Why is personalisation becoming complicated?

The days of consumers feeling like their interaction(s) with a brand was transactional and insincere is largely outdated and soon to be phased out.

A similarity to a single serving friend (someone you meet in a line waiting to be served), where that companionship is short-lived and transactional.

But transactional encounters are quickly morphing into more important and prolonged dialogues between brand and consumer – a true and meaningful value exchange and the driver to that relationship is personal data.

Personalisation is no longer a value-add service of a brand going above and beyond.

It’s now considered a reasonable expectation, with not much thought into the effort required to make personalisation happen.

A consumer’s first party data (data collected and owned by a commercial entity) is becoming an essential (and reliable) source of data that can be used to augment and enable real-time experience personalisation, to shape and mould the next best brand action for the consumer.

Why it’s getting complicated 

Our ability to manage digital consumer identities is increasingly becoming a challenge due to the sunsetting of third-party cookies, further measures in data privacy and limitations to CRM journeys planning and web-based data signals.

That’s why, based on Deloitte’s Global Marketing Trends 2023, 61 per cent of high growth companies are shifting data strategies to incorporate first-party data to enrich their data ecosystem and subsequent personalisation and real-time engagement strategies.

If brands do not consider first party data as a critical element to marketing activities, the following issues will likely come up:

  • Sub-optimal media targeting and inefficient spend
  • Manual on-site content orchestration that does not support real-time personalisation and therefore lower conversation rates
  • Lost sales and/or ill-informed discounting at point of sale resulting in decreased margins
  • Lapsed customers and poorly-executed cross and upsell for current customers

To deliver consumer-led communication is no small task, it requires a plethora of subject matter experts that pay into a larger value chain.

To re-think how to incorporate first-party data into the digital eco-system requires a total rethink to the digital strategy.

Focus on progress

To deploy a robust data strategy that is centred on identity and first-party data management, four broad buckets need to be considered:

Data: Ensure your data is compliant with privacy and consent-based data collection, attached to a single customer view – one customer record.

Tactics: Develop a Martech and data foundation strategy to ensure you can scale operations. Data audit and cleanse to understand the quality and quantity of data and improve performance.

Decisioning: Being able to decipher what the customer needs are at ‘moments of truths’ within the brand’s touchpoints, that have feedback loops in place to improve experiences.

Tactics: Conduct a cross-department customer experience mapping exercise to identify opportunities and friction points within the customer journey – starting small and scaling.

Design: Build personalised and creatively rich experiences through tools and methodologies such as Dynamic Content Optimisation (DCO).

Tactics: Perform a content analysis and process definition to enhance omnichannel content delivery, also looking at technical solutions that fit resourcing requirements.

Transformation: Data-driven organisations are centred on the customer needs.  Develop new ways of collaborating to drive lasting change and ultimately further business growth with the total customer lifetime value (TCLV) in mind.

Tactics: Progressively enhance the operational model and ways of working to drive efficiency and effectiveness both agency and client side.

Transformation is never easy, and to consistently drive change teams (client and service provider together) need to celebrate and socialise wins, learn and democratise learnings in an open and transparent environment. Build a learning environment that fosters direct communication.

By Curtis Schmidt, President and Chief Growth Officer MENA at RAPP