by Jay Thomson. Once upon a long time ago, a piece of creative would be sent into the world and thumbs were held tightly in the hope that the generalist messaging would resonate with their broader audience. Today, however, as consumers are ever more sophisticated and discerning, they not only expect personalised messaging and communication from brands but are soon frustrated by those that don’t.
Personalisation, hyper-personalisation and individualisation are all terms that speak to customers’ growing preference for online content and solutions that place the individual at the centre of the strategy.
Central to success
Today, personalisation is central to the success of a digital marketing campaign, irrespective of the platform. It’s about shifting the focus away from the brand to placing the consumer at the centre of the strategy. It’s not enough to insert a name into an email newsletter; it’s about strategically, smartly and creatively mining the data to present a message that speaks to the customer’s interests and preferences, all while reaching them in the online space of their choosing.
A prime example of the power of personalisation is the impact of the now-famous “Share a Coke” campaign Coca-Cola first launched in Australia in 2011. The campaign, which simply put individual names in the place of the traditional brand logo on the soft drink can, captured the popular imagination, encouraging people to search far and wide for their own names, and those of friends and family. Despite a growing global awareness of the negative health effects of sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola, the brand witnessed growth in sales for the first time in a decade.
Such is the power of personalisation, and further sources reveal that consumers actually prefer communication and messaging tailored to their needs and preferences. Significantly, 90% of consumers are willing to share their behavioural data in exchange for additional benefits such as discounts or an easier shopping experience, according to research by behavioural marketing platform, SmarterHQ. The platform has also established that 70% of millennials prefer personalised marketing emails and are frustrated by irrelevant batch communication blasts. In fact, millennials are happy for retailers to track their browsing and online shopping behaviour in exchange for an enhanced shopping experience.
Central to efficacy
One only has to look to the proven benefits of dynamic personalisation to understand why it’s no longer a “nice touch” but central to the efficacy of a marketing campaign. Personalised videos increase click-through rates (CTRs) and open rates but also ensure that all your mailers don’t go unread.
Dynamic personalisation draws on historical and current data, intelligent creative and strategic, hyper-personalised messaging to reach customers at scale and to reach them online, offline and through-the-line.
In the online space, performance is measured by results, where results are the culmination of content relevance multiplied by brand reach multiplied by prospect reaction. But in order for personalisation to be successful, it needs to happen at all stages of the customer lifecycle, and across all channels, as per the example below:
- Personalisation in the acquisition phase: Brand recall and higher CTRs are the result of early personalisation, with dynamic video ads on Facebook known to beat all legacy video formats.
- Personalisation to drive sales: Use the information and insights garnered from the data available to you to offer customers customised offers of products and services that are relevant to them. Leveraging the data may help to do this at the right place and time, and in a non-intrusive way.
- Personalisation with onboarding: It pays to wow your customers from the get-go with a personalised (video) message to welcome or thank them for their patronage. This sets the tone for the relationship going forward.
- Personalisation to ensure retention: Engaging customers at key points during their lifecycle is crucial. Renewals, special occasions or loyalty programmes all present great opportunities to delight your customers with a personalised video, for example.
Reprieve for brands
The online space is a crowded one, with more content, more videos, more messages and more options being added to the mix every minute. Personalisation offers a reprieve for brands — a way to cut through the clutter — by offering their customers more of what’s important to them, what’s relevant to them, and giving them more of what they want, when and where they want it.
Jay Thomson is co-founder and chief digital officer of Hoorah Digital, a digital media and marketing performance consultancy. Jay is a digital marketing pioneer, entrepreneur, awards juror, and speaker.
“Motive” is a by-invitation-only column on MarkLives.com. Contributors are picked by the editors but generally don’t form part of our regular columnist lineup, unless the topic is off-column.