As a Londoner myself, my thoughts when I first encountered Nike’s recent ‘Nothing beats a Londoner’ ad campaign were of initial pride for the city, mixed in with a feeling of ‘I wonder how this will go down in the rest of the UK’. I suspect it will most likely cement the already existing feelings that London always gets preference at the expense of other regions.
Of course, the other inevitable question that comes when a global brand launch such a targeted campaign, is a population of 8 million really worth more than a combined total population of 65 million? How high is the target audience percentage within that 8 million compared to 65 million nationwide? How likely to engage with the campaign is that the target audience compared to the wider population? Those are some of the base questions Nike’s strategy and marketing team would have had to weight up, along with an analysis of countless amounts of customer data.
According to YouGov data, among those who live in London, Nike’s ad awareness score has moved from +16 to +25. Illustrating how powerful a tool and strategy personalisation can be to boost engagement, drive conversions and ultimately to make sure that customers keep coming back.
For any organisation, investing in personalisation is primarily to drive conversions, and increase sales. Personalising content such as personalised subject lines or references to previous actions taken in email campaigns can encourage customers to engage more and ultimately take up your product or service.
However, despite being much praised as the strategy to conquer all for a few years now, personalisation is still considered to be of low or no priority for most organisations. Whilst other organisations such as Nike are increasingly shifting their marketing efforts towards personalisation, to help maintain and increase brand loyalty. Rightly, these organisations are recognising the need to stand out from the endless amount of information and ads that consumers are exposed to on a daily basis through multiple channels and devices.
The advantages of valuable and tailored content for the customer can lead to significant commercial benefits for an organisation, as well the added benefits of reducing bounce rates on your websites and mobile apps, increased open and click-through rates for email campaigns and increase in the time visitors spend on your digital platforms.
How can you put personalisation into practice?
Organisations across many industries struggle to find the right actionable data and content that can drive personalisation to its full potential. From website visitor data, social media interactions, A/B testing, user journey maps and personas, organisations know who their customers are, what interests them and the types of content they are likely to engage with. All this interaction has led to costumers expecting a personalised experience whether online or on their mobile devices and organisations need to prioritise personalisation to help grow their digital revenue.
One of the more accessible ways available to most organisations to achieve the big promises of personalisation is at the online/web level. Personalising at this level can help keep your website fresh to potential customers. New visitors to your website can receive a more engaging introduction and better encouragement to go through more sections of your site, whilst returning visitors can be shown specific content which reflects their interests, matching this with previous web pages they have visited and where they are in the sales cycle.
A good place to start on your road to personalisation is first designing your intended campaign around your users, using techniques and methods to ensure that all decisions are based on what end customers want. The output of which will give you personas, which outline who the end users of the websites are.
The diagram above illustrates the typical activities and meetings we use as part of any of our user experience (UX) focused projects. Across the top, we have the core outputs of this process and across the bottom, we have the collaborative activities which provide the opportunity to enrich experiences with context-driven design ideas.
Typically, we help clients to narrow down to four to five different groups of customers who represent most of the important visitors to their websites. These are then developed further. You can then use these assets to recruit users to conduct interviews to check any assumptions.
Personalisation has also been made easier for organisations to achieve, thanks to CMS software providers such as Kentico and Sitecore having these capabilities as main features of their platforms. Lead generation tools such as Lead Forensics are also getting in on the act and launching their own web personalisation capabilities. More players in this field will mean more options for organisations to choose from to suit their requirements and budgets.
So is personalisation just hype?
Overall what we can learn from Nike’s campaign, is that personalised marketing if executed correctly, helps improve your marketing efforts overall, as your marketing becomes less reactive and more predictive. You can offer and provide what the customer wants before they even request it. In an age of mass marketing and intense competition for consumer attention, personalising your content or outbound marketing campaigns will help you stand out in the crowd and rise above the noise.
A clichéd yet still true ultimate goal for marketers is, giving the right information, to the right people at the right time – which can all be achieved through personalisation. However, personalisation like any other strategy must be well thought out, tested and tested again before launch. As beer company BrewDog`s recent Pink IPA product release shows, there is a very thin line between getting the messaging exactly right and alienating your intended customer.
According to YouGov data, of those that like the brand, 76% are male, whilst only 24% are female. There is something to be said about the importance of analysing and knowing your customer data inside out before any launch. Although BrewDog released the product with the purpose of highlighting the gender pay gap, inequality, and combat sexist marketing, perception can be a hard stone to turn.
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