The competition for our time and attention has never been so fierce. In the age of content consumption via multiple screens, social networks and platforms, we are more distracted than ever. Our journeys as customers are no longer the straightforward, easily navigable trips they once were. Instead we now take multiple, meandering individual paths which most often don’t end in a purchase.

 

Personalisation is no longer enough

Personalisation has long been touted as the answer to this problem – brands can segment their audience and send them relevant content. However, for today’s distracted and discerning consumer, this approach is no longer enough. According to research we conducted last year, over 80% of us have unsubscribed from mailing lists because we get too many emails, with one in three unsubscribing because of irrelevance.

Despite its promises, personalisation has now become so commonplace yet often misused that it’s turning into impersonal mass marketing. How many times have you received an obviously mail merged mass email simply inserting your name? Or worse still, received communication from a brand that gets your name wrong? Does this really make you feel known and understood by the brand?

Far from a personal interaction, this kind of marketing is a negative experience for consumers and does nothing to help brands increase sales or loyalty. With 69% of online shopping baskets being abandoned today, this impersonal approach to personalisation is having a negative effect on online retailers.

The rise of individualisation

Beyond personalisation, consumers now expect a new age of individualisation in brand communication. Our research found the majority (69%) of consumers want an individualised experience, which was most frequently said to include being rewarded with highly relevant offers, being remembered, being listened to and understood and feeling in control.

Data is of course a key driver in achieving this level of attention, and two-thirds of people recognise the value of their personal data as currency in exchange for a more individualised experience. When we trust brands with our data we expect it to be respected – almost half of the consumers we spoke to said if a brand was to use their personal data in a way they deemed inappropriate they would never trust that brand again.

How we are helping brands get individualisation right

Done right, individualisation means talking to each and every person in line with not only their preferences and demographics but also where they are, what device they are using, where they have previously been in their journey and what they are likely to do next. What this means in practice is understanding if the same user is browsing on two different devices and customising the experience accordingly, or ensuring that banner adverts stop following a user once they have made a purchase.

At Cloud IQ, we help brands get it right by putting customers front and centre of their own experience. We’re redefining how brands interact with their consumers online by understanding the customer journey and marrying this with new (and ever changing) ways to best analyse and use data. Businesses are now dealing with amounts of data so vast it physically cannot be processed by humans. We’re helping online retailers implement machine learning and artificial intelligence to analyse this behavioural data to create a better journey for brands and consumers alike. The potential for real, meaningful, individualised communication is huge and it’s those brands that can utilise technology to understand their macrocosm of data that will be able to really talk to each of us at a micro, individual level.

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If you would like to understand how this insight can help you build a more engaging consumer experience, just drop us an email.