Consumers around the world crave personalization. In fact, 40.6% of Chinese millennial consumers don’t mind paying a premium for a personalized product. In discussing consumers’ attraction toward luxury goods with Jing Daily, Longchamp Creative Director Sophie Delafontaine hints at why personalization resonates so well today. “Nowadays, people are not looking for a bag, they’re looking for something special, something which really reflects who they are,” she said. “And this is particularly true when speaking of customers buying luxury bags.”
But if people look for products or experiences that reflect themselves, developing those impactful experiences can seem particularly challenging in a country so wide and vast as China: just 15% of its population is equal to the UK, Germany and France combined. By investing in personalization, your brand becomes better fit to further segment those audiences into actionable demographics that inspire and co-collaborate in new, emotionally resonant experiences.
To start, consider how to make a more meaningful impact throughout the customer decision journey (CDJ) and strategize around how that builds into a first-party relationship with individual users. This mindset is key for the approach we take in the work that we do, utilizing the full suite of Adobe’s Experience Cloud to deliver memorable experiences that emotionally resonate.
The Need for Data-Driven Creative Experiences
Some might see “data-driven creative” as an oxymoron, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Brands exist to serve their customers with the utmost care through the following simple reminder: behind every data point sits a real human being with a voice. That said, the aggregated data from your Adobe Analytics backend can help you better understand what resonates with consumers across the WeChat ecosystem, preparing your team to better understand the growing needs of Chinese consumers and confidently optimize their journeys.
Behind every data point sits a real human being with a voice.
It’s obvious that analytics can help determine which product design performs best or whether KPIs have been met. But more interesting—and this is where brands must direct more attention—is how you can use consumer interaction data to pre-test and iterate upon an idea, essentially turning users into contributors to your product design.
This process enables you to focus your efforts on key strategic areas that build both innovation and momentum in incremental steps. In developing an app or web platform, you can use these analytics to identify and remove steps that don’t add value to the user experience and adopt a more customer-obsessed approach as you go.
Here’s a breakdown of the process that has worked for us in A/B testing audiences and specific experiences built for them, using Adobe Target in a four-week sprint cycle. First, spend the first week building a hypothesis around your user—this is where personas and research come into play. Next, test and learn your prototype by launching it for the audience segments matching these personas. Once you have a minimum of about 15,000 data points, you should have enough insights to build and launch the app. Post-launch, make sure to continue to test and iterate for effectiveness. Be mindful, as this bond creates a conversation between the user and the product designers and helps inform upcoming consumer needs.
Identify Triggers and Intent for Impact
Effective personalization requires you to rethink what you thought you knew about demographics. What’s important isn’t just what Tencent UserID provides—what matters is the content that clicks with a user, and any personalized platform should recognize these preferences across a creatively differentiated experience. Adobe does this seamlessly via its Experience Cloud’s Visitor ID: a fixed, persistent identifier per WeChat user that visits your mini-program, WeChat Ecom Store or other digital properties of the brand. This allows you to build comprehensive profiles of your visitors based on their actions and interests, augmenting the data from WeChat.
Consumers are more comfortable providing data when they understand there’s a fair tradeoff. From a user experience perspective, aim for transparency in how your platform translates user interactions into recommendations and new content. The PUMA “run my way” campaign began by acquiring the user’s OpenID via a QR code scan, allowing for personalization by giving each user a choice in the color and finish of their puma avatar as well as options for the soundtrack. After running through the scene via a treadmill, users conclude the experience with a personalized video takeaway.
So, how can you execute with a platform that achieves something similar? First, move away from a one-size-fits-all mentality. Adobe Analytics and Target let you identify and segment audiences for testing, leveraging touchpoints throughout the customer decision journey to inform creative design and tailoring the user experience toward business outcomes. By turning successful tests into perpetual personalization activities, you can continue to serve your audiences their preferred experience through Adobe Target.
This part of the process trips up those who haven’t properly set up an attribution model or strategy for success, leading some to consider abandoning personalization altogether. It begs the question: if businesses continue to inundate users with the same, irrelevant ads again and again through careless retargeting in external channels, were they ever really personalizing in the first place?
Personalization is your chance to build the experience your users have always wanted on your own properties. With the right toolset, this is a tangible and practical thing to do. The mighty size of the Chinese consumer market truly enables even the most sophisticated personalization powered by machine learning in Adobe Target. It requires a lot of data, but in return offers automated targeting of your experiences to just the audiences most likely to respond. And it has the power to change the messaging and creative of any experience to the options that work best for a particular segment of the audience — all without a data analyst’s involvement.
Personalization done properly actually empowers the user to craft their own product and design their own journey to their own liking. Through a data-driven creative process that focuses its strategy on assisting your WeChat users, you can drive more meaningful, impactful, memorable user experiences.
Oleg Sidorenko, Solutions Director EMEA at MediaMonks, contributed to this piece.
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