SAN FRANCISCO — Personalization is a well known tactic for customer acquisition and retention, but its best results show up in the long term, said Sailthru vice president of optimization and analytics Cassie Lancellotti-Young.
During a chat with customer Acumen Brands’ vice president of marketing operations Ben Roberts and Trinity Ventures partner Dan Scholnick at VentureBeat’s 2014 GrowthBeat conference yesterday, the two executives agreed that personalization’s long-term results are much more effective than in the short run. Acumen uses Sailthru for its marketing and user retention, as it provides personalization tools.
“We talk a lot about big data, but the reality of big data is that it’s presented us with a lot of silos. We think about personalization as having that single-customer view across all channels,” said Lancellotti-Young.
Acumen Brands had been doing fairly well in customer acquisition but noticed that retention wasn’t holding up, and tactics like coupons were resulting in immediate purchases but weren’t building long-term relationships with customers who would come back and then purchase without coupons.
“We started doing couponing; it was kind of a crack we couldn’t get off of. It created short-term revenue,” said Roberts.
Unfortunately, the customers who were more interested in product discovery and not immediate purchases were falling off the active list, “but that also means that we just have to give them the right message at the right time later on,” he said.
So Acumen turned to personalization. Email is its bread and butter, but it’s also been using advertising on Facebook, and its own websites’ personalization capabilities. He and Lancellotti-Young agreed that customer personas are key in activating this personalization, categorizing customers into specific groups with specific tastes.
“Customers are almost offended if you show them the wrong pair of boots,” said Roberts.
So what should brands considering personalization do?
“The big piece of advice we give marketers is to constantly revisit their past results. A lot of marketing campaigns may play a longer tail,” said Lancellotti-Young. Forecasting and using data to predict results is her other piece of advice.