Fact-checking personalisation

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There is so much hype around marketing personalisation that it can be a struggle to distinguish buzzwords and empty promises from lucrative trends and real opportunities.

Rasmus Houlind hosted a webinar with Dan Brain of UK Partner MAD//Fest to decode the promises of personalisation: which are true, which are false, and how to implement personalisation whilst retaining your existing marketing gains.

Through the real-life experience of panelists from Aexus, Miinto and the Financial Times, the webinar explored how real companies have addressed the key personalisation dilemmas:

  • Balancing scale with relevance
  • Balancing campaigns with lifecycle communications
  • Orchestrating marketing effectively across channels – especially paid versus owned.

First, Regional MD Zacchary Couldrick of sales organisation Aexus discussed the tension between reach and relevance, and the importance of asking ‘why’ when certain communications do not create the desired results.

As the only panellist discussing B2B marketing, he focused on personalised messages within the LinkedIn inbox, where personalisation is not very scalable, but is highly effective – leading to first meetings up to 10% of the time.

Next, Miinto’s Head of Customer Experience Paloma Truong discussed how the online retailer found the sweet spot of personalisation by using A/B testing of personalisation rates ranging from 25% to 75%. Ultimately, the test revealed that sending communication which is personal 65% of the time created the highest boosts in revenue. Truong explained that even though hyper-personal messages had higher conversion rates, they were simply unable to achieve the scale necessary to make the conversion boost worth it. Instead, they found that creating semi-personalised messages with dynamic content allowed them to reach 35x more customers as compared to hyper-personalised communication, with only minor reductions in conversion rates. Finding the balance between reach and relevance for your customer base is key.

Customer Marketing Director Marie Goddard from the Financial Times explained the news organisation’s work in balancing campaign-based marketing with lifecycle marketing. Campaign-based content is key for the news industry, so they identified the five most impactful lifecycle steps to implement first for the highest returns. The approach has paid off – for example, the Financial Times has experienced a 4% reduction in subscription cancellations after sending users a personalised subscription review (reminding them of their favourite content, most-read journalists, time spent on the platform and more) just before their subscriptions are up for renewal. Although they retained their campaign-based communication, Financial Times achieved notable results by using personalisation in key places.

Ultimately, each of these panellists represents different industries with different marketing personalisation needs and opportunities. Their different experiences pointed to the following conclusions:

  • Personalised and automated lifecycle flows can significantly improve customer lifetime value – but you have to find the sweet spot of personalisation rate for your company
  • Start small and be patient – going omnichannel is a slow process, and should not be your starting goal
  • Count the money and not just increased conversion rates – after all, that’s why you’re implementing personalisation at all

These highlights are just the beginning of the learnings and insights uncovered during that conversation. To watch the webinar, please click the button below: