Consumers want companies to treat them like individuals. Increasingly, this requires personalisation across channels, according to the “2017 Digital Trends” report by Adobe and Econsultancy. But with consumer expectations, digital marketing technology, and agency models changing at unprecedented rates, it’s little wonder why some brands are either struggling or are reviewing their approach.
Indeed, research by ad tech company Sizmek suggests marketers have their work cut out for them. (The topic also will be discussed at this week’s Adobe Symposium 2017, in Sydney on 23-24 May; register here.)
According to Imran Masood, Sizmek’s Australia and New Zealand country manager, the average consumer is “bombarded” with more than 3,000 marketing messages a day, and 74% of consumers are “frustrated” by irrelevant content.
“Engagement rates from a personalised ad are actually 5.5 times higher compared to static mass audience digital advertising. However, in Australia less than 6% of the billions of impressions that are served are dynamic or targeted to the right audience,” Masood wrote for AdNews.
Listening Leads To Relevance
Nicole Flinton, head of marketing automation at Australian health insurer Bupa, spoke to CMO.com about how “listening and measuring audience behaviour” has assisted Bupa in creating personalised experiences for its customers.
“Enriching our operational data with behavioural data gives us a much clearer picture of our customers, both existing and prospective, and enables us to better anticipate their needs and respond accordingly,” Flinton said. “By personalising experiences with communications that are more relevant to them, we can deliver better outcomes for the customer and the business. It also empowers us to make more informed decisions around channel choice and spend.”
Having customers’ contact details is as much a responsibility as it is an opportunity, and there is no excuse for interrupting a customer or prospective customer unless the message is relevant, Flinton added.
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Consumers today expect a value exchange when they share their data. They expect you to know them, understand them, and add value to their lives,” she said. “Our view is that communications should be driven by customer triggers rather than a traditional marketing calendar. It’s no longer good enough to be pushing messages or offers that are not contextually relevant.”
With the typical customer journey now covering multiple channels and touch points, the challenge is real—one that requires understanding the role each channel plays and, for Bupa, ensuring that whatever solution it designs provides customers with relevant information.
“This approach allows us to test and learn as we go, to scale across more and more channels,” Flinton said.
Knowing When To Hold Back
At Adobe Symposium 2017, Kirsten Hall, campaign specialist at Fairfax Media New Zealand, will explain how the publisher overcame the challenge of marketing to a diverse audience across multiple channels. Its portfolio includes newspapers, magazines, and digital properties that reach millions of New Zealanders. (Listen to a related podcast with Fairfax Media acting CMO Grant Torrie.)
“As a diverse company, Fairfax Media has data on many types of customers, often across multiple brands and media. While this provides Fairfax Media marketers with a broad customer base to work with, it also makes it more difficult to bring all of the information together and discover actionable insights,” Hall said.
With its customer data siloed into four separate marketing automation solutions, Fairfax decided to consolidate its marketing efforts with a cross-channel solution. Adobe Marketing Cloud delivered integrated tools that support Fairfax’s end-to-end marketing efforts, helping the company to manage its data, analyse it for insights, and ultimately produce more effective marketing.
“Rather than three different brands each sending customers similar content, Fairfax Media can consolidate the message into one email, reducing spam and encouraging better response from customers,” Hall said. “A company as diverse as Fairfax communicates with a lot of people, but in many respects it’s more important to be able to choose who not to communicate with, making sure that we only approach customers when we have an offer that is the most relevant and attractive to them.”