Deconstructing Personalisation - Marijke Timmers

Deconstructing Personalisation

When was the last time you felt truly connected to a brand and why? Chances are, it was because you felt understood and considered.

Sounds easy enough. But we know achieving such a connection requires a deep understanding of your customer and building personalised experiences around them. That’s not always easy to do.

Personalisation goes well beyond the first name field merge in an email. It requires a commitment to your brand purpose and to humanising your marketing efforts, in a way that no AI, Bot or IOT could ever do. What you stand for, how your personality comes into effect at various stages of the customer journey and why that matters to your audience, are all key factors.

So, let’s get personal...

In my experience, most businesses have a lot more to do before we can claim to have created truly personalised and memorable customer experiences. So, if you're still working toward unifying your customer data, aligning content to personas or improving segmentation sophistication, you’re not alone. Most companies are in the very early stages - that goes for SMEs and large Corporates and it looks a little like this...

- No shortage of data, but not consolidated. In other words, no single view of the customer across the organisation. Some parts of the customer journey are considered – largely the top of the funnel where acquisition happens. But, end-to-end journey mapping isn’t complete within most organisations and little sophistication exists through the funnel to ensure retention and loyalty.

- Basic email personalisation: field merges, some Customer Relationship Management database integration and dynamic content.

- Basic segmentation, largely based on profile data rather than triggered by engagement.

Here are are some of the tactics I've recommended to improve personalisation...

Recognising that it’s now customer experience that’ll give you a competitive advantage, completing end-to-end Customer Experience plans should be top of the list. For larger organisations, this will mean aligning marketing, sales and service systems, processes and communications to provide a single view of the customer.

Enriching data through progressive profiling and enhanced data capture will enable you to segment your database in more meaningful ways. And, developing richer and more dynamic content will appeal to a wider audience, on a more personal level.

If you’re just getting started with personalisation and these tactics seem appropriate for your business, it’s important that you consider these six principles first...

1. Empathise:

To play into the emotional drivers of your audience, you need to understand them. How do you gather and store data on your prospects and customers today?

2. Be bigger from smaller:

Little things matter. Taking care of the little things makes a big impact so pay attention to them. Plan for them.

3. Connect:

Be clear about your brand purpose and bring that into every touch point, through the offer as well as tone and visual identity.

4. Talk to hearts and minds:

Consider key touchpoints in your customer journey to surprise and delight. What are the moments that really matter?

5. Take good risks:

Test and optimise to learn more about your audiences. Know the messages, content and channels that resonate and then push their boundaries.

6. Be relevant:

Only now have you earned the right to communicate your offer – make sure it’s relevant and solves a real need.

Do all of this well and the proof is in the pudding. According to McKinsey & Company*:
- Personalisation increases the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 30%

- Personalisation reduces acquisition costs as much as 50%

- Personalisation lifts revenues by up to 15%

*SOURCE: Marketing’s Holy Grail: Digital personalization at scale

The topic of Deconstructing Personalisation was first published on this Marketing Cube Blog.