Last night I talked to my best friend at home in Pittsburgh and told her that I’d see her over Thanksgiving weekend — before I had even begun to look at flights. While I was excited in anticipation of seeing friends for the holiday weekend, I’ve had connection woes over this very weekend several years in a row. The one thing I’ve learned is to “fly early and non-stop” when you’re insane enough to travel on the heaviest air-travel weekend in the country.
Right after our call ended, I went to my go-to airline website and a direct, two-hour flight from Dallas to Pittsburgh that usually costs around $350 was double. If I used miles it would have cost me 100K frequent flyer miles. This was not even close to what I wanted to pay…in cash or miles. I decided to do nothing.
What does this story have to do with personalization? Everything. This morning as I checked email, I had a message from my go-to airline. They not only found a slightly more cost effective flight, but also suggested alternative dates close to Thanksgiving weekend that were even more reasonable. This one email pulled at my heart strings to find some way to get home! Kudos to the airline for their marketing efforts!
What impressed me is not that my go-to airline has the ability to comb though data, recognize that “Beth Martin” searched for, but did not book, flights over the Thanksgiving weekend and sent me an email. It was the fact that this email was customized to me, my destination, and sent so that it arrived the next morning. The personalization consisted of three key pieces:
- A custom subject line with my destination (which got me to open the email)
- A featured image of the Pittsburgh city skyline with the words “Pittsburgh is calling” (which made me smile)
- The body copy was very easy to scan and had two important pieces of information to help facilitate the conversion — a) they knew I searched but did not purchase and b) they found alternative dates and prices for me to consider. (which made me convert)
When a company, like my go-to airline gets it right, they get it right. They know the importance of reaching their customer and invested in tools to manage personalization across the customer journey. The tools are not limited to a robust analytics solution, but also a nimble personalization and targeting platform that enables the marketing teams to pinpoint actions that can generate revenue and achieve higher customer retention rates.
Today, 60% of marketers find it challenging to personalize content yet 77% of them believe real-time personalization is critical. Most marketers are planning for real-time technologies that can help improve personalization efforts with more relevant data, according to the Real-Time Marketing Insights Study (sponsored by Adobe and the DMA). I know many of our customers are on this journey.
Understanding customer insights and tailoring content in near real-time is critical not just for B2C but also for B2B. Creating personalized experiences may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. We have guided clients through the personalization spectrum, so they can start small and grow their personalization strategies over time. We recently launched a new guide to personalization which explains this spectrum in more detail; however, you can also view more content from our Adobe experts here.