The world’s biggest companies started competing on data and are now competing on personalisation. Such is the importance of personalisation that back in 2009, Netflix had offered $1m to a team which bettered its own personalisation algorithm. 70-80% of what we consume on Netflix is through personalised recommendations. So, nearly $6bn of Netflix revenue on a quarterly basis is indirectly driven by personalised recommendations.
So what is personalisation?
Quite simply, personalisation is when the companies get to know you better than your mum or better than you know yourself. Personalised recommendations are a big part of our lives and we consume them daily. Remember, when you're on Facebook and the ads you see are exactly what you have been thinking of. Or when you begin searching for something on Google and Google completes the search for you as if it has read your mind (Search personalisation).
But, even though most companies understand the importance of personalisation, very few have a personalisation strategy in place and most are trapped in basic content based personalisation on their website. Some, even today, think personalisation is restricted to addressing someone with their title and name in an email.
So what is a personalisation strategy?
Personalisation strategy is a commercial plan to monetise data collected by an organisation to deliver tailored and relevant experiences to individual customers based on their preferences, behaviours, and characteristics. It makes the customers feel valued and understood
The key word here is ‘commercial plan’ as personalisation needs to drive two clear outcomes.
1. Make the customer experience more engaging, leading to positive customer outcomes
2. Generate more revenue for the organisation by monetising the use of data
Why haven’t organisations prioritised personalisation strategy?
Mainly, because the business value of personalisation is not fully understood. Personalisation is considered a set of tactics and not a strategic initiative. As a result, personalisation is limited to marketing teams which sometimes take a tactical approach to personalisation, limiting it to content based web personalisation. In some cases, it is restricted to A/B tests and Experimentation. It is also often the remit of middle to junior members who are not given a strategy and a roadmap for personalisation.
Also, personalisation requires a lot of moving parts, i.e. the data, processes, technology, integration, structure, culture, people and skills. Therefore, writing a personalisation strategy and a clear roadmap requires a multiskilled team and is not a mean feat.
Personalisation strategy remains a largely underrated need but is absolutely essential as it helps build stronger relationships, increases customer loyalty, and drives better business outcomes.
What actionable recommendations should a personalisation strategy cover?
- What outcomes personalisation can drive (going far beyond targeted comms and offers)
- The organisation’s readiness and maturity assessment on personalisation
- The type of data needed to action personalisation
- Identification of Use Cases
- How to start with simple personalisation use cases/quick wins
- Recommendations on the technology infrastructure and the MarTech stack needed for personalisation
- Clarity on the role of CDP, DMP, CMS, Marketing Automation and personalisation engine and how they fit together
- Skills needed to fulfil personalisation and the current skills gap
- Clever ways to create modular content for personalisation
- How to take personalisation beyond content personalisation and a roadmap for product, pricing based personalisation
- How to scale personalisation efforts
Tip – When choosing consultants to write a personalisation strategy, make sure they have a multi-skilled team behind them including Commercial Lead, Data Analysts, Solution Architects, Developers, CX expertise, Decisioning skills and Optimisation and Analytics skills.
- The world’s biggest companies are using personalisation as a core revenue driver and we as consumers have got used to it and expect it
- Personalisation is about end-to-end customisation of the customer journey
- For most organisations, personalisation remains a series of tactics restricted to tactical comms and web-based content personalisation
- Writing a personalisation strategy is a must for customer-centric organisations and requires a multi-skilled team
- Personalisation strategy should clearly articulate the opportunities for revenue generation
- An outcome led personalisation strategy is a key differentiator giving firms significant competitive advantage