Close Encounters of the Smart Kind: Harnessing first-time visitor data to individualize the customer journey
by Sen Wang
March 7, 2018
The baseline for personalization has shifted. It’s no longer a “nice to have.” It’s a fundamental customer expectation.
Today’s digitally savvy customers want totally tailored brand experiences right from the first encounter. And in exchange, they’re often willing to share some valuable information. That’s why marketers must make every click count.
From those specks of data that every shopper, even the anonymous, leaves behind—their browsing histories, digital footprints, interactions, and transactions—brands can harness not just information, but also insights that coalesce for creating a holistic view of the customer, the key to truly advanced personalization.
From that single, unified customer view—incorporating demographic, psychographic, behavioral, social, and more—brands have the potential to craft communications that speak to the customer on a highly individualized level, swaying them toward the brand, inclining them towards deeper engagement, and moving them to conversion.
That’s easier said than done, and it’s no wonder brands struggle. They must mine attributes from a constantly expanding pool of unidentified audience data to distinguish individual customers from leads and prospects, picking up exactly where any previous interactions left off.
Making those connections—between the customer and the brand, between the first click and the next—is the overarching challenge. There’s little room for error or oversight. One bungled push notification may well push the first-time visitor, or even the brand loyalist, over to the competition.
The case for smart links
So, how does the brand get the most out of the initial encounters and subsequent interactions with audience members? How do they learn about their prospects and move them closer to conversion? The good news for brands is that the struggle to start making the connections from the very first click has gotten much easier.
It’s a relatively simple-to-implement innovation—a universal, ready-to-embed individualized, deferred deep link—for tracking an individual’s interactions across owned, earned, and paid media and speeding up their shift from anonymity to known audience member to the customer and beyond.
Before the smart link
A newly opened electronics store is promoting its high-tech speaker series across multiple channels. Intrigued by the store’s Facebook ad, Laurie clicks and takes a quick look at the speakers. With payday still a week away, Laurie decides not to purchase.
A week later, with bank account replenished, she returns and has to start browsing from scratch again as if she were a first-time visitor because the original link she clicked did nothing more than drop her off at a landing page.
Already, the store has missed an opportunity to move Laurie further along the engagement cycle with a tailored offering and personalized messages. This same scenario is repeated for each succeeding customer, with no distinction between one individual and the next.
After the smart link
Now, suppose the store had created a user experience enabled by a smart link. The scenario would play out something like this:
1. Laurie spots and opens the new store’s Facebook ad on her mobile phone.
2. The landing page opens, Laurie likes the new speakers, but decides to postpone her purchase until next payday.
3. Identifying Laurie as a first-time visitor, the link triggers a message to Laurie who consents to future notifications.
4. Paycheck banked, Laurie opens the store’s browser page on her laptop where she’s recognized her as a returning customer.
5. A desktop notification pops up, with a special deal on the speakers she liked.
6. Laurie makes her purchase without a hitch and starts her journey to brand loyalist.
Laurie’s experience is just one example of how the deferred deep link enables a more individualized experience that evolves over time beginning with the encounter. It’s a highly tailored journey to conversion linked logically together, rich in customer insights and contextualized communication. Instead of one-size-fits-all offers, the store can light up Laurie’s day with products, promotions, and interactions specific to her personal goal of a healthy lifestyle.
If you’d like to learn more about individualizing each audience member’s experience from the first click onward, visit the Smart Link page on the Resulticks website or download an infographic showing how the technology works? Or if you’d like to see a customized demonstration of the Smart Link in action, schedule a demo of the platform now.