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3 Challenges of Personalization at Scale

By John Choi

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Data Collection and Mobilization

The difference between personalization and personalization at scale is data. As Reltio VP of Marketing Ajay Khanna has pointed out, “personalization depends on a very deep understanding of the customer: their needs, preferences, behavior, choices, demographics, socio-economic information. Disconnected channels, systems, applications must come together to create a single source of truth of reliable customer data to deliver relevancy and personalization.” In other words, the first strike against personalization is data siloing because it prevents all the key pieces from coming together to reveal a complete picture of the customer.

Unfortunately, the information you have about customers and prospects is never going to be perfect, making personalization a challenge from the get-go. If the information you have is stuck in disconnected systems, your chance of creating a truly personalized experience for customers is slim to none. First, you have to mobilize your data so it can be used effectively. This involves performing a data audit to understand what you do and don’t have and then implementing a data governance strategy to ensure that captured data is accurate and consistent. For one, data must be recorded in such a way that it is uniform. If sales representatives sometimes list a customer’s home state as “Alaska” and at other times as “AK” this can cause issues later on.

Beyond consistent recording, your various pieces of customer data need to be brought together to assemble a complete view of the customer. Whether data is aggregated into a data lake or something more structured like a data warehouse, maintaining a “single source of customer truth” is critical for deep personalization.