Is Your Personalisation Marketing ‘Intelligent’?

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 10 May 2019

Research shows that personalisation can generate an increase in customer loyalty and sales. However, in order to achieve these results, you have to understand the importance of intelligent personalisation.

Personalisation is no longer a buzz word that’s being thrown around businesses to create traction. The power that personalisation has on consumers is gaining attention, and is now more important than ever.

Impersonal coupons and emails may still play a pivotal role in retail, but with personalisation becoming one of the biggest tech disruptions for the retail industry, it’s important to pull focus on how to integrate it intelligently.

Why is personalisation so important?

Consumers want more relevancy

There’s a difference between basic personalisation and intelligent personalisation. An example of the basic type involves an email featuring the consumer’s first name. Is it personalised? Yes, but it’s not unique. A Deloitte study found that 36 per cent of people want products and services that are tailored to them, not just personalised. This also covers a series of emails that relate to products that they’ve purchased recently. A relevant email is worth more to a customer than something generic and mass-sent.

This doesn’t discount personalised messages entirely. In fact, SalesForce found that 62 per cent of consumers expect personalised emails from companies. However, it’s advised that businesses don’t rely on this tactic alone. Personalisation is most effective for email communication, in conjunction with customised and tailored content that reflects their purchase history.

CIO of Cue Clothing, Shane Lenton explained in a recent webinar: “It’s about knowing someone’s a member, and that they have 10 per cent off without signing in. People used to feel a bit uncomfortable where they look at a site and think ‘I’ve been there before’. Now, it’s about ‘don’t show me content that I’m not interested in.’ There’s an expectation for personalisation – make it relevant. Everyone’s time poor and frustrated if they can’t find something they’re looking for.”

Consumers can begin to get exhausted with badly targeted personalised content.
Relevancy is key.

Personalisation can generate uplift and increase conversion rates

While email is an effective source of personalised content, it often fails to capture the consumer’s attention. Despite some emails’ catchy taglines that seize focus, they run the risk of consumers forgetting the brand altogether.

Personalised calls to action often convert to higher conversion rates and generate uplift across all channels. A study by Hubspot highlighted the significance of CTAs, no matter which channel it comes from. The study consisted of 330,000 CTAs over a period of six months, and the results showed that personalised CTAs had a 202 per cent better conversion rate than previous versions.

So, what’s the difference between basic and intelligent personalisation?

Basic personalisation targets consumers on a first-name basis only, across a single channel like email, and uses minimal data to make informed decisions on what content to send to certain consumers. Although somewhat effective, it doesn’t hold the same results as intelligent personalisation.

Intelligent Personalisation consists of the following:
A seamless experience, used in many different channels and devices. Utilising data given by customers and applying them to a cross-channel format (i.e. email and social media). Experiment across digital and physical platforms, such as catalogues and flyers if your brand has the means.

An example of intelligent personalisation comes from L’Oréal. The parent company recently launched its new DTC-home colouring brand, Color&Co. Using AI software, the brand offers customers the chance to change the colour of their hair without actually dyeing it. Using a quiz, the service discovers the client’s hair type, texture, dye history and goals via a mobile device. Following the information and quiz provided, a certified colourist provides advice and recommendations based on answers given by the client.

Color&Co gives in-depth advice for customers about their hair from colourist experts.

Colour&Co is targeted towards women aged 30-50, as well as men, who are already familiar with at-home hair colouring, and provides a fully personalised service. Color&Co’s General Manager, Olivier Blayac said in a statement: “This is a high-commitment category. If you don’t get it right, you have to live with results you don’t like. It’s not like using a lipstick.” After discussing the client’s wishes, they can choose to receive a custom formula, either as a one-time purchase or monthly subscription box. As soon as the order is placed, a ten-minute instructional video.

The promotion is cross-promoted on social media platforms, mainly on Facebook, and utilises influencers that are targeted to their audience. The DTC brand also offers immersive requests, such as particular colourists or experts for certain hair-types, such as 4A, B, and C curls. The in-depth and exclusive information given to the client exemplifies the personalisation method, as the customer receives a curated and tailored experience.

As a reference, it’s important to follow the following bases when exploring personalisation:

Contextual Relevance

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Time of day/ day of week
  • Season
  • Customer journey position
  • Satisfaction

Behavioural-Based personas

  • Satisfaction
  • Marketing Engagement
  • Customer Journey Stage
  • Customer Lifestyle Value
  • Price Sensitivity
  • Frequency of Purchase

As the digital world shifts and changes, so do the customer’s expectations. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box when it comes to personalisation marketing, but be sure that your content is relevant, and makes the customer feel like a person, not just another email address.

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