Getting up close and personal How close is too close? – Personalisation in 2016

This article is an extract from #6for16 – six views on  the world of digital marketing for the year ahead. Grab your copy today.

In my view, marketing is, and always will be, about influencing consumer behaviour through intelligent engagement experiences. Personalising those experiences to suit the needs, wants and desires of consumers is a vital technique in ensuring the relationship with each customer is effective.

Customers don’t like receiving generic messages or information that is of no interest to them – today, ‘irrelevant’ quickly becomes ‘annoying’. I see 2016 being the year marketers really step up to the plate with responsible and effective personalisation.

We’ve played around the edges for the past few years but now with customers only getting more discerning, further refinement is an absolute must. So marketers are planning to get up close and personal to succeed – but is there a risk of getting too close? We ran a survey in 2015 asking consumers whether they thought personalisation was ‘cool’ or ‘creepy’ and 80% of respondents said they didn’t find it to be either – with their views towards the concept improving dramatically if their data is used to add value.

It is this value exchange that stops personalisation becoming too close or too personal – as long as consumers see value in return and trust your brand then personalisation is much more acceptable.

With this in mind, the key for the year ahead is to consider the context when planning personalisation. Understand the consumer and what journey they’re on and put them at the heart of the engagement. It’s about adding value where it is most needed for that individual at that point. Is that a discount or is it a useful piece of information at exactly the right time? You need to know your customer.

Preference centres will increasingly become a key source of data for personalisation as they enable brands to tailor messaging to what customers have actually asked for – whether that’s the type of message, product, channel or frequency of communications. Another key differentiator in the years ahead will be the ability to leverage available data.

Creating linkages between online and offline, first party and third party, demographic and behavioural data assets will be the key to delivering intelligent personalisation.

Businesses will need to overcome the main barriers highlighted in our 2015 Digital Marketer Report: lack of internal resources, incorrect technology and inaccurate data and from what I see some are well on the way to doing so.

Download your free copy of Personalisation – where’s the line between ‘cool’ and ‘creepy’? for more on this subject.

Experian Marketing Services helps bring brands and customers closer together.  Using our own industry data and analytical expertise we can help businesses build up an accurate and actionable understanding of their customers.

This article is about: personalisation, predictions