Personalization

To Implement Personalization At-Scale: Look Inward & Outward

Annie Stone, Director of Marketing
#Personalization | Posted

[Hey! Looking for more information? Register for our upcoming personalization webinar to learn actionable tips and best practices to scale your personalization program and deliver ROI for your business.]

Today, personalizing your customer journey is an essential strategy and part of delivering a competitive brand experience.

And while some organizations have implemented a range of personalization tools, many have not successfully scaled their personalization strategy across their customers’ journey at every touchpoint.

This can be due to a number of barriers, but the growing statistics around customer expectations, suggest that scaling your personalization strategy is worth the investment.

If you already have a personalization program in place, you know that scaling it takes more than some shiny new personalization tool, it means investing in people, process, and technology, together, with clear goals mapped back to your business objectives.

Below are a few best practices to consider when planning to scale your personalization strategy:

People

Do you have executive buy-in for your personalization program?

Investment in scaling your personalization program across the customer journey needs to come from the top down. In order to break down information silos and redefine success across departments, you will need an executive stakeholder to help set, and protect, the vision.

Do you have the right skill-set on your team?

Scaling personalization might mean expanding your team or reorganizing it to meet the needs of the program, consider scaling your content team, to help with messaging and communication. Without content, what are you personalizing? Marketing operations positions will also be important as you work on integrating your martech stack together and adding new systems in place. Organizations often work with technology partners to help them supplement their team as they work on alignment and recruitment for the right talent.

Process

Are you measuring the right KPI’s?

We often see in larger enterprises that department and team structures end up defining what metrics are measured, instead of focusing on metrics that tie directly to high-level business objectives. Before you can successfully scale your personalization strategy across the customer journey, you need to make sure your KPI’s for success are aligned and agreed upon by all teams and stakeholders involved.

Technology

Do you have a clear understanding of your current martech stack?

If you were to map out the technologies that serve all the customer journey touchpoints across your brand, I'm sure you would find that the technologies and channels are potentially owned by many different teams and departments with varying understanding of how the technology is used. In most cases your tech stack has grown organically with no concerted effort to consolidate customer data. We recommend as a first step, mapping out your tech stack to maximize the value of the tools you already have before investing in any new shiny personalization tool. When evaluating your current tools, you will most likely find that there are people and process hiccups that you need to refine in order to maximize the value of the tool.

Are you ready to scale your tech stack?

With a solid understanding of your current tech stack, your team aligned, and your goals and processes in place, to truly scale your personalization program you will need to integrate your core personalization tools together: a CDP, a personalization engine, an integration manager, and an analytics tool. You may already have some of these tools in your stack, but you won’t be able to personalize at-scale without all four.

As you achieve alignment across your teams, process, and technology, you can grow your personalization program by adding more customer journeys, iterating and evolving your goals as your business (and the market) changes. You may even consider implementing machine learning components to your personalization engine, in order to automate the delivery of contextual content to your audiences. Remember that while the investment in scaling your personalization program can be significant, you can work on it in a staged approach, and you don’t have to do everything at once.

Two members of Phase2's Personalization team contributed to this article: Jordan Hirsch, Director of Strategic Capabilities, and Karina Schuelke, Personalization Strategist. You can hear Jordan on our upcoming webinar

Annie Stone

Annie Stone

Director of Marketing