Salesforce recently reported that in 2020, consumers will expect brands to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they make contact. And with Amazon reporting 35% of its purchases as a result of product recommendations, it’s no mystery why this caliber of personalized customer experience (CX) is the ideal state for most brands.

What does a roadmap look like for achieving Amazon-like personalization?

During a session at Sitecore Symposium in November, Silvertech CTO Derek Barka shared a customer case study where they achieved success using Sitecore and Salesforce.

The customer, Credit Union of Texas, took a crawl, walk, run approach transforming its web site from functional to highly personalized for both returning and anonymous visitors.

Not only have they seen measurable improvements including an increase in the total web site leads from 649 to 3,003 just in the first month, Credit Union of Texas has a strong foundation for what’s next in machine learning and AI.

Functional is not enough for today’s consumers

Imagine for a moment, that your house has a cramped, 1980s style kitchen. You know you can rely on its basic functionality, but your family cannot fit comfortably even though it’s a central area. After a remodel creating an open and inviting space, your new kitchen is now drawing your family together more often. Why is this relevant? The remodeled kitchen was designed with a purpose in mind.

“Web sites are no different,” Derek said. “When Credit Union of Texas came to us, their corporate site was little bit like that first kitchen. It wasn’t designed in a way that could maximize its revenue-driving potential.”

Credit Union of Texas provides a full range of financial services with more than 140,000 members, 14 branches, and $1.4 billion in assets. And although its .com site was generating traffic, the banking organization was missing its loan conversion goals by about 30%. There was a desire for more conversions, plus to create a more robust attribution or ROI model.

“They knew, in order to grow, they needed to invest some money both in their customer experience and their technology stack,” Derek shared.

A personalization roadmap – crawl, walk, run

Silvertech worked with Credit Union of Texas to develop its roadmap in three key steps to reaching the Amazon-like, data-driven personalization. The organization’s game plan was to leverage Salesforce for lead tracking and ROI attribution, Salesforce Audience Studio for segmentation, and Sitecore for creating the personalized website experiences using all the data.

Step 1: Be modern and relevant

The first step of the journey for Credit Union of Texas was to undergo a web site redesign to upgrade from “functional” to purpose driven. The updates to the pages more clearly established what the next steps in the customer journey were for the visitors coming to the web site.

“It’s built on Sitecore, so it’s easy for marketers to get in there and change those calls to action to make sure you’re furthering that person’s journey,” Derek said.

Step 2: Be engaging and frictionless

The next step was to create a simple, streamlined conversion process. This is where Salesforce comes in, Derek explained. All forms were created in Sitecore with an integration to do quick credit checks. Then, all the data gets pushed into Salesforce.

The Sitecore and Salesforce integration allows for quick loan approvals, plus Credit Union of Texas can see which forms and channels are working and make adjustments as needed.

“It’s a consistent digital experience across every touchpoint because we’re leveraging Salesforce to share that data,” Derek shared.

Step 3: Be predictive and personalized

For Credit Union of Texas, the hero banner was the key area of focus for personalization because most visitors go to the corporate site to log in, creating a limited window of time to grab their attention. The company personalized the experience on the page using the banner based on data – returning visitor data and lookalike data.

“Taking the contextualized information that we have and creating the personalized experience we want,” he said.

How to get highly personalized with Sitecore and Salesforce

Credit Union of Texas integrated Salesforce Audience Studio to incorporate third-party data, revealing more information about their visitors and enhancing lookalike audience personalization. With Audience Studio, Credit Union of Texas can buy segment-specific data that is helpful for creating rules for both returning and lookalike personalization.

When a user visits the web site, Audience Studio matches information based on its segment data. In turn, Sitecore creates an audience profile based on this overall information, and then drives the experience the visitor sees on the page. To take it a step further, Salesforce Marketing Cloud enables further campaign automation to nurture the customer through the purchase journey.

In addition to the increase in web site leads, home equity and mortgage applications increased 300%, auto loan leads increased 20%, and total submitted loan leads grew from 15 million to 58 million in the first month.

“These are the quick wins that prove emulating Amazon’s success can be a game changer,” Derek said.

Zarnaz Arlia is the Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Sitecore. Find her on LinkedIn.