Mon, 21 Sep 2020 14:50:21 GMT
We see it everywhere in Europe, from the factory floor to the boardroom – technology is transforming how we do business, promising work efficiencies, cost efficiencies, and pretty much every other efficiency you can imagine. But most of us still agree that technology may never replace the human touch.
Cue, personalisation. Done well, it promises instead to help brands communicate with their fans in a more meaningful way – on an individual level in fact – by using data to keep the personal (human) touch very much alive. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
What personalisation is (and what it’s not)
To start, what many people still think of as ‘personalisation’ is really just ‘customisation’. As part of a marketing campaign, you might invite customers to add their name or photo to your product before checkout, and you might think of this as personalisation. After all, when you let your fans slightly tweak a video within a selection of options, you’re letting them add a 'personal' touch. But there’s one crucial difference:
While customisation lets your fans add their own personal touch to products, personalisation is about using data to understand what individual customers want, so you can give it to them before they ask.
Sounds complicated? It doesn’t have to be. Andy Kauffmann, SVP of global marketing optimisation at Marriott International, says that the basics of personalisation are actually just good service: “You stay at one of our hotels, and ask for a drink with almond milk. The next time you visit, the almond milk is already there waiting for you,” he says.
Data-driven marketing, AKA listening to customers then acting on it
In simple terms, if you have data on your customers, you have information about who they are: how and where they use your products, what they love (or don’t) about them, and why. With data technology, you can gather and analyse this information at scale to make better decisions that will benefit a range of different customers and, by default, also your brand.
One area you could (and should) focus on is adjusting and improving your marketing communications to reach customers more effectively. After all, data-driven marketing is the reason Spotify’s Discover Weekly feature became such a hit, and why no two Netflix home pages look the same.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that can strike an emotional chord and give your audience reasons to remember your brand: the right kind of milk in a guest’s hotel room in the example from Marriott, or where it comes to marketing, email and video communications that are relevant and useful, or laugh-out-loud entertaining.
When it comes to data, transparency is everything
In the post-Cambridge Analytica world, brands have to work hard to earn the trust of consumers. In post-GDPR Europe, brands have to work even harder. Part of adopting a personalised approach to marketing includes being prepared and open for transparent conversations with your fans about consent and how you use data to tailor your services to them.
Once you have this bit figured out and clarified with your audience, you’re two steps closer to turning them into fans. One, because customers appreciate brands that respect their data. And two, because once you earn their trust, you gain a superpower: the tools for staying relevant in a cluttered marketing world.
How data insights + personalisation + us = fans
72% of consumers say they don’t interact with marketing messages that aren’t personalised or tailored to their interests. That’s a wake up call for brands still mass emailing their database with the simple “Hi [First Name]’ trick: they risk being seen as that pushy sales person knocking on our digital doors. (And no one wants to be that person).
While not everything has to be personalised, the approach is invaluable for demonstrating, at key points in the customer journey, that you understand your fans. By personalising your marketing efforts, you can gain so much more than just a competitive edge; you can forge deeper connections with audiences, and turn them into fans. We can help you create personalised content that’s relevant, targeted, engaging, and above all, human. Ready to win some fans for your brand? Get in touch with a distiller today.