When to Leverage Individualization to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty

by Marissa Sternberg, Senior Director of MarketingFeb 5, 2019

When to Leverage Individualization to Build Customer Trust and Loyalty

With the Internet at their disposal, consumers are able to access more information than ever before. They research products and companies they want to engage with, and they aren’t shy about sharing their opinions—especially when it comes to companies that break their trust. Entire industries are already seeing declines in consumer trust, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer. And Forrester’s CX research is also reporting a drop in customer trust toward companies.

One of the biggest customer trustbusters is lack of relevance or authenticity. Consumers are quick to notice when a brand isn’t “listening” and serving up content experiences that aren’t relevant to them as individuals. These interactions lead to content irrelevance, which is costing brands their loyal customers every day—63% of consumers say they’d consider ending a relationship with a brand that served up content not personally relevant to them.

In our experience, the only way to ensure a relevant experience that inspires ongoing engagement and loyalty with your brand is to individualize the delivery of content to every visitor and subscriber. Machine learning, big data and other advances in technology have made it easier for marketers to do so by engaging people with relevant content at each stage of the customer journey. Giving customers and prospects the experience they need and when they need it leads to a stronger connection, and ultimately trust, in your brand.

When Content Relevancy Matters Most

Brands are competing for consumers’ attention everyday and across every touch point. For example, when evaluating a potential purchase, they’re comparing brands and offers with the intention of zeroing in on the one that’s most relevant to their needs. Relevance is the key to separating yourself from the pack and enabling customers to connect with your brand.

To deliver the most relevant experience, you have to individualize it to a segment of one—this means serving up content that is relevant to the unique behaviors, preferences and characteristics of each customer, aligned to their stage in the customer journey.

Working with customers at some of the largest brands, we’ve learned that the best place to start individualizing the content experience is actually during two key phases of the customer journey: Active Evaluation/Consideration and Post-Purchase.

During the Active Evaluation/Consideration stage, consumers are familiar with your brand and what you’re offering. They are at a critical decision-making point during which they’re trying to determine if they should engage with your brand or offer, or go with someone else. While price is an important differentiator, we’ve learned that the lowest price doesn’t always win. Consumers no longer automatically choose the cheapest option. More important to consumers is the brand’s reputation and how the content experience during the consideration stage is relevant to the decision they’re making. During this phase, deliver content experiences relevant to the product or service they’ve evaluating, helping them move forward in their journey.

Post-consideration, consumers have hopefully chosen to go with your brand and complete a purchase. Content relevance doesn’t stop there. At this stage, and more importantly during this stage than any of the previous, your individualization efforts should be focused on retaining their loyalty and trust in your brand. Studies have found that it costs 5X more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. During the post-purchase phase, focus on creating an individually relevant experience that’s unique to the customer and what they just purchased. Show them you recognize and appreciate their investment in your brand.

Deepen Your Brand’s Relationship with Customers

Individualizing the content experience during these two critical phases in the customer journey gives your brand the opportunity to drive deeper engagement, influencing purchase decisions, differentiating your brand and offering, and building trust and loyalty with precious customers.

How is your brand differentiating itself and ensuring that consumers engage more deeply with your content as they evaluate their next purchase? With OneSpot, delivering content relevance through individualization is easy. We use machine learning to analyze and deliver the most relevant content to each unique web or mobile visitor and to email subscribers. Learn more about what we do and how we help brands deliver the most relevant content experiences.

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