Huw Waters
By Huw Waters on 07 Mar, 2023

Personalisation is at the top of the agenda for many organisations - and has been for years now. Whenever reports come out on marketing trends and digital transformation wish-lists, personalisation almost always features at the top.

So, why are organisations still not adopting marketing personalisation properly?

What is personalised marketing?

Let's set the scene a little and think about what personalisation actually is...

In the simplest of terms, it’s the action of designing or producing something to meet someone's individual requirements. It can come in various forms - from the early days of personalisation with mail drops, then email marketing, A/B testing as ecommerce took off in the early 00s, and recommendation engines with the likes of Amazon coming to the market.

Personalisation has since evolved, with user-generated methods being favoured, as well as loyalty-based, progressive personalisation, using historical, behavioural data and data modelling to infer a customer’s next move.

Why is personalised marketing important and what does good look like?

A successful personalised marketing strategy can add real value - not only to new and existing customers through a positive experience, but also to your business through increased sales, conversion, improved customer retention, customer loyalty and a competitive advantage.

Good personalisation needs:

  • Context – tailored content can better guide customers towards a purchase decision, taking into account factors such as lifestyle, historical behaviour, demographics, and location

  • Customer data - creating personalised experiences is not just a case of using their first name. You'll need a strong consumer data strategy to deliver personalisation to your target audience at scale.

  • A seamless experience – marketing personalisation and the customer experience must be integrated across different touch-points within their journey, across different platforms

  • Real-time adaptability – you need respond with personalised emails and content on the fly

  • Dynamism – be able to adapt to changing circumstances, e.g. weather

  • Value – whether the personalisation be small or large in nature (in terms of impact or data used), it must provide tangible value to customers

When personalisation is done badly, it can have the reverse effect on customer loyalty - it can lead people to switch (pretty rapidly in most cases) to a competitor.

But, there are things your organisations do to avoid this from happening.

Personalised Marketing Actions to Avoid

  • Irrelevant communication – recommending content or products that are not relevant, that don't consider context

  • Disruptive or creepy contact – personalising in ways that the user feels is inappropriate

  • Errors – wrong name, misspellings, or no name can be an immediate turn-off for the recipient. Ensuring your data is up-to-date and accurate is vital

  • Over-personalisation – becoming too personal or personalising too much can have a negative effect

Barriers to Personalisation

There are many reasons why brands are still not adopting personalisation strategies or not doing it better.

A lot of the reasons are down to internal challenges that can often be simply resolved by involving an agency partner with experience in personalisation across the board.

How many of the following barriers to personalisation ring true for your organisation?

1. Resource

  • Lack of resource – you don't have enough people to deliver personalised marketing well
  • Time – you have little to no time allocated to enable you to incorporate personalisation into operations or deliver the additional content required to make it a success
  • Money – little or no budget to invest in people, training, and technology to deliver personalisation efforts
  • Skills – you don't have the right skills in the team to plan and run a personalisation programme

2. Strategy

  • Ineffective strategy – there's either no strategy, or you have an ineffective strategy, to deliver personalised experiences properly across all customer touch-points
  • Segmentation – your strategy is based on very broad customer segment criteria that makes individualised personalisation difficult
  • Lack of  knowledge – within your organisation, you have little experience of how to deliver a successful personalised marketing strategy

3. Technology

  • Not having the right technology – you don't have the right systems, software, or marketing technology stack (that works together seamlessly) to activate personalisation

  • Legacy technology – old systems can often be incompatible with new platforms and provide difficulties when it comes to delivering truly personalised communications

  • Data collection – you're not collecting enough or the right data, which means you're unable to gather the right insights and make the right decisions

  • Disparate data sources – without a joined up view of customer behaviour and interests, it become difficult to deliver a seamless, personalised experience across all touch-points

4. Culture

  • Internal support and co-operation – if you don't have buy-in from the top, and throughout your organisation, it will be extremely challenging to make the necessary changes to deliver successful personalisation

  • Old-school ways of thinking – some organisations struggle to modernise and don’t understand new technology - this can make adoption slow and misunderstood

  • Ways of working – if personalisation isn't a factor in your over-arching business and customer experience roadmap, it won't be incorporated in strategic planning - as a result, it won't be reflected in the ways of working between different teams 

How DCX can help

From customer communications to websites and digital experience platforms to customer service initiatives and beyond, we’ve been delivering successful personalised marketing programmes for organisations for over 20 years.

Our digital experience consultants have helped numerous clients embrace the power of personalisation to drive improved customer experiences and increases in conversions and revenue.

With a strategy in place, buy-in across the organisation, and the right technology at your fingertips, advanced personalisation – delivering the right content to the right customers, at the right time, in the right place, in real-time, across multiple channels – is completely possible.

We can help. Get in touch with us to learn how!

Do Personalisation. Better.