customer experience, Personalisation, Big Data

Personalised communications, the what and the how

Written by Jason Groom
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Originally published
April 20 2016,
July 3 2020

Some marketers believe that personalised communications are achieved just by adding a name, while others that it only truly occurs when a piece, site or “journey” is tailored to the nth degree and entirely focused on the individual. So, who’s right?

Both…and neither

Like most things in marketing, personalisation isn’t binary. There’s no right or wrong and rarely a simple “yes or no” answer. So, we liked a recent piece from Marketing Land1 which, primarily geared towards email marketing, starts with the succinct (and simplistic) “data + content = personalisation” definition and then goes on to pretty much nail the varying stages of its evolution.

From “prehistoric” to futuristic!

Starting with the stone-age “batch and blast” approach of yesteryear, it depicts the early stage development of simple data insertion, through customisation, relevance and on to the individualisation that is our “Holy Grail”.

personalised communications

Neat, huh? But, sadly, understanding its nature and reach doesn’t negate personalisation’s challenges.


According to Econsultancy2 in its Global Digital Trends 2016 report, personalisation and targeting currently top the priority list for marketers. But, at a recent forum, many complained that they’re struggling because;
1. there’s an overwhelming amount of data which they’re not currently equipped to collect /handle and
2. they’re required to manage many more touchpoints than ever before.
Sounds familiar? Then you might be interested in the solutions they came up with…


1. Think small
Rather than try to personalise every channel for every customer, identify a small customer segment to target first.
2. Collect the data
With that segment in mind, harvest data and info from across the organisation to pull together a '360o view'.
3. Pick the platform
Rather than be overawed by multiple touchpoints, focus on just one or two platforms initially.
4. Craft the campaign
Set the overall objectives.
Create a meaningful call to action.
Set a conversion goal
Collect and analyse the post-campaign data

While everyone agrees that personalisation is a winning strategy, there’s no doubt it can be overwhelming. Embracing it at your own pace, and breaking it into small and manageable baby steps, may be the sure-fire way to win the day.

1 http://marketingland.com/road-map-personalization-172156
2 https://econsultancy.com/blog/67724-how-marketers-are-tackling-personalisation-in-manila/

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