Hyperpersonalisation: the abc of personalisation

If you want continually relevant ads, get your data, targeting and messaging aligned

Cowell...“Personalised messaging requires thinking about the customer’s next intention”
Cowell...“Personalised messaging requires thinking about the customer’s next intention”

She still doesn’t want to have a baby so showing her the same pregnancy test ad for two years is beyond annoying. She’s definitely not visiting a local gentlemen’s establishment even though she lives round the corner. I don’t want to buy only pink plastic necklaces just because I bought my niece a birthday present last week.

All real examples of irrelevant and, in some cases, borderline offensive personalised messages that my colleagues and I have been subjected to.

Come on, marketers of the world. We can do better than this. It’s not that hard and doing a poor job is not doing your brand image any favours.

Segmenting too broadly, using generic messages and not appreciating a customer’s context results in ineffective personalisation. It’s time to think about how a hyper-personalisation strategy can make marketing highly relevant every time.

To be laser-focused in targeting, we need to use both the customer’s attributes and their interactions with your brand. Attributes are explicit information we have captured about the customer – such as gender, age, where they live, interests, number of children, purchase history and so on. Interactions include views and clicks across all of our channels – be they social media, web, phone, email, chat or mobile apps. Interactions give us implicit information about our customers’ likes and dislikes. 

But detailed data is not enough. Even if we can target accurately, we need personalised messaging at an individual level. Often this is where personalisation falls down. This needs proper thought and planning and, most importantly, it requires thinking about the customer’s next intention.

For example, if a customer has just bought a product from you, are they likely to buy a similar product any time soon, or was it a one-off? How can you personalise a remarketing hook to re-engage a prospect in the purchasing journey? How can you persuade a prospect that you really understand their specific business challenges?

Last, there’s the onward journey to think about. If our message is individual then the user experience needs to meet a customer’s expectations when they respond to a call to action, with the right product, the right offer, the shortest possible conversion path and so on. This is the final piece of the jigsaw if we’re not to lose them.

Micro and macro
At MBA, we think about hyper-personalisation on both micro and macro scales. We recently ran an acquisition campaign for O2 Business where we couriered personalised 

holographic video messages to its top prospects. Who wouldn’t be excited by seeing their personal digital advisor talking to them about their own growth challenges? A 22% response rate in the first week of the campaign with an ROI of 13 was proof that hyper-personalisation delivers more.

On a macro scale, we are building a hyper-personalised CRM programme for Investec’s new digital
investment product, Click & Invest. Launching in a few months, it will be able to nurture prospects with personalised journeys via web, search and email. This has been made possible by considering hyper-personalisation from the start, baking into the selection of marketing technology, the design of the data model and the building of the comms programmes. 

Getting your joined-up data, targeting and messaging aligned allows you to create a hyper-personalised experience and present continually relevant messages at the appropriate time. It’s what users now expect. So let’s get rid of irritating and irrelevant messages once and for all and start to delight our customers at every turn.

Up close and personal

What product or service would convince you to hand over your private data? An artificial intelligence personal assistant that can respond to all my emails.

Who is doing personalisation well? Songkick’s gig recommendations and Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlists. Both are brilliant and life-enhancing.

What’s a good experience you’ve had with brand personalisation? Atom Bank’s personalised customer logos. Refreshingly uncorporate.

How personal is too personal? Personalisation based on health data is intrusive, but get used to it as digital health is here to stay.

What’s a bespoke product that you own? Converse All Stars in Oxford United yellow and blue.

By Alex Cowell, chief technology officer, MBA


More from Hyperpersonalisation:


Building a detailed picture


Do as you would be done to


The abc of personalisation


How to get the data right