Are you getting personalisation right?

Ross Miles - 09.02.2018

Technological advances have provided marketers with the tools to easily implement personalisation, so there’s no reason why brands shouldn’t be delivering on this.

However, it seems many are still not working to provide consumers with the experience they expect. According to Accenture’s ‘Put your Trust in Hyper-relevance‘ report, 25% of consumers ended their relationship with a company as a result of a lack of personalisation in their marketing communications.

Personalisation not only attracts the attention of consumers in an increasingly noisy market, but it also helps to build customer relationships, making consumers feel appreciated and providing them with a more valuable customer experience.

To up your personalisation marketing efforts this year, Adweek recommends the following:

Listen to the right signals

How good are you when it comes to listening to your customers? Are you paying attention to the right signals?

When it comes to shopping habits, for example, many retailers will deliver recommendations based on their purchase history — they bought a denim shirt so you send offers for other denim shirts — but fail to consider context or other attributes. This means you could end up bombarding them with irrelevant recommendations.

Instead, brands should take a leaf out of Netflix’s book and focus on attributes. Accenture Interactive’s global personalisation lead, Jeriad Zoghby, explained that the company looks at what genres, directors, themes, characters or actors a viewer likes and then creates a new private label for products based on market concentration.

Move beyond personas to living profiles

To help ensure brands are truly listening to their customers, they need to start looking at the individual shopper, instead of putting them into pre-defined segments based on demographics and psychographics.

Personas are all well and good in the early stages, but once your lead turns into a customer, it’s time to build living profiles. This should provide you with information about how they use your app, the theme and offers in the emails they open, the attributes of the products they’ve purchased. All of this real-time data will help brands to deliver more relevant messages, evolving as they do.

Build customer trust

Trust isn’t just important when it comes to developing customer relationships, it also plays a key role in increasing customer willingness to share their personal data. And, with the upcoming implementation of the EU’s GDPR, this is more important than ever.

To build this trust, brands need to be transparent about their data collection, provide customers control over their data, and make sure they use the data to provide value to their customers, not themselves. Showing you listen to them and are working to address their pain points will boost trust.

Don’t cross the line between personal and creepy

Netflix might be getting some areas of personalisation right, but it has also got it wrong. In December, the normally on-point brand came under fire after the US Twitter account tweeted: “To the 53 people who’ve watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?”

It sparked a debate over the company’s use of data and whether they could identify individual customers, the Independent noted at the time. Many felt like it crossed into creepy territory.

No doubt, the company had seen the popularity of a similar campaign from Spotify and had hoped to jump in on the success of data mining. The campaign included a series of specific ads, with one billboard reading “Dear person who played ‘Sorry’ 42 times on Valentine’s Day: What did you do?”, according to Adweek.

So, what’s the difference between the two ads? Netflix appeared to hone in on just one particular set of viewers, while Spotify, with its larger campaign, showed it listens to all of its users.

Data mining in this way is a relatively new use of personalisation, so it is going to be an ongoing lesson for brands, but there needs to be a balance between creativity and privacy — how much intrusion will consumers tolerate? At the end of the day, personalisation should provide users with value, and if they feel they’re being mocked, they probably won’t believe it’s a fair exchange of their personal data.

To make sure you don’t cross the line over into creepy but still make an impact with your personalisation, speak to Fireworx today.