How to Get Customers to Lend Their Ears Without Using Their Personal Data

Keith Fenech by

In more evidence of the importance of personalization in marketing strategies, Caesars Entertainment recently announced it would use Salesforce.com technology and IBM services to get to know its customers, and deeply tailor individual guest experiences. Leveraging data that reflects guests’ favorite music or cuisines, Caesars is working to send them relevant offers and suggestions for dining and entertainment in real-time through a mobile app. What’s more, it’s working to build complete customer profiles that will lend better visibility internally, according to a press release.

Now, read on to the how – a five-year project roadmap that leverages, in part, customer data Caesars already has.

This is the point in the personalization journey where many marketing professionals, especially those working for, say, an ISV, pause and sigh. Because there are hurdles to personalization strategies that extend beyond the cost of the investment to a simple truth: by and large, they rest on a customer giving you access to their personal data.

If you’re Caesars Entertainment, getting that data is a little easier than say, if you’re “Caesar’s Software,” and any activity at the former is certain to surpass the highest rush, say, the controller may get from closing the books quickly with the latter. What’s more, regulations like the General Data Protection Act create more layers that make getting consent to lawfully use personal data in marketing strategies even harder. As such, marketers that aren’t selling tickets to Jerry Seinfeld or seats at Mesa Grill may tend to think personalization is beyond reach.

But consider this: What if you could personalize marketing campaigns without personal data?

Let’s look at some types of anonymous data we likely already collect that we can use to drive personalization strategies that don’t require customers to share anything personally identifiable at all with us – and in turn, address regulatory compliance concerns.

Product Metrics

It’s likely that your product management team tracks data on version, operating system, hardware architecture, and location of the software installations. This data is a powerful tool to personalize education and outreach to customers.

Is there an event coming up in Nevada that will highlight the newest features of an upcoming release? Leverage product metric data in email marketing to craft more personalized copy. Compare email copy that leads with, “Join Us to Learn About Version 10,” with “Some 70 percent of users in Nevada are on releases at least two versions old. It’s time to innovate! Join us to network with peers and discuss the new features of Version 10.”

Innovative marketers take that a step further and integrate product usage data with an in-application messaging strategy that segments by location and version to reach the right users in the moment they’re using the software.

Event tracking and feature usage

Events are core usage statistics, over time, across the install base, lending the ability to see cumulative usage and average usage per user, session, or runtime. By tracking events, you can understand how customers are interacting with the different features of the application, and see trends or outliers in use.

For example, digging into events enables marketing to see how patterns of use differ between super users and typical users, and tweak their messaging to match that right audience. It also helps uncover new opportunities for personalized outreach. Perhaps runtime metrics show that users who spend more time with the software also uncover new features in the release that aren’t being discovered by users who spend less time with the software. Marketing can re-examine and re-focus educational content for the latter audience on discovering new features to deepen engagement with the product.

Conversion metrics

Some of the richest insights can be discovered when digging into why users didn’t buy your software. Filtering churn reports based on whether certain features were used provides insight into whether a feature impacts the churn rate positively or negatively, if at all, and informs messaging to that end. If churn is directly related to the experience a customer had with a feature, marketing can accomplish both a mea culpa and a call to action in communications. “We understand feature X didn’t perform according to expectations. We’ve made changes. Give us another try.”

We know Rome wasn’t built in a day – but your personalization strategies don’t have to follow that mantra. With data that is likely already collected from your applications and available within your organizations, personalization strategies that otherwise would be delayed or dismissed altogether while in search of personal, identifiable data can instead be quick wins that drive engagement and long-term customer value.