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How to push personalisation to the next level in 2021

Published on 10 Mar 2021

Rising from the ashes of 2020 are entirely new consumers – their behaviors, as well as preferences, are very different now and this will be evident in 2021 and even beyond. 

Organizations have also emerged with a different mindset and way of doing business. They have learned the importance of building trust and becoming more emotionally connected to their customers. 

77% of respondents reported that the messages they had received from brands in the first several weeks of the pandemic made them feel like brands care about their well-being, indicating that marketers had been quite successful with their communication approaches during such a challenging time.

It’s evident that today’s customers want personalised, clear, and transparent communications from companies. Authentic personalisation is key as it not only helps build trust, but also long-lasting customer relationships.

According to Mckinsey, “Personalization will be the prime driver of marketing success within five years.”

A privacy report by SmarterHQ shows that “72% of consumers engage with personalized messages exclusively”  

There is also research that shows non-personalized content evokes negative emotions: “74% percent of customers feel frustrated when websites aren’t personalized.” 

Authentic personalisation is key 

Personalisation is not a new concept, in fact we have been talking about the need for hyper-personalised digital customer communications for years, but in 2021 we are going to see brands push this to the next level! 

To ensure success in this disrupted, ever-changing world, companies need to stay better connected to their customers, understand their needs and engage with them in a more authentic way. 

Brands will have to connect with their customers on a human level, by generating personalized and human experiences. AI, behavioural segmentation and dynamic content are all ways organisations can place people at the center of their customer communications. This will ensure the creation of authentic, personal and relevant content. 

Authentic personalisation is achieved by merging the quantitative data a company has access to, and qualitative information that it has obtained directly from customers and employees.  

This approach involves both customers and employees in the design of a customer communication program that makes each individual feel like the business is talking directly, and only, to them.

Here are 4 areas to focus on:

  1. Customer input: Key to this approach, is bringing the voice of the customer to the digital communication design process. Asking customers directly what content they want to receive, when and how, is invaluable to the design process. This allows us to manufacture a personalized experience based on the customer’s feedback
  2. 2. Employee input: The human-centered communication approach, views employees as essential to really understanding customers. It makes sense then, to implement processes that gather information from employees about their experience working for the company, as well as the insights they get from customers on a day-to-day basis 
  3. Individualized communications: having the qualitative insights gathered (from customers and employees) and being able to marry that to quantitative data, enables the next step – using these insights to create individualized communications that contain personalized content and send them via the customer’s preferred channel.
  4. Real-time analytics: Once your communication strategy is operational, it’s imperative to have analytics that refine the shape of the customer, constantly, in real-time. All customer communication engagement data must be fed back into the process. 
Dori-Jo Bonner

Dori-Jo Bonner

Account Strategist, Striata Africa

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