Is your business prepared for the challenges of personalisation?

Friday March 22, 2019 - Posted by:

It has never been more important for businesses to deliver relevant and personalised experiences for their customers. Those that fail to do so run the risk of falling behind the competition, particularly in fast-moving, dynamic industries where consumers are no longer willing to accept a generic, ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

Recent research has underlined the need for brands to harness the power of data to deliver effective personalisation. However, it’s also about providing a personal touch and building relationships – a unique challenge if you are an international company that needs to consider multilingual communications and localisation.

Prioritising personalisation

Personalisation is a powerful concept in many areas of business, from sales and marketing to customer experience and relationship management. With the giants of the social media world and tech names like Amazon and Spotify shaping consumer expectations of what brands can and should be offering their users, personalisation is something modern companies simply can’t afford to ignore.

Most brands are already well aware of this. More than half (55 per cent) of marketers surveyed for Econsultancy and Adobe’s 2019 Digital Trends report identified ‘better use of data for audience targeting’ as a priority for this year.

A quarter (24 per cent) of organisations with annual revenues of more than £150 million said data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual is the single most exciting opportunity for them in 2019.

Many businesses have taken some major strides forward where personalisation is concerned in recent years, improving their grasp of factors such as the context of engagement and gaining a deep understanding of what is important to their customers.

Speaking at the Festival of Marketing last autumn, Richard Cooper, AXA PPP Healthcare’s head of digital and ecommerce, discussed the firm’s ambitions to be seen not just as a financial service provider, but as a “health partner” for consumers.

“If we as a business are going to genuinely understand people’s needs and deliver to those, this is the person we need to understand – a person who’s got interests, who’s got habits, who’s got things that are important to them, but also probably needs some help and support,” he said.

Despite the amount of progress there has been on personalisation in recent years, there is always scope for improvement. As a unique business, you will be working towards your own targets and objectives, while certain industries pose very specific challenges.

Unique demands

Fashion is a prime example of a competitive industry where brands have to stay relevant and consistently demonstrate their understanding of customer tastes and expectations to succeed.

Businesses in the fashion sector depend on strong engagement and brand loyalty. These goals are difficult to achieve without a level of personalisation and consumer understanding, which can be demonstrated in your marketing communications and social media content.

Travel is another industry where any company still reliant on a non-personalised approach runs the risk of losing revenue because of sub-standard customer experience.

A recent report from digital marketing solutions provider Sojern revealed that 46 per cent of travel marketers see the delivery of personalised ads and offers in real time as their top challenge for 2019.

The study noted: “Personalisation has become a priority for marketers because customers expect it. Brands are expected to provide a modern customer experience, which begins by providing the right offer at the right time, in a way that works for them.”

Travel news and research provider Skift elaborated on this in its 2018 Digital Transformation Report, which emphasised the importance of balancing digital, data-driven personalisation with a human experience.

Marcel Thoma, general manager of The Upper House, a luxury hotel in Hong Kong, said: “The close communication and data behind the scenes is just as important as the way it is utilised by employees on the frontline day-to-day. It’s about offering the highest level of personalisation and having that human connection.”

Maintaining the human touch

Providing a personal touch and building close, meaningful relationships with customers is a key element of successful personalisation, but it’s also a huge challenge. This is particularly true for larger businesses with extensive customer bases and operations in various countries.

If your firm is already doing business in global markets, or has plans to expand internationally, one of your key objectives might be to achieve personalisation in multilingual marketing and communications.

As well as relying on customer data, it’s essential to use language in the most effective way to engage with your audience. In practice, this involves finding the most appropriate, effective tone of voice and communicating with people in a way that resonates with them.

The technical aspects of language, such as grammar and sentence construction, are certainly important, but it’s also necessary to dedicate time and resources to understanding your target market’s culture and way of life. Building up a strong awareness of these factors will help you to make a strong connection with local audiences and lay the foundations for lasting relationships.

Localising your content —so it’s entirely appropriate and relevant to every destination where you do business— will also play a key part in your efforts to deliver personalised experiences. This can go hand-in-hand with other functions, such as international SEO and social media marketing.

With new opportunities constantly emerging on the global stage and customer expectations evolving all the time, investment in these areas can help to secure the future of your business.

Contact Locaria today or call us on +44 (0)20 3948 6800 to find out how we can help your company grow and succeed through effective personalisation.

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