Retail marketers and their customers seek the same thing: personal, engaging, meaningful interactions. As a marketer, you want to deliver them and consumers are growing to expect them. But are you actually delivering? By creating unified customer profiles, then using artificial intelligence marketing to personalize the customer journey, you can.

What do you crave?

Your answer probably depends upon the context. If you’re hungry, you crave your favorite dish. If you’re exhausted, you probably crave your bed and some shut-eye.

Today, almost all website browsers and online shoppers share one common craving: personalization.

In an era where people can get into Instagram, Facebook, Google, Amazon, or any one of a multitude of other options, and self-select or curate the exact content they crave, the bar is suddenly raised for retailers to provide the same levels of personalization and customization.

Creating a true sense of ‘intimacy’ with consumers is crucial, and certainly has its perks. Personalized content delivers 6X higher conversion rates for marketers.

Most brands will claim they ‘love their customers’ – but so much of a customer’s experience still leaves them feeling disconnected. Here’s the problem: as brands grow and scale, it can be difficult to create meaningful and engaging customer experiences at scale. And trying to do so with human power alone? Impossible. So how can we truly capitalize on this goal of intimacy?

There aren’t enough hours in the day or members on your team to engage on a 1:1 level with all of your thousands or even millions of database contacts.

Luckily, there are three ways retailers can build intimacy at scale: creating unified customer profiles, using marketing automation, and connecting the dots for a complete customer journey.

Create unified consumer profiles to centralize data

Collecting and leveraging consumer data is a prerequisite, if you will, to executing your brand’s personalization strategy.

Understanding consumers from a bird’s-eye view enables you to know what your audience is looking for, what types of content they respond to, and what types of campaigns will generate the most conversions.

In addition, and more importantly, understanding these same consumers at an individual level allows you to establish stronger connections to deliver more effective content and incentives that will ultimately drive more sales.

Because there are more channels and platforms available to shoppers today than ever before, there are also more ways to collect and analyze consumer data.

CRM data, ecommerce data, and even offline in-store purchasing data can all be unified into consumer profiles for a single, clear picture of every customer.

Armed with this data, marketers can build a complete picture of consumers, based on each individual.

Leveraging this data and technology helps marketers create customized interactions with consumers to increase trust and build valuable customer relationships.

Leverage automation to communicate across multiple platforms

Automation solutions allow you to run all aspects of marketing campaigns with little manual labor required. Marketers can spend time developing high-impact strategies and campaigns, while automation solutions work to push out these campaigns to large and growing audiences.

Omnichannel marketing automation solutions perform the heavy lifting of actually getting content out to consumers across multiple platforms and channels. Creating these omnichannel consumer experiences allows for true 1:1 conversations across mobile and email, web, social media, and even in-store.

As part of a comprehensive AI marketing strategy, automation solutions can help you push omnichannel campaigns to huge audiences without worrying about losing any elements of personalization.

Ensure a personalized customer journey at all times

Using a combination of innovative technology and marketing savvy, you can create engaging, meaningful customer experiences that make all the difference when it comes to customer satisfaction and retention rates.

Adding the recipient’s name at the top of an email or in the subject line is just the beginning. It’s time to start delivering unique content, incentives, and updates to each person on their preferred devices and channels according to their preferences, behaviors, locations, and purchasing history.

For the first time in the history of marketing, it is possible to BOTH scale your marketing while continuing a high level of intimacy with customers.

The promise of artificial intelligence marketing IS personalization – it’s making your customer feel as though every touch with your brand is ONLY for them. Like you’d want your significant other to feel, customer intimacy is making each customer feel like the only one in the world.

Technology fosters intimate, 1:1 conversations with consumers in truly organic ways. Even though you might be communicating with hundreds of thousands of people, AI-powered marketing automation tools make it easy to create personal relationships with each one of them.Customer journeys are not static, and are never complete. They’re fluid, and consist of every touch point a customer has with you.

Final Thoughts

All brands are racing toward the same goal: growth. For B2C organizations, customers are the beginning and end of this growth goal and it’s impossible to leave them out of any equation. While 1:1 customer relationships are imperative for getting brands off the ground in the beginning, they are also the key to scaling and growing.

With the right technology and the right strategies in place, these goals can be achieved.

Brands can continue to interact and engage with consumers, gleaning more data and insights from them than ever before. Data enables complete customer profiles which inform your marketing – leading to 1:1 messaging, and, thus, more intimate customer relationships across your entire database.

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