Transformation: Personalisation In The Age Of Digital

Hootsuite, Techsys Digital

Earlier last month I attended a one-day seminar hosted by Hootsuite in collaboration with Popimedia at the Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel in Seapoint. The seminar was titled “Digital Transformation: Personalisation in the Age of Digital,” and included speakers from Media24, Arc, Eighty20, Superbalist, Direct Axis, Popimedia, and Hootsuite. This knowledgeable panel of experts shared their insight around best practice in personalisation and helped us to understand why digital transformation has made personalisation the key to unlocking long-term customer loyalty, increasing sales, and building brand awareness.

In a nutshell – why Personalise?

If we go back about a century, think of a grocer who knew each of his customers personally. He needed to build relationships, learning the behavior of his individual customers, adapting to their needs, remembering the key events in their lives, and adding value to their experience with his brand. This is what made his customers loyal so that they would keep coming back. Fast forward into the 21st century and this principle has come full circle. Consumers have the world’s information at their fingertips on their smartphones; they learn, compare, interact, and give an opinion on anything whenever they want, wherever they want – and this allows us to understand the consumer so much better.

Brands now have a plethora of tools available to help build 360-degree profiles of customers and engage with them in real-time. As a result, digital is forcing brands to find the best ways, and places, to personalise their content. A great example of a brand that peronalises the customer journey is Nike. Their global website allows you to custom create your own shoe right down to every last detail.

We are in a “state of convergence” – A brand like PEP, which is first and foremost a retailer also offer financial services etc. they are operating in 3 different industries.

The traditional customer journey is going through a modularization, where more interactions = more data points which lead to greater customer knowledge.

To start in digital as opposed to the traditional way of marketing is greatly beneficial for helping a brand know/ learn their market. Brands like Netflix, AirBNB, Tesla Motors and Uber will understand the customer movement better than anyone else.

The seminar unpacked the importance of mobile and how brands need to adopt a mobile first mentality. We are becoming connected shoppers more and more. It was explained that brands need to have a customer-centric approach as we have moved into a new realm of shopper marketing where your customers are central to your businesses success.

“We’re not looking up at billboard ads anymore; we’re now looking down at our mobile phones.  We’re looking down to share our experiences. We’re looking to see what other people did in the same area. We’re looking for a TripAdvisor review to understand what restaurant we should go to.” – Kirsty Sharman, Head of Global Operations, Webfluential

“At the end of the day, the customer remains the central person that you want to really target here. So each one of these interactions you have with them, you can learn a little bit more about them. And this means you can personalise that interaction, that event, a little bit more.” – Nic Robertson, Head of Strategy, Media24 Ecommerce

Consumers all have different needs, potential touch points and behaviors when making a purchase decision. There are multiple opportunities to interact with them and, more importantly, brands must understand their audience through data analysis and interpretation. What are their motivations and emotional drivers for making a purchase?

“Once we understand the different mindsets of the consumers, we can start to communicate with them in different ways.” – Ryan Silberman, CEO, Arc Worldwide

Ryan Holey, Partner Manager EMEA, Hootsuite talked about the social customer journey and how social media has emerged as a key driver of digital transformation. We live in an ‘always on’ culture and one of sharing. This trend is changing the way we live and communicate with one another, and how businesses are able to interact with their target audiences.

Lastly, Marc Yunnie from Eighty20 unpacked how personalisation is a highly effective way of building long-term relationships by improving customer engagement.

“Millennials are hyper-sensitive to communication. When they receive communications that they feel are irrelevant, they will take measures to stop future communications, such as unsubscribing. Understanding what they want, how and when, and then delivering it to them, is vital.” – Marc Yunnie, Consultant, Eighty20

I really appreciated how they made the seminar interactive by dividing us into groups, giving each group a campaign that needed a digital strategy. We had to apply all the info we had learnt throughout the day to our campaign which was a great way to better understand the key focus points. All in all, it was day well spent networking and learning from some of the best in the industry. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye out for more of these events – I highly recommend attending one if you haven’t yet!

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