel platform that handles bursts
  • Real-time capabilities that adapts to consumer behavior and preferences
  • Machine learning prowess to ingest demographic, behavioral, transactional, and contextual data

Your system must also be able to simultaneously process millions of digital signals and create real-time interaction profiles of each and every customer.  It sounds overwhelming —and it can be — but today it’s “personalize or perish.”

Are You Making the Personalization Grade?

Understanding how your loyalty program stacks up when it comes to personalization best practices is an important first step in taking your loyalty program to the next level. That’s why we developed the Loyalty Report Card to help businesses quickly evaluate the core features of their loyalty solution and identify areas for improvement. To find out how your personalization features and more rate, check out download your copy here:

Download Your Report Card

Want to get personal? Schedule a meeting with Stellar Loyalty today — we’d love to show you how!