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CRM is important for every industry today and its importance has been increasing over the years. With less emphasis on paid media acquisition, it’s crucial for businesses to retain existing customers and optimise their experiences through own-channel marketing and personalisation.
In this article, Taylor Hoffmann-Subjack (Taylor), Head of Global CRM Activations at Klarna Inc. (Klarna), and ‘Klarna Marketer of the Year 2022’, explains how to enhance customer experience with personalisation. Klarna is a FinTech organisation offering products and services to consumers and retailers within payments, social shopping, and personal finances. Based out of Stockholm, Sweden, it boasts a total active customer base of 150m customers and is available in 45 countries.
- Enhancing Customer Experience with Personalisation
- Challenges in Deeper Personalisation
- Taylor’s Career Journey to CRM
- Final Thoughts
Enhancing Customer Experience with Personalisation
Personalisation takes many forms beyond attributes and Taylor is committed to finding the right approach for each customer. For instance, some customers respond well to abandoned cart messages, while others prefer similar product recommendations or account summaries.
Taylor recognises the importance of adapting personalisation to each customer’s preferences, rather than relying on blanket approaches solely based on their interest categories. To achieve personalisation, Taylor recommends starting with ways to anticipate the customer’s needs, followed by strong, clean foundational data and ongoing testing.
Taylor and her team, along with other Klarna CRM teams, aim to be smarter in how they approach personalisation, avoiding the overused buzzword. At Klarna, most of the personalisation is done leveraging APIs and custom attributes although much more advanced personalisation based on data sources is also done at times. Taylor elaborated on the various personalisation routes they take at Klarna.
1. Content Blocks
Constructing most of the personalisation in Content Blocks using event properties and Braze attributes. An example is referred to as ‘Nudges’ which is a constructed block that nudges consumers to the ‘next best action’ in their journey to drive them to conversion.
Content Blocks allow you to create personalised email sections based on customers’ purchase history and preferences. You can display a selection of products eligible for Klarna’s ‘buy now, pay later’ service in one content block and highlight the benefits of using Klarna in another.
2. Segment Extensions
By using Braze’s Segments feature, you can create customer segments based on their purchase history and preferences, such as a segment for customers who have used Klarna’s service before and another for those who haven’t. Combining Content Blocks and Segments, you can send an email campaign that displays personalised Content Blocks to each customer, providing a more tailored experience and encouraging them to use Klarna for their next purchase.
One effective strategy in marketing campaigns is to leverage APIs for dynamic content, such as deals or collections. By utilising APIs, brands can construct personalised messages by linking them to specific attributes or event properties. For example, in a triggered message based on a previous event, the event property can be used to personalise the message by including the last item the customer saved to their wish list.
To further enhance personalisation and engagement, the Connected Content feature provides a powerful tool. It enables the insertion of API-accessible information directly into messages sent to users. This could include various elements such as promotion codes or recommended products that the customer has previously shown interest in. By incorporating these personalised recommendations, brands can significantly increase user engagement and conversion rates, as customers are more likely to respond positively to content that aligns with their preferences and interests.
Working within Canvas is more appealing than campaigns because it allows for manipulation of the build. Leveraging action paths within Canvas flow allows progressive profiling based on custom events and event properties. That data is not stored in Braze so ‘action paths’ is a great way to capture immediate actions to personalise the next step/message.
With Braze’s Canvas feature, you can personalise the user lifecycle journey for Klarna customers. When a user signs up for Klarna’s payment services, you can send a personalised welcome email, guide them through the onboarding process, send personalised push notifications, and remind them of abandoned cart items with a personalised discount code to encourage them to complete the purchase. After purchase, you can send a personalised feedback request email, and for users who haven’t made a purchase in a while, you can set up a re-engagement campaign with personalised emails, push notifications, and in-app messages that promote relevant products and deals. By using Braze’s Canvas feature, Klarna can create a personalised user journey that engages users at every stage and encourages them to become loyal customers.
Challenges in Deeper Personalisation
Though being focused on personalisation, Taylor acknowledged that deeper personalisation presents two prominent challenges:
• Data and Integrity
The biggest challenge is the use of data and integrity amidst all the regulations, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for instance. Data privacy is a challenge as marketers need to understand what they can and can’t use, levels of opt-in or compliance, how that data is collected, etc. It also poses challenges when a business is present in multiple markets as each market has different regulations*.
When implementing dynamic content strategies and utilising customer data in marketing campaigns, it is crucial to have the necessary disclaimers in place. The disclaimers should align with the specific attributes being used or the data being showcased. Compliance with legal regulations and privacy policies is of utmost importance, and close collaboration with legal teams is vital to ensure adherence to these requirements.
• Aligning the Roadmaps
This is yet another challenge when one goes deeper into personalisation. Taylor advocates that marketers break down the mould with their MarTech or engineering resources to make sure that their roadmaps are aligned, enabling teams to develop solutions that can be used across the company holistically. This promotes collaboration and eliminates silos within the organisation.
Taylor’s Career Journey to CRM
Taylor started off really desiring to be a part of the fashion luxury industry and thus went to the Fashion Institute of Technology, in New York. While still at school, she strengthened her industry knowledge with internships at Coach, Marchesa, and Alexander McQueen.
With e-commerce gaining prominence, Taylor started pivoting her work in school and secured her last internship at Moda Operandi, Inc., an online fashion luxury retailer. Desirous of continuing this career path, she joined J. Crew Group Inc. (J.Crew), where she got an opportunity to work directly as an e-commerce merchandiser for both menswear and childrenswear. She also developed an interest in app-first technology when J. Crew was launching its app and she was on the user testing side of it.
Taylor’s next opportunity was at Victoria’s Secret where she initially stayed within e-commerce as a digital merchandiser. However, recognising that there was a disconnect between the inner and outer funnel experience for Victoria’s Secret consumers, she started seeking opportunities to optimise that experience. She pitched herself for a marketing role in email and app strategy despite having minimal CRM experience and fortunately, she was taken on board. It was a big turning point in her career. She spent the next two years in that role repositioning and evolving the channel strategies leading to triple-digit increases in engagement and demand.
Later, Taylor wanted to take up new challenges and be a part of something disruptive which got her interested in Klarna. She started with a role in Growth CRM and eventually was promoted to ‘Head of Global CRM Activations’. Klarna gave her the opportunity to be a part of a global, innovative and disruptive organisation while remaining tethered back to her e-commerce roots.
Speaking from her experiences, Taylor says that one should never be afraid to care the most. She said, while I have to focus on myself and my team’s KPIs, I try to never lose sight of the bigger picture and the wider impact on the organisation and the customer.
What made her stand out to be the ‘Klarna Marketer of the Year 2022’ was that she was not afraid to always lead with a goal in mind, offer relevant knowledge while continuously listening and learning what other teams were working on and remain self-aware, confident and humble.
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