3 steps to building an engaging customer experience

In my previous post, we covered the second step on our journey to avoiding personalization paralysis prioritize our target personas, and build them into a road map. Now that we have our persona roadmap, it's time to Engage with our target personas and measure our process.

To illustrate the concepts we are covering in step three we are going to be

 

Engage and measure

The first thing to note is this is going to be an iterative process. Our goal is to personalize through sequencing our content to ensure visitors to see appropriate content depending on their step in our customer journey. This is going to help keep our visitors engaged and on our site for a longer period of time while helping to build a relationship with our brand.

Crawl, Walk, Run

I've broken this down into 3 approaches depending on your starting point and how mature you are with your customer's engagement.

 

Crawl - Enabling personalization based on the customer journey. 

Here we want to take your existing website as it currently stands, and for each page on the website, tag the page as one of the steps in the journey, and, what type of product we are interested in promoting. 

To do this in Episerver, and for our pet food example - we want to create 2 additional properties for the journey step, and for the product type which we can then feed into Google Analytics or other analytics solution and produce something similar to the below.

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This can provide us a nice view of our leads, where they are in the pipeline/customers journey, and, allow us to focus on tactics that we might want to use to progress them to the next phase.

Example

If we take a look at cat food in the initial consideration phase, we can see we have about 250,000 users at this step in the journey. One tactic to get them to progress to the next phase could be to create a paid marketing social ad. Our main focus like we talked about in [step one] is to allow the user to build a relationship with our brand.

Similarly, let's take dog food in the active evaluation phase, how do we help these users progress to making a purchase decision? One potential tactic here could be for us to use a paid search for specific search terms.

 

Walk - Enable personalization through visitor groups

In the walk phase we can look to enable personalization through visitor groups this is especially valuable if we are able to quantify our persona. For example, if they have some form of account with us we can look to link them to a persona type, and provide personalized content to the user as a result.

An example here is if we know our pet owner has a young puppy and is looking at the raw pet food diet we can look to provide information that is relevant to them and will also help keep them engaged e.g perhaps an article on the "Top 5 Benefits of the raw pet food diet for puppies" and puppy related products information about elderly dogs might not be that relevant to them.

For anonymous users, this is a little bit trickier but hopefully what we have in the Run step will be able to help here.

 

Run - Enabling personalization through AI

For the run phase, I want to introduce the concept of having AI assist us with some of this work. A lot of what we have been doing thus far has been manual and while I feel it's absolutely essential can be quite labor-intensive. While we have done a great job segmenting our users into personas, no two users are identical and while they may be similar they will not have the same buying habits or even journey. So, what would be optimum would be for is to segment our users down to a segmentation size of 1.

 

Episerver Visitor Intelligence  

With Epi Visitor Intelligence we can look to do just that. Epi advance uses machine AI to analyze the content and visitor behavior, then uses these relationships to work out where the user is in their journey, and, what content to display next. This doesn't just include interactions that are done online but it also can take into account interactions that are performed offline too, enabling us to visualize how a user has been traversing through our omnichannel experience. 

What to hear more about Advance and how we have implemented it with some of our customers? Please feel free to reach out!

Summary

Crawl - Personalizing via the customer journey. The goal here is to create a list of leads and look at how we can progress our visitors from one step in the journey to the next.

Walk - Personalizing utilizing visitor groups. This is especially great if we know who our visitors are and what persona they belong too. Loo to show content on the site that is relevant to them based on their visitor group (e.g. "Top 5 tips for raw food diet with puppies")

Run - Personalizing trough AI with Epi advance. We're looking to merge and measure explicit and implicit behavior through Epi advance, while also analyzing the content. This is tailoring and creating a unique customer journey shrinking the persona/segment size to one.

That's it!

So just to summarize

  1. Segment your users - Aim to build data-driven personas, and this data to provide insights. From this insight hypothesize out the customer journey across multiple touchpoints, bear in mind… not every user has the same journey
  2. Prioritize your targets - Discover which personas have the largest potential growth based on a given KPI prioritize via largest segment and the need for personalization, then, by what segment is going to give us the biggest impact for the least effort
  3. Engage & Measure - Engage with your consumers, measure the results, and be prepared to iterate, this is a continuous process. A great way to be successful and get buy-in from others internally is to look to Crawl, Walk, then Run.

What other techniques do you use? Let us know on Twitter and/or Linked via the links below: