Agilent Personalization is Tactic, Not Strategy
This is the third of four blog posts detailing how Agilent answered those questions to achieve a successful, integrated, customer experience that supports marketing and pleases customers.
Agilent does not have a personalization strategy. It has a customer engagement strategy, which employs the tactics of a personalized web page for customers and personalized communications. The personalization of Agilent’s customer experience is a result of Agilent’s goals for customer satisfaction, registered customers, known users, and qualified leads, not an end in itself.
In 2010, Agilent reviewed its web capabilities and recognized that it needed to both deliver and capture more value. Over the course of six months, strategic discussions established the business objectives, metrics, funding and tactics for e-business investments. Customers provided the direction: give us a personal page to consolidate all the tools and logins and data we need to do our jobs. Marketing provided the structure: increase customer engagement and qualified leads by personalizing interactions and communications.
To achieve these two interrelated goals, the Integrated Customer Engagement (ICE) strategy was established. Three projects were identified to implement that strategy:
1. MyAgilent personal page. This is a customer portal page that delivers information and services supporting personalized engagement.
2. Marketing automation. Automated processes proactively engage and nurture web prospects and customers based on their profile and behavior.
3. Gated content. Certain types of content require visitors to provide minimal identification; this identification enables content delivery and captures visitor interests.
The three projects are like cogwheels that drive each other. MyAgilent is a personalized customer experience, feeding information to marketing automation which in turn personalizes customer communications. Gating some content encourages customers to identify themselves and to log in. Together, these three projects create a virtuous circle. MyAgilent capabilities encourage customers to log in; logged in customers provide information on their interests; their interests drive the personalization of marketing’s communications; gated content encourages log in.
Agilent already had a Customer Experience Improvement project underway when ICE was established. Improving the customer experience was key to increasing traffic and stickiness, the basis for making ICE a success. The research, planning, and budget for customer experience helped jumpstart the ICE projects. MyAgilent was identified as one tactic for improving customer experience, not the only tactic, and not a “competing” tactic. Folding ICE into the existing customer experience project promoted the success of MyAgilent. The value of such internal cooperation seems obvious from the outside, and in hindsight, but too many corporate cultures reward competition more highly than business results.
The customer engagement strategy has very specific goals, which are adjusted annually:
• Improve customer satisfaction, as measured by external customer surveys, to a new high (specific target)
• Increase known visitors by 10X
• Double the conversion rate of engagements to leads
Agilent Technologies is a world-leading measurement company. Its singular focus on measurement helps scientists and engineers alike with its designs and manufacturing of scientific instrumentation. The company is organized into four business groups: Chemical Analysis, Life Sciences, Diagnostics and Genomics, and Electronic Measurement. You might remember Agilent’s birth in 1999 as a spin-off from HP. This case study reflects customer experience and marketing evolution at the Electronic Measurement Group of Agilent.
Agilent is an illuminating example of how – and why—companies can succeed with personalization initiatives.