To personalise or not to personalise?


This topic of personalisation has thrown up many discussion points at bolt over the past few weeks. Should you personalise or not?

Written By

Thomas Coughlan

Posted On

25 Apr 2019

To many in 2019, personalisation in marketing is seen as an absolute necessity.

This topic has thrown up many discussion points at Unicus over the past few weeks. Some of us believe that personalisation is king and the absolute goal of any campaign. Whilst others believe it’s a complete grey area that needs to be reviewed independently.

One of the main arguments is that for everything to be totally personalised to the nines, we would need all current privacy laws to be removed. Another brings up the fact that with complete personalisation, you are misinterpreting comprehensive strategy for a lack of, if anything. Finally, there’s a reduced amount of content and knowledge and that can also be dangerous.

It’s easy for us as marketers to get excited by specific personalisation tools, increasing key KPIs such as engagement and amount of orders. But are they REALLY personalised?

Or are those we are talking to understanding of the fact that there was merely their first name added to the top of the letter and the rest is the same? Likewise, it’s easy for e-commerce based companies to recommend the jumper you just purchased in a different colour, right?

Are consumers confusing personalisation for just great customer service or user experience? There is the utter frustration of impersonal marketing, but still no more personalisation than really basic segmentation. If you can segment to various groups, great. You’re not just thinking of your customers, you’re managing data effectively.

Remember, personalisation can also be sensitive depending what your marketing and the time of year you are marketing, so be careful! There’s a model from Experian labelled the ‘six stages of sophistication’ that can best sum up how to categorise different types of personalisation – this is definitely worth your time.

Don’t rely on total personalisation

Our advice would be not to rely on total personalisation and get carried away. Use it in moderation where necessary to make smaller, organic improvements. Marketers, try not to be lazy and think this is the end goal. Ask your audience what they want! It’s a much more effective starting point than useless tactical execution.

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