Hyper-personalisation is coming. But the latest research tells us it might not get here quick enough, and that businesses run the risk of alienating the latest generation of customers.
That is a decent summary of the most recent research into personalisation we have undertaken at VB Insight (insight.venturebeat.com) — VentureBeat’s research arm.
To get a sense of what personalisation looks like right now, and where it is headed, we analysed personalised marketing from two perspectives:
- How you achieve it
- What customers think of it
The research itself has been interesting to conduct. We’ve found significant cross-overs into other studies that discovered how people complain online in the 21st Century, and how brands interact with those consumers.
But before I dig into some of those findings, it is only fair to set the scene and explain how we got where we are today.
Because frankly, it’s a mess.
A Brief History of Personalisation
If we go back in time around 150 years, things were very different for both businesses and consumers. As a buyer, you knew exactly where the product you were purchasing was made, and who all of the suppliers were. You most likely knew the product maker directly, and treated them as a friend. When you walked into a store, the owner knew who you were, and likely knew everything you were going to buy that day.
But as we entered an age of globalisation and scale, we lost the ability to treat customers that way. We started to use market- ing to reach out to people we didn’t know, and that caused a nega- tive response. In the world of direct mail, a 1 percent response was called “a triumph.” Marketing is a strange beast. No other indus- try would consider a 99 percent failure rate as a success.
In an attempt to regain the trust of those we were contacting, we started to use personalisation.