January 27, 2017 | Authored by: Kevin Cancilla
Personalization insights for subscription billing
Although personalization should be an important aspect of every company's marketing and engagement strategy, a report by the CMO Council and Pega found only 31 percent of businesses use customer intelligence to create these individual experiences. Customers have increasingly high expectations and are more willing than ever to abandon brand loyalty for a business that better suits their needs. Using data from your customers enables you to stay one step ahead of competitors customer-loyalty efforts.
For example, Spotify's Discover Weekly, offering a curated selection of 30 songs sent to each user, allows it to stand apart from competitors Apple, Google and Pandora, Quartz noted. Although most of these services have the same catalog, Spotify's ability to tailor custom playlists to every individual subscriber is one benefit the others can't offer.
"Personalization should be a real-time strategy that compares one customer's preferences to all the rest."
These days, crafting a personalized subscription experience requires more than categorizing customers into demographics and tracking their usage history. Personalization shouldn't simply be a reaction to the information you collect - it should be a real-time strategy that compares one customer's preferences to all the rest.
Developing a real-time personalization strategy
Services using a subscription billing model should observe how their users interact with their product across all channels, CMS Wire advised. Then, these companies must use this information to make marketing or customer experience decisions in real time. For example, by partnering with a leading subscription billing service, you can observe the way your customer interacts with your product on a mobile device and send the person a message or promotion when he or she takes a certain action. If a customer explores a trial offer for a new feature, a third-party subscription management solution can send an email offering a discount and highlighting elements of the product they'd enjoy. Your billing solution therefore becomes part of your marketing solution, addressing two problems at once.
There are other advantages to be had with this type of automation. Research from Adobe found 62 percent of customers are willing to share personal information to get a discount, so real-time personalization can help you get more information about their preferences. For example, as the customer explores a new product offer, your subscription management system can send an automatic email asking the person to complete a survey and receive a discount. The customer will enjoy their savings, and you'll obtain valuable marketing data.
Using multiple subscribers and categories to design one experience
As Quartz detailed, Spotify is unconventional in its approach to personalization. Instead of creating an experience based on data from an individual person, it surveys the 2 billion playlists users create. Then, it compares these lists to a single listener's history, connecting songs and genres. By assigning each song a specific micro-genre - chamber pop as opposed to pop/rock, for example - Spotify provides listening suggestions that more accurately target a user's tastes.
Other subscription services should operate similarly. By breaking categories down into as multiple subsets, they're better able to compare the intricacies of a person's preferences. This provides a stronger understanding of the user and helps the company recommend more accurate suggestions. By using a strategy that incorporates various categories, analyzes multiple customers and markets in real time, subscription services see higher engagement and greater customer satisfaction.
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