In the last decade, mass marketing has made way for personalisation. Segmenting and targeting customers based on shared characteristics has generally been considered to perform better.
However, CloudIQ’s latest research has revealed a personalisation paradox, where brands think they are exceeding consumer expectations by offering curated content across multiple channels but this is actually having the opposite effect – and consumers are switching off from the white noise.
The marketing overload can come in many forms with 81% having unsubscribed from brand mailing lists because they get too many emails; 36% being frustrated over offers expiring too quickly and 29% having to add more information.
Today unprecedented consumer choice and expectation, combined with the marketing overload, are the drivers for marketers to go beyond personalisation and make the shift to individualisation.
Individualisation is emerging to benefit both consumers and brands and consumers are sending a strong message to brands: 69% of consumers wanting an individualised experience, and two-thirds expecting it, and yet only 40% of brands actually offer one today.
So what does it take to create a truly individual experience?
Consider the threes
With around 98% of visitors leaving an online retail site without making a purchase, brands need to look at how they can improve the online customer experience. According to customers there are three key contributors which make a great online experience – Speed (94%), Seamlessness (92%) and a Sense of Control (91%).
Make the consumer central to the online shopping experience
When it comes to making the shift towards individualisation it is important to consider how consumers define being treated as an individual. Consumers considered to be most being rewarded with highly relevant offers (77%) as the most important, followed by being remembered (60%), being listened to and understood (59%) and feeling in control (57%).
Consider deeper analysis with artificial intelligence
Nowadays, businesses are dealing with vast amounts of data that physically cannot be processed by humans, and so machine learning and artificial intelligence are coming to the fore as a means to analyse customer data.
The rewards for this process are great. For online retailers, it becomes possible to utilise behavioural data to convert abandoned transactions by gearing opportunities to be most relevant to the consumer, whether that be upselling or cross-selling.
Central to providing an individualised experience is customer data, something that can be complex when you consider the changing landscape and General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018.
With GDPR on the horizon and power back in the hands of the consumer, brands need to be transparent about what data is being collected and for what purpose. Over half (53%) say they would opt out selectively based on brands they trust.
>See also: Data privacy and security vs personalisation
However, despite the significant change in data legislation, only 1 in 10 is aware of GDPR and what this means for them as a consumer. Two-thirds say they were unaware until now and 26% say they were aware but don’t understand what this means for them as a consumer.
GDPR gives consumers the opportunity to press the reset button on their own data, and so brands who are willing to build trust with their customers by translating personal data into customer value are the ones who will claim this frontier.
This is a huge opportunity for brands and those that can create a seamless experience, treating customer as individuals via meaningful and relevant experiences will make gains in terms of reputation, loyalty, spend and a willingness for customers to share even more data.
Sourced by Nick Peart, chief marketing officer, CloudIQ