The 2016 Consumer Goods Technology Sales and Marketing Summit kicked of summer in New York City by setting the tone for what could be a hot year in consumer goods technology. Those of us who attended from Mindtree had some great exchanges of thoughts and ideas with leaders in the consumer goods industry.
The theme of this year’s summit was “The 365 Consumer: Mapping the Path to Purchase.” I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop on the “4 Essential Building Blocks for Personalizing Consumer Engagement.” The topic seemed to be at front of mind for most of the sales and marketing professionals on hand, and we got to engage with senior executives from cosmetics, personal care, oral care and food manufacturers.
The session started off with level setting on what we perceive as personalization.
- Is it about offers?
- Is it about product recommendations?
- Is it cross-sell/up-sell?
Well, in our opinion the personalization journey starts all the way at the top of the marketing funnel—the first time a user starts researching a product or service. The ability to present him with relevant content in terms of paid media, while understanding his context itself is personalization. As a next step, the ability to change the hero image for an anonymous repeat visitor based on his previous browsing history could also be perceived as personalization. To engage with a loyalist calling a service center and resolving his issues, all while understanding his previous interactions and behavior—this too is personalization. In short, personalization is the ability to provide the right information, at the right time, across all channels and functions (within the organization), throughout the lifecycle of a consumer.
As the session progressed the engagement quotient increased, and there were lots of interesting questions.
One of the participants had this query: “While this sounds great, the data in my organization is extremely siloed. How can I make it work?” His particular challenge was actually the most common amongst executives surveyed in Mindtree’s 2016 personalization study. The answer isn’t an easy one; walls have to be broken down to achieve the final goal. However, if you are able to prove to your organization that personalization as a strategy cuts across functions—from marketing, to sales, service, field operation etc.—it’s easier to get buy-in from executive management. The key is to identify the use cases, define what the end goal is, and then talk about breaking the siloes.
We then reviewed an interesting use case by Lexus in Australia, where they are capturing video feeds of automobile traffic in real-time and changing the messages on their billboards—for instance, “Hey driver in the black Mercedes. Did you check out the new Lexus ES?” This led to another interesting question: “I deal with goods that are mass market and low in value. Are personalization strategies relevant for me, or is it only for luxury goods and expensive products?” The answer is definitive: It is relevant for everyone. Every single industry is realizing the importance of personalizing their interactions with their consumers. In the past couple of weeks, I have interacted with our customers ranging from consumer goods, hospitality, banking to automotive – and this seems to be the hottest topic of discussion.
And of course we talked about how there will soon come a day when we are being recognized at every step—a future that brings to mind this clip from Minority Report. The key is to maintain the fine line between being “pleasantly surprised” by these interactions versus finding them “creepy.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the 4 building blocks that we think are essential to personalize, start by checking out our E-Book. But furthermore, have a look at some of the content of the workshop itself, and then reach out to us for a one-on-one conversation about your personalization initiatives.