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Bozboz
18 December 2017

Personalised marketing communications are now essential.

Research released by Eagle Eye this week found the majority of consumers consider personalisation in marketing “a must-have”, and 75% of consumers say they are unhappy with generic and blanket promotions. The other 25% however have concerns about their privacy, and feel uncomfortable with brands leveraging personal information in order to push product. 

We’re discussing how this trend affects the way that we work in channel while making some recommendations for the future of personalised communications. 

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Advertising is a dangerous point of discussion in the wider debate on personalisation - consumers hate when advertisers know too much. However, users have also forgotten how the web used to be, before the current level of personalisation existed. Being bombarded with pop-ups and irrelevant ads from industries who simply have the money to do so isn’t fun for anyone. Something we’ve also learnt in 2017 is that some of our favourite online brands, especially newspapers, depend upon a mix of advertising and subscriptions to stay afloat.

The issue at the heart of this is that users don’t want spam, and marketers want to serve relevant ads - personalisation is the solution.

Social Media

Whilst social media followers opt in to follow or like pages of their choice, giving marketers access to their likes and dislikes with ease,  tailoring content to a large and broad fanbase remains a tricky prospect. When writing for social, we recommend using a personable tone to engage your followers. Use “you” and“your” to speak directly to your audience and build deeper relationships. 

Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms are using legacy interactions to make assumptions about the kind of content that we want to see. Prioritising “life milestones” and “close friends and family” above other content. This shift in the algorithm has resulted in users spending more time engaging with the platform, and has increased the revenue opportunity for social platforms through advertising. 

For brands, the more granular your targeting becomes, the more personalised your messaging should be - particularly with remarketing.

PR

Building close and personal relationships in PR has always been crucial. Sending blanket emails just won’t cut it, personalised pitching is key to securing coverage and creating meaningful relationships with journalists.

Gaining as much information as possible helps - do you have the journalist’s up-to-date contact information? Do you know the publications subject matter well? Can you reference similar articles to what you are pitching? Journalists get a lot of emails - an average of 38,000 a year - so you need to be efficient to stand out.

When working with bloggers, a lack of personalisation just comes across as lazy. Research is key - learn their name (e.g don’t address the email to the name of their blog), spend some time reading their blog, get to know what they like and don’t like. The more you know the better the relationship will develop.

Email

Personalisation is nothing new in email marketing. We’re encouraged to personalise subject lines and email content with names, locations, purchase details etc. The data we collect from users is key to personalising emails and the more data we can gather, the more personalised our email marketing becomes. 

Dynamic and transactional email content is on the rise, with an average open rate of about 45% compared to 20.8% for non-transactional emails. Abandoned cart emails remind users to complete their purchase, keeping users engaged, and often driving reviews and referrals. Remember to keep personalisation appropriate and avoid coming across intrusive and creepy. 

Creative

It’s impossible to count the number of whimsical marketing mantras bandied about in 2017. Content is evolving from a king into a kingdom. Video supposedly provides an immediate gateway to viral success and for heaven's sake ensure that everything you do is “integrated” - or else. 

Over the last twelve months the marketing landscape and technology shaping it has evolved somewhat, yet the needs of the consumer remain the same. Regardless of trends, consumers expect brands to help solve relevant problems. In creative we often lose sight of that. We get enthralled with a new enticing ad medium, assuming that our audience will be impressed with our innovation and vision. Some spend more time and money acquiring these platforms than planning what to say with them - resulting in unfocused messaging, better serving the marketers ego than the consumer. 

Personalisation in creative starts and ends with messaging. The rest follows. If you truly understand your audience and their needs, nothing can go wrong. In essence creativity is problem solving, and if creatives provide solutions that are both effective and convenient, then creatives are successful, regardless of how they package it. 

While every channel has the ability to personalise the user experience, inherently the responsibility for personalisation lies with agencies, brands and marketers. 

If you want to find out more on how to truly personalise your brand communications get in touch.

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