Personalisation in 2017 requires a little more sophistication than addressing your email subscribers by name. Spoiler alert: they’re onto you. At this point users are switched on enough to know when they’re being emailed by robots – and it’s probably getting on their nerves.
With most of us owning two or more devices and technology leaping forward at an astonishing rate, brands are putting their best foot forward with in-depth personalisation.
Giving the customer a truly unique and individual experience isn’t easy; if it was, we’d all be doing it! Collecting and collating the raw information needed to reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time is an epic task which requires making the most of resources, big data and audience analytics.
The point is, we should all be doing it – in some incarnation. Personalisation is the present and future of content. Some of the necessary tech is big, glossy and expensive – but there are virtually always scaled-down versions available to owners of smaller businesses.
Here we give you the lowdown on a few of the latest and most exciting developments and encourage you to get personal with your potential customers.
Because you jogged …
With on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, users receive personalised recommendations based on what they have already watched or listened to.
In the future, this type of context-based content looks set to go even further. The fact that customers tend to stay logged in to streaming services across all their devices opens up unique opportunities to marketers.
“If I know that you’re listening to certain type of music, and I know you happen to be jogging at this time of the day, and I know your age and where you live, and then we have access to dynamic audio, I can change my message to you in a moment’s notice,” says Tony Mennuto, president of Wordsworth & Booth.
People who usually hit the gym at 6.30am could be greeted by their favourite running tunes the second their GPS signal shows they have arrived.
People who like to binge-watch Homeland on their commutes from London to Northampton (*cough, Jane, cough) could have their episodes waiting for them as they step on to the train.
While none of us are completely comfortable with the powers that be having access to our personal data, we are lazy! Tailor-made messages could be welcomed, provided they make life easier.
Beacon technology going from strength to strength VR & AR
Personalisation advances are also transforming in-store experiences for retailers like House of Fraser and Ted Baker , who have had success sending offers via push notifications to shoppers as they browse.
The same technology is also being used by brands like Coke to develop personalised billboards, which can display the user’s social media picture and name as well as relevant products and offers based on their data and demographics – not for everyone but certainly a great idea.
Technology is also in place to scan what the individual is wearing to offer similar brands in future interactions and Tesco has even been using recognition software at its petrol stations to determine shopper demographics and display relevant on-screen ads.
VR & AR
Two of the biggest buzzwords in marketing and tech, virtual reality and augmented reality allow consumers to literally see what life would be like after purchasing a particular product or service. Jeep recently launched augmented reality across 800 of its European dealerships to let potential customers see and virtually interact with a life-size Compass model. The technology offers 360-degree camera options along with the ability to change colours and wheel options.
At the other end of the marketing spectrum, Cancer Research provides a great example of what can happen when you embrace the possibilities of virtual reality. Working with agency Atomic London, the organisation created a field of 100,000 virtual flowers bearing the names of supporters who left the charity a gift in their will. The meadow could be viewed by friends and family through the Oculus Rift VR headset.