Opinion: How is hyper-personalisation helping brands to enhance user engagement

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Sunny Kataria, Head of Commercial Vericals, OLX Advertising writes about why and how marketers should distinguish between their personalised, hyper-personalised and customized campaigns, to cater to the consumer of today.

The digital world is changing fast in the way we transact, live, learn, access information, view ads, and make purchases. The average consumer tends to explore and use a couple of apps and devices before buying any product. With a massively shortened average attention span of eight seconds, marketers need to get the customer hooked really fast on their product. Customers expect personalised and relevant interactions from their favourite brands, and this puts the pressure squarely on marketers to capture their attention.

Personalised campaigns happen through vacuuming of data collected through browsing history, purchase patterns, categories viewed, keywords searched, watch time, and so on. Such reciprocal relationships, between data and personal campaigns, are all around us and deeply influence the choices we make. The way our navigation apps suggest to us the location of a favourite restaurant nearby, or our fitness apps tell us that we need to move more to achieve our targets are examples of personalisation that we all have come to love.

According to Accenture, 83% of consumers are willing to provide retailers with their data for the sake of gaining a more personalised shopping experience. Deloitte research shows that over 50% of consumers would like more personalised experiences in various categories, such as hotels, flights, and furniture shopping.

Hyper-personalisation goes a step further by using more advanced AI and real-time data. A hyper-personalised campaign involves a marketer analysing the most successful engagement channels, along with AI that gathers real-time data, and this results in better drip campaigns. A before-travelling road congestion alert on a route you are likely to take, or your car sensors alerting you of a leaking coolant or a clogging brake pad, much before you face a snag, are examples of hyper-personalisation. Car manufacturers are now embedding such hyper-personalised services at the early manufacturing stage—a smart brand strategy.

According to a report by Deloitte, a successful hyper-personalised campaign can boost marketing ROI by 800 times.

Thus, brands need to craft an intelligent communication strategy that helps them increase conversions across all touchpoints consistently.

Brand engagement quality goes down drastically when marketers abuse mass-blast campaigns. To truly capture your customer’s attention and drive conversions, brands need to go beyond a one-size-fits-all strategy. A segmented approach towards customer engagement helps in sending relevant information.

Behemoths like Amazon, Spotify, and Netflix all swear by this strategy. Amazon’s recommendation engines combine personal and behavioural data generated in real-time to execute highly relevant campaigns based on products purchased in the past. Why Netflix is far more impactful than many others is because its algorithms use customer data, and its messages are contextually relevant sent to the suitable device at the right time!

Also read: Opinion: Walking a tight rope – travel marketing in rather exceptional times

The digital world is highly democratic and all have the right to express disapproval. Netflix got a bitter taste of it when a promotional video showing girls posing in skimpy outfits in a new film called Cuties, got called out on Twitter.  Netflix had to offer an apology, saying it was “deeply sorry for the inappropriate artwork”. This shows how carefully you need to tread in the digital world. Being accountable for instances when they occur further helps build brand trust.

It’s also important to steer clear of intrusive campaigns. When I am served my favourite food at a hotel, it’s personalisation, but when the same hotel staff shows me my Facebook pictures for identity, it’s intrusive and is immediately disliked.

Hyper-personalisation and personalisation, as opposed to customisation, happen behind the scenes. When properly done, such relevant content increases the efficiency of marketing spending by 10 to 30 percent, as per McKinsey & Company. Eighty percent of marketers say that personalised content is more effective than cookie-cutter campaigns.

Consumers allow their information/data to be shared in the hope of enhancing their experience. By bombarding customers with phone calls about the next loan availability to you, you are misusing such information.

Of late, there’s been a flurry of regulatory activity in favour of data protection. For digital marketers, it’s a delicate situation, and better ways of engagement, with more trust-driven approaches, need to be adopted so that the exchange between customers and the brand is more meaningful. Gone are the days of generic outreach spray-and-pray campaigns to bulk customers. Nor can marketers rely simply on print and TV ads to create something that excites consumers.

Hyper-personalisation builds hyper-relevance since it’s contextual communication. When brands reached out during the pandemic, to help with access to oxygen cylinders, they were not only being relevant but also empathic—eventually building long-term trust as a brand. Companies that intelligently anticipate their customers’ needs offer a level of hyper-relevance that’s hugely appreciated. This needs a relooking at data and data management for a win-all strategy.

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