This sponsored post is produced by Emma Tzeng, a social marketing specialist at Gigya. 

Sometimes, taking the leap to investing in a strategy for true customer understanding can feel like diving head-first into a deep, daunting hole. The sheer uncertainty of it all is nearly enough to set you back on the path to the dark ages of mass marketing campaigns and untailored digital experiences.

To help you navigate your way out of generic marketing messages, we’ve mapped out 10 simple tips to get you started on your journey to deep personalization.

1. Leverage social media to capture and build user profiles

Most businesses already use social media as an outlet to engage customers and build brand awareness, but what many probably don’t know is that social providers like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ contain tons of user profile data points such as names, email addresses, interests, likes, friends, locations, and more that you can pass on to third-party sites to generate tailored digital experiences. Social login facilitates this process, creating a seamless bridge between users’ social media experiences and the rest of the web.

The chart below compares the data captured via traditional registration forms with the user insights that social media profiles contain.

(Source: Gigya, 2013)

2. Don’t ask for more than you need

In 2010, 83 percent of consumers named “transparent and honest practices” as the most important element to establishing brand trust. To establish consumer trust from the outset, you want to avoid asking your users to share more information than necessary, especially during registration.

3. Give more than you take

To capture more customer identities, you want to provide benefits to registering with your site and communicate them clearly when prompting users to register and login.

Kate Spade Saturday, for instance, does a great job of telling users the benefits of registering for an account on

4. Incorporate cookie data with first-party social data

As integral as cookie data is to many marketing strategies, using inferred insights to tailor digital experiences leaves much to be desired when it comes to complete customer understanding. By incorporating first-party insights garnered from social login such as users’ birthdays, interests, check-ins, activities, and more into your user experiences, you can provide a much more holistic site experience.

5. Reach customers on the devices they use regularly

Last year, eMarketer discovered that time spent on mobile surpassed desktop usage for the first time in history.

To highlight this point, research shows that 67 percent of users are more likely to purchase a product or service from a mobile-friendly site, and 74 percent are more likely to return to a site in the future if it’s mobile-friendly.

Nowadays, reaching customers means having a strong presence on the devices they use the most. In this vein, businesses looking to engage more customers will want to provide mobile-optimized experiences.

6. Unify your user experiences across channels

To our previous point, customers are interacting with brands on both mobile and desktop devices, which can complicate things for businesses seeking to collect and consolidate user profiles. In fact, 54 percent of marketers cite not having a single view of customers across channels as the biggest roadblock in creating a successful cross-channel experience.

Businesses will want to build or invest in a platform that can unify the various profile and behavioral data points collected on customers across devices. As you build out cross-channel user profiles, you’ll gain a more accurate, holistic view on the customer by garnering insights on his or her behaviors both on the web and mobile devices.

7. Stop sending mass email

To drive more conversions through email content, businesses need to craft the appropriate messages for the right audiences. By first collecting data on users and using these insights to segment audiences based on actionable information such as interests, locations, and more, you can personalize your email messages to your customers’ unique profiles, as does in the example below.

8. Nurture brand advocates, not just customers

According to AdAge, 55 percent to 60 percent of millennials want brands to help them connect and share with brand audiences. This is great news for businesses looking to nurture loyal customers that actively advocate for their brand by sharing relevant site content and activities.

By incorporating social plugins throughout your web properties, you can drive brand exposure and trust by letting your most valuable customers promote your brand via their social networks.

9. Pull audiences into the conversation

On average, conversion rates are 105 percent higher for consumers that interact with ratings and reviews. Invite customers to leave real-time feedback on your content by incorporating reviews and comments throughout your web properties, as retailer PacSun does in the example below.

10. Treat marketing as relationship-building

Among today’s hyper-connected consumers, all brand experiences are relationships. A Forrester report reveals that over half of U.S. adults expect some sort of social marketing experience online. Facilitate 1-to-1 relationships with customers by identifying them by name upon login, tailoring site experiences based on interests, likes, and past behavior, and sending personalized email communications to their inboxes.

We promise that your customers will only love and advocate for you all the more for it.

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