Why is Personalisation so critical? Part 2

6 September 2017 by Mark Fallon

Why is Personalisation so critical? Part 2


Joan Fahey Digital

Outputs from the Alternatives Digital Think Tank by Joan Fahey, Senior Talent Manager

Hosted by Alternatives Digital Talent Team; Joan Fahey, Adrian Clarke and moderated by Charley Stoney, Managing Director of Alternatives, this breakfast Think Tank was held on 5th July and was attended by 20 digital leaders and decision makers from a variety of industry sectors including; Professional Services, Insurance, Banking, FMCG, Retail, Media, Technology, Tourism and Utilities.

Personalising the customer experience has become of the most critical components of a successful CX strategy to retain and grow your customer base.  Customers today demand and expect a truly personalised experience with a brand or service.  Customer attitudes about data sharing is also changing as more consumers are willing to share their data in exchange for personalised experiences.

According to Accenture, 73% of consumers prefer to spend with brands that use their personal information to make the shopping experience more relevant and enjoyable. The availability of data and digital technology today allows us to have a deeper level of understanding of customer needs and behaviour which means there is no excuse to fall short here.

“Brands today have a responsibility to make it easy for customers to engage, buy and consume what they want, how and when they want. In an era when your brand is the experience, it’s imperative that retailers deliver the ultimate user-friendly and tailored experiences or risk sacrificing sales and loyalty” (Jeriad Zoghby, Accenture Interactive)

This discussion was led by Gavin Ross from Three and the group discussed the needs and challenges around providing customers with a great personalised experience:

  • Consumers now want to be personally recognized, offered relevant recommendations and to be remembered.
  • While many businesses are still experimenting, digital native brands such as Amazon and Facebook have significantly raised the bar when it comes to personalisation and businesses simply cannot effort to ignore this area of their business.
  • However, not everyone has the brand relationship or the regulatory means to deliver personalisation so we have to be pragmatic. The key is LISTENING to what your customers need before deciding what level of personalisation is right for your brand.
  • Personalisation is now a key commercial driver to acquire new customers and maintain loyalty and businesses simply cannot afford to lag behind here.

What are the Challenges with Personalisation?

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on May 2018 will obviously pose a huge challenge for businesses with regard to how they use customer data. Everyone will need to work together to ensure the required changes are put into effect.
  • Many businesses still have legacy systems in place which can be very difficult to change. There can be a big gap between what customers want and what businesses can deliver. We have to start somewhere to make the change.  Don’t rush in but gradually build out at a level where your business is ready if customers are demanding change.
  • Depending on your business, the investment required can be substantial and getting buy in at a senior level can be a huge challenge.
  • Business who are slow to change are in serious threat from digital natives
  • Silo work practices and culture are holding back and slowing down the need for change

How do we overcome these Challenges?

  • It is critical to have buy-in at Senior Level.
  • Better analytics and insights to make the case as it’s difficult to argue without commercial success.
  • Invest but invest at the right level. ‘One size doesn’t fit all’
  • Cultural transformation is absolutely key to change. Everyone in your business needs to be onboard and structurally aligned.

Key Insights on Personalisation …

  • Personalisation is one of the most challenging aspects of providing a great customer experience and customers are increasingly demanding it.
  • If customers don’t receive the level of customisation they expect, they won’t hesitate to shop around.
  • It is critical that marketing teams are empowered to deliver personalisation to customers.
  • Getting Senior buy-in, having an internal culture that embraces change and putting a plan in place that suits the needs of your customers are the key stepping stones to staying ahead of the game.

By Joan Fahey, Senior Digital Talent Manager at Alternatives.

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