Hi Yaniv, tell us about yourself, your background?
I am the Chief Marketing Officer at Dynamic Yield, a recognized leader by Gartner, Forrester, and Frost & Sullivan in Experience Optimization – our platform enables more than 350 global brands to quickly deliver and test personalized, optimized, and synchronized digital customer interactions.
I was the first Marketing hire at the company 7 years ago and built our entire marketing technology stack from the ground up, which includes Dynamic Yield as the tool I use to run experiments and created personalized experiences for our own website visitors. I am a full-stack marketer with a deep knowledge of SEO, paid media, web analytics, content marketing, product marketing, and conversion optimization practices, and through a combination of technical fluency, creative vision, and strategic thinking, have been able to create proven success in driving growth in a highly competitive global B2B marketplace.
Online commerce was booming in 2020, and so did consumer reviews. – How can brands better utilize this data to improve their customers’ experience?
While online commerce was certainly becoming the norm for more and more consumers, COVID-19 made it an absolute necessity. That’s meant the consideration phase has intensified, not only due to the sheer increase in purchase volume but also because many of these items shoppers have simply never purchased online before. Historically, reviews have played a major role in that process, which is why now more than ever, they should be utilized to create confidence and efficiency in decision-making.
For example, brands can incorporate star ratings into product recommendation widgets across the site as well as showcase real-time notifications on product detail pages to encourage shoppers to read recent purchase experiences as they come in. Even these simple elements of social proof can have a massive impact, from product discovery all the way through to checkout.
And with the influx of reviews, brands have more information from which to make strategic choices about their inventory, vendors, support, and overall customer experience both on a large and individual scale.
What is one element that must always be considered when working on a CXM (customer experience management) strategy?
That the ultimate CX can never be truly gained without an individual’s trust. At Dynamic Yield, we are huge believers in the data protection and privacy movement, and we’ve made a lot of changes to the platform to ensure brands can safely deliver positive customer experiences in compliance with the latest laws, regulations, and browser restrictions.
For example, our cookie safe solutions include the ability to guarantee no data from Dynamic Yield is collected about a user unless they’ve actively opted-in, which is a requirement mandated by the GDPR – but still allows for the optimization of experiences for opted-out users according to anonymous contextual data such as location, device type, channel, and more.
It’s a new era, and while these changes certainly require a new thought process and strategy around personalization, clear and transparent data-gathering practices can actively endear consumers to a brand, and will ultimately make or break many others.
Do you think personalization and customer-centricity are going to become increasingly more relevant in the coming year? How so?
Personalization is going to become ubiquitous, acting as the cornerstone of the customer experience ecosystem and taking shape in a variety of forms. Consumers have grown increasingly accustomed to a high level of personalization during COVID-19 as they sought to find the right products to purchase, meals to order, podcasts to listen to, and content to stream. These tailored experiences, which will continue to vastly shape behavior online, are also set to transform the physical world as life eventually gets back to normal and consumers expect brands to create continuity and value across the two channels. Given that, we anticipate the role of physical spaces will get “smarter,” with more screens available for consumers to interact with and explore virtual product catalogs as well as to connect their online personas for more individualized experiences offline.
What are some of the ways companies can strive to eliminate the CX Gap?
We see brands struggle to close the CX gap because they lack the internal processes and structure to effectively implement and scale personalization. This is largely why Dynamic Yield has created a simple framework that teams can use to help them do just that. Referred to as Root Audiences, the basic idea is that brands should create 3-4 audiences (who cover the majority of their traffic) based on a single segmentation principle. For example, purchase intent, lifetime value, and so on. This allows teams to continuously learn from the behavior of these audiences while also institutionalizing insights that bring brands closer to their customers, help them further refine their strategies, improve KPIs, and subsequently, achieve incrementality.
What’s the most insightful book you read in 2020?
Our US Sales team started a “Finer Things Book Club” in 2020, and one of the more interesting books they had was The Challenger Customer by Pat Spenner, Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nick Toman. They talk about the idea of change enablement, and how brands can efficiently help customers change, show them what they are currently doing is not scalable, costly and not as effective as it could be. Essentially, changing is not about the product, and the goal isn’t to convince the buying group to buy a solution. It’s to persuade them to change their behavior. Anyways, highly recommended.
Yaniv’s predictions for the future of CX
What are your predictions for trends in customer experience in the coming year?
The last year or so has represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for brands when it comes to customer acquisition, and that’s going to remain a top priority as we continue to ride the COVID train. However, more and more businesses are starting to ask, “how do we keep these first-time shoppers coming back?” – and that shift to a retention mindset is what’s going to help teams maximize returns on all of the money currently being spent on top of the funnel marketing efforts. Through the personalization of different experiences across channels and touchpoints, brands can nurture the relationship with new customers based on meaningful interactions they make, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases and fostering a sense of brand loyalty, the impact of which can have a massive impact on the bottom line.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
When analyzing an A/B test, not only should the metric change from experience to experience, but so too should the audience – which is why I can’t tell you I have a favorite one! Oftentimes, businesses come to us and ask, “Why do you allow so many metrics to choose from? I only need one: revenue.” But this model for thinking fails to take into account the natural evolution of visitors along the purchase funnel, which is why setting KPIs relative to their current stage is easier to track and optimize towards.
For example, setting revenue as the objective for a tailored navigation experience vs. a metric like CTR creates a lot of noise from a reporting perspective. And the difference between performance, minimal, as the experience would remain the same as visitors took advanced further down the funnel.
Additionally, because there will always be segments of visitors for whom the winning variation within an experience is not optimal, it’s incredibly important to determine the impact of test actions on your different audience groups. In another example, when breaking down an experiment by device type, a relatively basic and straightforward measure, you might be surprised to find that your winner for desktop users is being dramatically outperformed by the challenger for both tablet and mobile users.