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Personalisation, Personalised Direct Marketing, Marketing

Personalisation- there’s no gain without pain

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
July 8 2015,
updated
July 3 2020

I read yesterday that “the campaign is dead”. It took me a little by surprise. Not least because I’m slap bang in the middle of several with plenty of others planned, primed and ready to go. A bombshell? Not quite. The writer was simply making the point that campaigns aren’t what they used to be – that is, the short-term, one-way, brand-led, one-size-fits-all initiatives of old.

All marketers recognise that modern day consumers and customers expect messaging and promotions tailored specifically to their needs and requirements. And most are aware that there is a compelling commercial case – namely a 14% uplift in sales – for doing it well. So it’s a source of discomfort, even pain, for those struggling with personalisation across today’s touchpoints and ever-increasing devices. Here are 5 pain-relieving suggestions;

1. Nail the strategy
What are you looking to achieve? Is it customer retention through providing tailored content of specific interest? Discounts and offers based on known preferences? Or up/cross-selling based on previous orders? Defining that is your starting point.

2. Understand the customer’s journey
Got the strategy? Then, how does the customer arrive at the point of purchase? Consider everywhere a customer interacts with your brand along the way. Website, email, direct mail, print advertising, social, search… all or some of these? In what combination and sequence? Customer journeys are complex and fluid but the messaging needs to remain relevant and consistent.

3. Identify/profile the customer
He or she has a name, of course. But such superficial and simplistic data alone won’t cut the mustard. Drilling-down into a customer data set, building on existing first-party data and appending it as necessary, and segmenting it to create buyer personas is the only way to ensure a unique experience.

4. Recognition and reward
Though not fool proof, technology can certainly make recognising and tracking a user’s journey across devices easier. Personalised URLs, unique links, user and social logins all contribute to the information you hold, build on the buyer personas created and, ultimately, lead to greater personalisation of future touches.

5. Don’t over-do it
You may hold a wealth of information on your customer. Perhaps more technically than is required to improve the customer experience and simplify the journey for him. Just because you can, doesn’t necessarily mean you should! Be mindful that over-personalisation can back-fire and leave the user feeling stalked, even exploited.

Campaigns, like me, have been around for a long time. We’re not dead yet and, by building unique experiences that resonate with customers means, hopefully, we’ll both be here a bit longer!

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