Targeted mass marketing was developed by direct mail businesses in the 1960s and 1970s to allow customers to be segmented by age, geography, and income. Today, thanks to the internet, social media and our ever-connected society, we are generating more information about who we are and what we do than ever before. And all this incredibly rich data is used by organizations to offer products, services and marketing uniquely tailored to meet our needs in an increasingly individualized way. This is the era of mass personalization.
How Personalization Has Evolved
Online data-driven personalization at scale began with geolocating a user from their IP address and directing them to a landing page serving a specific region. As the type and amount of data collected increases, so does the granularity with which customers can be segmented by age, interests, occupation, or many other factors. This means that each customer’s image becomes more and more personal.
As we consumers become rebelled and even resentful of untargeted mass communication that tries to sell us what we don’t want or need, the appetite for personalization in marketing has grown. has become more important.
At the same time, the demand for highly personalized products is growing. We are used to being able to customize big purchases like cars, and manufacturers offer us a variety of add-on options to increase our spending. But thanks to trends in related technologies such as AI, automation, robotics, and 3D printing, almost any kind of mass-market product can be individually customized so that the buyer feels they spent their money on something special to them. It is now possible.
And when it comes to services, internet giants such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify have pioneered the trend of personalization by offering personalized recommendations to each and every customer. So scrolling through the movies available on Netflix will give you a sample of what is available based on what Netflix thinks you want. Spotify’s personalized weekly playlists are another great example. And, of course, Amazon is the king of personalized recommendations.
Avoid the pitfalls of mass personalization
Clearly, bulk personalization offers a variety of business benefits such as increased sales and improved customer engagement. As an example, when Coca-Cola launched a “Share a Coke” campaign by replacing the bottle logo with a popular first name, the company made approx. 25 million new followers on Facebook.
That said, there are various drawbacks and challenges to consider. Here are five common mass personalization mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Spook customers with overly personal marketing messages
In the same way that untargeted marketing makes customers uncomfortable, overly personal or friendly communication can also seem creepy in a personalized way. It’s another thing to say to a customer, “I know you like X and Y, so I thought you might enjoy Z,” but based on the customer’s pre-pregnancy shopping habits Revealing that you’re pregnant is something else entirely.I told my family so The famous story Target did Years ago, with a teenage customer. In other words, you want your customers to know that you care and care about them, and that you can meet their needs as individuals, not in a “Big Brother is watching you” kind of way. is. Striking this balance is not always easy. So if you’re unsure if something is out of the ordinary, ask yourself how you would feel if you received such communication.
2. Not taking data privacy seriously
This is closely related to the first point. Keeping your customers out of the loop means you need to show them that you can trust their data and not misuse what you know about them. Balancing consumer appetite for personalized marketing, products, and services with continued public mistrust around large-scale data collection is certainly a challenge, but it’s not clear that regulators are taking data privacy seriously. Now that we are starting, I believe public confidence will increase. (In fact, many jurisdictions face hefty fines for businesses that misuse data, collect data without consent, or fail to adequately protect data. .)
For organizations to take data privacy seriously, they need to:
– Explain to customers what data is collected and how that data is used
Provide opportunities for privacy-conscious individuals to opt out of data collection and use products/services anonymously
· Regularly review the data acquisition methods used and how these details are communicated to customers.
3. Use the same marketing personalization tools as everyone else
There are many off-the-shelf tools designed to help businesses better understand their customers and their behavior. For example, Facebook and Google’s targeted marketing programs leverage the vast amounts of data these organizations already possess. The downside, of course, is that these tools are available to everyone. If you need to stand out in a crowd, or if personalization at scale is critical to your business’ strategic goals, you may be better off with a more bespoke product tailored to your business niche. I have. Alternatively, you can write your own data collection and analysis framework, but this can be costly.
4. Create personalized products/services that the target audience does not pay for
People who buy a $2 bottle of Coca-Cola with their name on it might be happy, but the idea of paying $5 to get a bottle with their name and surname on it is not very appealing. Maybe. The risk of personalization is that large portions of the market may be restricted or eliminated. So if you’re specifically looking to personalize your products and services, you’ll need to strike a balance between customizing the services you offer and not being so restrictive as to carve out a huge segment of the market.
5. Overlooking the impact on other business processes
The shift to personalization often also requires a fundamental overhaul of logistics and supply chain processes. For example, manufacturing goods to individual customer specifications may require design decisions to be made shortly before a product or service is delivered, thus a completely different approach to warehousing and inventory management. means to take Properly managing this can have a positive impact on your entire organization, from reducing the cost of long-term inventory storage to reducing waste.