Personalised Marketing

Data driven personalisation – is there any other kind?

Written by Jason Groom
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Mail
  • Linkedin
Originally published
September 26 2019,
July 3 2020

Recent research from Magnolia1 confirms that over three quarters of IT teams don’t understand marketing buzzwords and jargon. It seems we’re in danger of being misunderstood and even alienating our colleagues if we don’t revert to a bit more straight-talking. “Data driven personalisation” is a phrase that’s become a personal pet-hate of mine. It’s one we regularly trot out, but is there actually any other kind? Because, if you’re not using data to drive your personalisation efforts, then what on earth are you using?


Data drives intelligence

When we’re employing data, it figures that we’re communicating with knowledge and intelligence. If we don’t then our messages are bland, broad and unlikely to resonate. We know that today’s shoppers are resistant to the mass-marketing techniques of old and that they expect personalisation and relevance. They’re frequently being disappointed.


Periscope’s “The Art of Personalization— Keeping it Relevant, Timely and Contextual” 2 spells it out. Consumers across a number of countries still don’t feel most of the communications they receive are created with them in mind (France 47%; UK 42%; Germany 40%; US 36%).


Data drives timeliness

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you always should” is a rule that should be applied to our marketing. Particularly with the digital channels where a low price point makes it both tempting and easy to exhaust customers and overload them with messages. Monitoring a customer’s receptiveness and reaction to our materials should guide the volume and frequency of them.


Data drives channel preference

It makes sense to experiment with messaging channels to determine what combination of these achieves the greatest engagement and success. In the Periscope study2, consumers selected their top three preferred channels for receiving personalised messages. Email dominated for all but in the UK, the US and Germany coupons linked to loyalty cards was the second choice.


Data drives trust

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was expected to send shockwaves through the marketing world. In reality it simply enshrined best-practice and gave us a better understanding of the privacy/personalisation trade-off. Around half of customers3 still remain happy to share their data in return for “personalised marketing and targeted products, services, recommendations, and offers.”

Fail to deliver on these though and opt-ins and permission can be easily withdrawn.


I overheard a clever analogy from a colleague. He explained that when processing it we’re only ever “borrowing” our customers’ personal data and likened it to borrowing a friend’s car. Ask permission first, don’t go crazy on the mileage, keep it in good condition, return it when asked to. Sage advice and worth remembering whether you’re driving data…or a friend’s motor!


Related Articles

Print marketing, digital marketing and traditional marketing
Cross Channel Marketing

Print marketing, digital marketing and traditional marketing

Someone from outside the profession might assume that marketers come in all sorts of varieties...

When personalisation gets creepy
Personalised Marketing

When personalisation gets creepy

1993 was a watershed moment in the world of marketing. While its launch may well have been...

Marketing automation – nobody said it was easy
Personalised Marketing

Marketing automation – nobody said it was easy

I doubt Chris Martin, or any of the Coldplay crew for that matter, knows much about marketing...