One more generic “Dear Customer” newsletter and I’ll scream! And then I’ll unsubscribe.

Marketing segmentation and personalisation - Exploring why companies will soon miss out if they don't start to go beyond the basics.

Marketing segmentation and personalisation – Exploring why companies will soon miss out if they don’t start to go beyond the basics.

The power of personalisation. 

My time is precious – I have a family, a company and a house to run. If you want my attention – you’ll have to do better than a generic newsletter that talks all about you, you, you and contains little of relevance to me! And I’m not unique – these days consumers have a proliferation of choice. There is a myriad of brands that offer interchangeable products all fighting to survive and capture a share of the consumers wallet. The growth of mobile and digital technology has enabled brands to target consumers in real time across many different touch points so they are bombarded by a huge number of different messages daily from brands trying to gain their attention.

To be successful brands need to work out how to cut through the clutter. And sending a generic newsletter is not it!

Personalisation is the key.

Marketers have known for a while that segmenting audiences of similar traits into smaller clusters, and targeting them with relevant and timely content, can reap benefits. The consumer recognises that the content is more relevant and in return is more responsive and engaged. But it’s a battlefield out there and the key to success now lies in a company’s ability to personalise the experience to the individual as opposed to a cluster and create a truly unique and one to one experience. To do this the content must be relevant, informative and engaging – and, with no one size fits all – this requires personalisation.

Basic marketing segmentation and personalisation just won’t cut it anymore.

And this is where my gripe comes in! A simple “Hello Tricia” on an otherwise blanket e-newsletter is just not good enough. But so many brands still fail to go beyond the basics of personalization and don’t engage at a real level or provide any reason for the consumer to remain interested. 86% of brands use personalisation in their customer communications – but this can be as simple as the use of a name in an email. The majority (61%) of brands only use this basic level data only 11% are personalising content to any significant degree by using preference center data and only 9% personalise based on more sophisticated insights.  The consumer has grown to accept basic personalisation as a norm and so now we need to raise the bar even further and provide a much more personalised personalisation.

Addressing a customer by name or recognising their birthday doesn’t add any value to the customer who is expecting brands to engage with them in real time, wherever they are and with content based on their personal preferences. A survey by Pure 360 noted that

  • 92% of consumers are unlikely to engage with marketing that addresses them by name and
  • 93% are unlikely to engage with birthday emails

And yet the benefits of arketing segmentation and personalisation are clear. 

Consumers are up for it – 86% of shoppers that have experienced personalisation say that it has influenced their purchase decision – and 65% say they are more loyal to brands that can create a personalised experience. 

Get personalisation right and you can see some real tangible benefits

  • Solid long-term relationship building
  • Uplift in sales conversions
  • Increased brand affinity and loyalty
  • Increase in WOM recommendations and positive reviews

So Why are so few bothering to go beyond the basics:

There seems to be a major disconnect between what consumers want in terms of marketing segmentation and personalisation and what brands can deliver – and that this is fundamentally down to having the right technology and the expertise to use it. Personalisation can require serious investment in data capture and analytical tools and algorithms that can create predictive modelling. Not only that, personalisation also requires marketing teams to be able to create content that can be delivered in real time with responsive websites, mobile apps, social content and other forms of engagement. Which, if you consider how most marketing teams are structured (see my previous blog on this) it’s no surprise that many are struggling.

But with GDPR and data privacy are consumers willing to part with personal information?

A recent study by Salesforce showed that consumers are happy to part with information about themselves if it enhances their shopping experience. In fact, 52% would walk away from a brand if it didn’t bother to personalise its content. But it’s equally true that consumers are becoming much more selective about who they share their data with and what they are willing to share. Brands need to show a clear and transparent value exchange in requesting data from their customers. They need to be able to offer tangible benefits such as improved customer service, or enable them to save money with targeted offers or deals.

So – I appreciate that getting personalisation right can be tricky and that a certain level of investment in technology is required, but equally, those brands that are just not bothering to consider implementing more advanced personalisation tactics are going to lose out to brands doing a much better job and gaining my attention – and more crucially, my money!

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