Personalisation and one-to-one marketing have been hyped as the ‘Holy Grail’ of consumer engagement. But those terms, like so many others that have come before, are often misinterpreted.
The concept of talking one-to-one to consumers is not new, but many marketers are still yet to reach the level of true personalisation and on-going dialogue of one-to-one marketing, despite claims or beliefs that they have.
The level of personalisation marketers seek to achieve today is around tailoring communication at scale, which is essentially saying the right thing to the right person over time.
The challenge for marketers is having consistency in these tailored messages to consumers, across different ad formats and media. For example, if you have a conversation with a customer, the communications must be consistent and build on previous communication- whether by phone, in person, email, digital media or direct mail. Otherwise you risk repeating the same conversation and confusing your customer, which will ultimately hurt your brand equity.
The next wave of personalisation will also consider how each user prefers to consume media. For example, my daughter, who is in her 20s, and I prefer to consume media and information differently.
My daughter is tied to her smartphone 24-7 and uses that as her ubiquitous device, whereas I prefer using my laptop or tablet, sometimes even print catalogues or newspapers. It wouldn’t make sense to send my daughter catalogues when she gets all her information from her phone. Equally, it wouldn’t make sense to send me messages via mobile apps.
The future of personalisation will see marketers using this kind of information to personalise their marketing messages across multiple mediums, according to users’ consumption habits.
These changes will result in even more effective and relevant communication, only targeting users when and where they will be most receptive to hearing from brands.
John Giuliani is president and CEO of Conversant