How Brands Can Get Personalisation Right

With 1 in 4 consumers willing to pay more for a bespoke product or service, it’s clear that marketers stand to make great gains from tailoring their marketing efforts at the individual level. Personalised marketing once meant a name placeholder at the start of an email but now, with the wealth of data at their disposal, marketers can truly tailor their approach.

Knowing the right things about your customer (without crossing over into ‘creepy’ territory of course) is crucial. Social media profiles, location data services and transaction records can provide insight into myriad details: demographics; location; hobbies and interests; and even life stages. This data can be hugely valuable in enabling marketers to be more helpful to their customers.

However, while marketing departments across the board rank personalisation capability as a top priority, 38% of companies are yet to apply it in any form to their marketing activities. The truth is, most marketing departments possess a huge scope of data, which they can use to kick-start personalisation in their company. The problem comes with how to extract relevant insights from these vast pools of data, and then, how to turn them into contextualised, meaningful responses – all in real-time, and all at scale.

So, how can brands get it right?

Harnessing The Power Of Personalisation With Technology

Marketing technology platforms can be pivotal for brands looking to implement targeting at the individual level. These platforms can provide marketers with a single view to track a customer’s activity across devices, social media accounts, and conversations with customer care representatives.

These technologies can also offer marketing departments a broader, more holistic view of their customers; identifying brand ambassadors, key influencers and enabling breakdowns by demographic.

Going Mobile

Marketers are realising the growing importance of mobile to their efforts with 51% ranking it within the top three of their priorities for 2016. Mobile location data can be among the easiest to obtain and yet, the most useful in allowing marketers to provide relevant suggestions. With mobile accounting for 40% of all online retail sales, brands need to revise their tactics to reach more of their potential customers.

Driving Efforts In Real-Time, Not In Your Time

One of the key challenges in personalisation is the timeliness of your message. Scheduling tools can help marketers send out social media posts at fixed times but tailoring content to the individual means taking this a step further. For customer care, this might mean the quickest response to a query, but for generating sales, perhaps emailing discount codes during a customer’s lunch break when they tend to do their online shopping.

The Human Touch

Automated marketing can be instrumental in launching personalised marketing efforts but it is just as important to understand the emotional aspect of a customer’s decision-making process. Spotting a tweet that a customer is thinking about moving house or starting university, or that they would like an additional feature or service; can help marketers align their messages with customer sentiment. Armed with the ability to pull up all the information in seconds, marketers can capitalise on all this customer data and use it to craft contextualised campaigns driven by genuine insight, rather than guesswork , on what makes their customers tick.

The Post Office, for example, recognised that their customers’ main demand was for an easier, more accessible service. In 2015 the company extended their opening hours during the week and for the first time, began opening on Sundays. To spread the word, Post Office launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #LoveSundays, which drove customer engagement sky high with an 866% increase in traffic to their branch finder web page.

The Data Driven Approach

With buyer journeys and customer interactions taking place on multiple devices and via multiple channels, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketers to retain customer loyalty or keep track of what’s working. By interpreting the big data they already have access to, brands can personalise their approach, build long-term trust, turn detractors into advocates, leave uninterested targets alone, and respond to customers in real-time.