Every digital marketer is looking for the holy grail of digital experience. The problem is that the perfect digital experience is as elusive as the holy grail. To build the perfect digital experience, we need to customise a whole range of individual experiences. And instead of relying of data alone to get answers, we need to integrate psychological research to understand what motivates customers to purchase.
Personalization is frequently touted as the ultimate solution for building better experiences, and we’ve seen enterprises spend huge resources in a bid to gain competitive advantage. However, the truth is that individual experience is a black hole that even the best digital minds get lost in.
You can get personal
Enterprises are swimming in data about their consumers, but despite all this information at our fingertips, we really don’t know why customers are (or aren’t) buying your product. That’s because this incredible, rich data tells us plenty about what our customers do, but next to nothing about why they are doing it.
Let me explain: A health food store does a data-driven analysis of its consumer behavior, and determines that average customer spending is much higher during the summer months than in the winter. The data-based conclusion here, then, would be that people are more willing to spend money on health food items in the summer. Right?
Wrong. Drawing this conclusion ignores some potentially confounding variables. For instance, summer is swimsuit season, which means people tend to engage in healthier activities and lifestyle choices, meaning that purchasing more health food items is a secondary result.
To truly understand customer behavior, data must be organized in a way that shows a deep understanding of the way people think and behave. It's not just about blanket personalization.
Start thinking like a psychologist
We are prone to falling into the trap ofy thinking that human behavior can be understood simply by observing external data. Human beings are complicated, intelligent and emotionally-driven - it’s not just about numbers. Those companies focusing solely on numbers are forgetting to analyze the human experience.
Data analysis should be driven by expert knowledge and psychological theory instead of applying the "try it and see" approach. If marketers are to use data effectively, they have to zoom out and consider all the variables and factors involved in decision making - and conversion is only one (small) part of that.
Data can be a maze, don’t get lost in it
Dig a little bit deeper and we’ll find a gold mine. To really make a difference to our customers' experiences, we need to find extra dimensions to our data. Think of psychological models like a shovel: beneath every layer of data there are the human problems of emotion, irrationality, cognitive bias and emotional cues. And all these factors can play into purchasing decisions.
If we want to help guide our customers to conversion, we need to start by peeling back the layers of their data and seeing these customers as the multi-dimensional, complicated people that they are.