Five ways marketers can leverage personalisation – without violating privacy

Five ways marketers can leverage personalisation – without violating privacy Chris Wilson is a partner of product innovation and customer service at Pearl. Chris has more than 25 years of experience helping B2C and B2B companies make data actionable through the use of data technologies and innovative marketing practices. Chris brings a breadth and depth of experience and expertise in leveraging analytics, strategy, database marketing, CRM, and marketing automation.

In today’s digital-first marketplace, personalising the customer journey matters more than ever. As personalised marketing tools become increasingly intelligent, companies gain unparalleled insight into how their customers behave, which helps these brands better understand and cater to their target audiences.

In some cases, this insight can be a double-edged sword. People appreciate personalised customer experiences, but some users rebuff marketing tools that access information that crosses the line between “convenient” and “creepy.”

The continued advancement of marketing technology platforms blurs that line even further. The key for marketers is finding ways to harness the solutions used in data-driven personalised marketing without overstepping personal boundaries.

Customer-centric marketing (without the creepiness)

As personalised marketing tools continue to evolve, a customer-centric marketing approach will soon become old hat for brands. The challenge of personalising the customer journey will continue to advance as brands figure out how to best gather enough data without intruding on customer privacy.

This process might seem daunting, but the right mix of resources can help marketers create personalised experiences without breaching personal boundaries. Given the rapidly evolving personalised marketing landscape, how can marketers successfully avoid overstaying their welcome? Here are five strategies to consider:

Use past engagement to push relevant services

Email and SMS campaigns are perfect opportunities for personalising the customer journey, and it’s important to understand channel preferences. These campaigns offer simple ways to advertise products and services that are relevant to specific customers based on their past engagement.

By reaching out with related products, brands can help customers find what they already want without forcing anything on them. And because these insights hinge on past engagements with brands, this approach maintains a safe distance from new or sensitive information that customers might want to protect.

Narrow your marketing scope

It may seem strange, but most of the benefits of personalised marketing stem from things brands don’t do. Data-driven personalised marketing allows brands to focus campaigns on individuals versus painting everybody with a broad-stroke marketing brush.

Add focus to your approach by not sending content or offers to users who you know won’t find the information relevant. Too many ads or emails can cause banner blindness, undercutting whatever you hoped to achieve with your marketing campaign. Focus on fewer goals to maximise the power of personalisation.

Create buyer personas for prospects and customers

If you’re not sure how to build buyer personas, the basic idea is to gather and compile complete contact and behavioural data gleaned from all customer brand engagements.

An effective buyer persona should include everything from transaction data and demographics to social behaviour and financial information. Whatever information you have gathered through your preferred marketing channels of choice should help you create complete customer profiles.

Balance strategy, technology, and creativity

A creative marketing campaign means nothing if its marketing technology platforms aren’t focused on the right audience(s). Similarly, personalisation is most effective when it strikes the right balance with other aspects of your marketing.

Make sure you have a personalisation road map that deploys the right mix of strategy, technology, and creativity. Otherwise, it might not matter how granular your data is if you can’t correctly deploy it.

Tear down data silos

Data silos can hobble personalised marketing. Your sales data should not be walled off from your marketing campaign or your support data, and those insights shouldn’t be walled off from your research data.

Not only will silos cause you to overlook various customer insights, but they will also hamper the experience of your users. Look for solutions that enable your data to operate in unison rather than individually.

Personalisation represents the future of marketing. By focusing on improving the customer journey, you’ll be able to keep up with the latest trends while creating a better experience for customers and prospects alike.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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