How personalisation can drive unique customer experiences
We don't always realise it but we are bombarded with commercials, offers and ads everywhere we turn. Marketing continues to be recognised as an essential element in every company's strategy and success and the competition for standing out in the market is fierce. Increasing the marketing reach with as little effort as possible is crucial and marketing automation has consequently become very popular.
It is no longer enough to understand your customers by putting them in traditional segments and assuming them equal. Personalising offerings to individual customers creates a bond with that customer, making them more loyal and thus increasing their so-called customer lifetime value. However, personalisation requires a deep understanding of your customers' needs, preferences and behaviours. Recent years have provided companies with a large array of possibilities for leveraging data to get a very granular understanding of each customer, allowing for personalisation of products, services and all interactions.
New technologies as drivers for personalised experiences
The technological landscape is developing faster than ever before, both driven by innovations in hardware and in capacity. According to Northeastern University*, data equivalent of 5 million laptops is created every single day. Much of this enormous amount of data is anonymised, sold and used for developing elaborate algorithms that recognise behavioural patterns, taking segmentation to a whole different level than marketers have been used to targeting.
Over the past years, companies such as Amazon and Netflix have pushed their respective industry standards by offering hyper-personalised content. This is based on a number of so-called machine learning algorithms that suggest relevant content based on similarities, searches, rankings and much more from people with the same behavioural characteristics. This means that they are able to suggest content that customers will presumably like but would not have found otherwise.
Using loyalty programs to personalise offerings
Another manner of using data for personalising offerings is through loyalty programs. These often offer an offer or discount if you sign up for their loyalty program which is usually free of charge for the consumer. As with the data available for purchase online, loyalty programs collect the data that is provided when signing up as well as the data from all purchases and other interactions. This allows the brand to get to know your preferences and to use this to send offers that match to create an even closer relation to the customer.
Personalised – or creepy?
As new technology are recording more and more information about behaviours, we as consumers can expect our purchasing experiences to become more aligned with our needs and requirements. Integration between offline and online experiences and personalised offers based on interests and previous purchases are only the beginning of this data-driven future. Albeit being able to customise offerings to individuals, making them more likely to purchase, the increasing amount of data being registered also poses a threat. When experiencing hyper-personalisation, customers may feel that their privacy is invaded. To guard consumers' interest, new data privacy laws are coming into effect in 2018 and will affect how customer data is stored and used, thus giving power back to customers.
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