April 23 2024 06:27 PM

Now, like everything, it has gone next level

Screenshot 2024-04-23 at 8.45.37 PM

Personalizing things is not new. We have engraved items and composed personal letters and communications for centuries, but can we do this economically and efficiently?

In the CCM arena, personalization all started with upgrading from “Dear Valued Customer” to the more colloquial “Hi [first name]”. It then evolved into putting variable data in a few different spots in a communication and even on the outer envelope. Now, like everything, it has gone to the next level.

Usually once you have been authenticated, you will get endearing welcome messages and like “Hi [first name]” at the top of a login page, while they prepopulate your balances and points. They may even change the images based on your persona, where you live or the season. This personalization has not been easy or cheap. In fact, in many cases, they are not leveraging a central source of truth or even the same system. Until recently, the data and the systems / tech stack is being managed by multiple departments with overlapping tools and customers.

When you are on the receiving end of these touchpoints from the organization that you are doing business with or might do business with, you ask the question, “Do they really know me?”

The reality is that they know you, but they may only know a part of you. They may know how you like to be communicated with and when. They may know you when you login, essentially, reintroducing yourself again and again. The challenge has been the disconnect between the systems and departments and the cost to get it all in sync… until now. With the emerging popularity of the MACH concept, an industry tech standard describing modern technology. Integration and leveraging the legacy apps have become easier. The elements of MACH are: Microservices-based, API-first, Cloud-native SaaS and Headless.

The MACH Alliance (a not-for-profit industry body) states, “Customer expectations are disrupting every market, and traditional enterprise technology suites can’t keep up.” The Alliance and their ambassadors keep pushing for a technology kumbaya or a harmony of connecting best of breed software solutions to reduce the “glue code.” Glue code is computer code that unites programs or software components that would not be compatible otherwise. This is being solved today with Open APIs (Application Protocol Interfaces) and even some emerging gluelike platforms like Digital Experience Composition Platforms (DXCPs) that overlay all of the legacy apps and connect them to modern architectures.

Of course, the security-minded folks out there are saying, “What about privacy?” According to Gartner, "Organizations that combine identity data with behavioral data will outpace those that don't." There is a balance between privacy and personalization. Regulations like GDPR are forcing companies to define strict regulations around their web applications, thus introducing complex feature implementation within vendor software.

For those that are putting in the work, working together across their organizations and with their technology partners, more and more companies will show you, that they know you, through their interactions with you.

PAUL ABDOOL is the Global Director of Partnerships at dotCMS, a web content management system platform. He uses his 20+ years of partnership development and communications industry experience, to help partners develop and optimize digital experiences for their customers.

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