As marketers we are always struggling to think of new ways, techniques and tactics that help our campaigns stand out from the crowd. In the past that would revolve around a new idea, channel or message.
While these are still considerations, much of what we do in marketing today is reliant on data – so the differentiator in the marketplace is now how we use the data available.
Consumers are creating more data on a daily basis. The proliferation of devices and increased internet speeds mean people are connected in more ways than ever before.
However, the usage of data throws up some tricky questions. Marketers need to be sure to consider their usage of data from a consumer perspective. We need to ask ourselves “how does what I’m doing here impact on privacy?” Personalisation must only be used to add value to existing relationships.
‘Infobesity’ – going on a data diet
The marketing industry has some big decisions to make. On the one hand we can collect an almost unlimited volume of information about our audiences. On the other hand, marketing professionals are in danger of what we call ‘infobesity’ – sluggishness from an overload of information.
As anyone who has dabbled in this area knows there are a huge range of data types and analysis techniques available, which can present a confusing environment.
To survive and thrive marketers need to stop playing around the edges like they have been and make some big choices. Including what they are going to use and also what they are not going to use. We need to trim down what data we use and be responsible professionals.
Just like more traditional diets this is something we all know is the right thing to do. However, just like traditional diets, temptation surrounds us and we need to be strict with ourselves. The benefits are there for those willing to take action.
Balancing insight with strong customer relationships
Consumers appreciate personalisation as long as they see value in return and trust your brand. We can all agree that as consumers ourselves we don’t like receiving generic information that is of no interest to us. Indeed, irrelevant messages from a company we don’t trust have every potential to be labelled as ‘annoying’.
We ran a survey in 2015 asking consumers whether they thought personalisation was ‘cool’ or ‘creepy’. 80% of the respondents selected neither of these options, but elaborated on the topic saying they accept the use of their data if it has added value to their experience.
Establishing whether value has been added is a crucial step to building effective campaigns. Ask yourself, are you adding value?
The context of communication is a key consideration in enabling you to deliver intelligent personalisation. Understand the consumer and the journey they’re on, and put them at the heart of the engagement.
Reaching equilibrium between personalisation and privacy is one goal for marketers, along with understanding the customer journeys and ensuring that they are put first. It means using large amounts of data and powerful technology in a thoughtful and responsible manner and not using (or collecting data0 which doesn’t directly contribute to adding customer value.
Equipped with deep and accurate data, marketers can substantially reduce the risk of getting too close and annoying customers and potential customers.
Preference centres will help – being a useful source of data for personalisation they will enable brands to offer people what they have actually asked for, whether that’s a type of message, product, channel or frequency of communication.
The data they provide will also support marketers in their efforts to build meaningful and trusted relationships with their customers. This will be the key to achieving future success.
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 and using the Experian Marketing Suite technology, accurately engage with them.