Tech viewpoint on personalisation
A view from Andy Oldham

Tech viewpoint on personalisation

It's the most overused word in marketing and advertising in 2014, so let's drill down to what personalisation actually means. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it is "the process of making something suitable for the needs of a particular person". As amazing as that sounds, how can we possibly know about a particular person's needs? The answer is the second most overused word in marketing and advertising - data.

Consumers are slowly but surely getting used to the idea of giving away their data if they benefit in some way. This value exchange enables personalisation.

At Quidco, our members get the deal (literally!). We hold data on their demographics, behaviour and transactions and they get cashback in return. But they also know that, due to the data we hold on them, we can provide them with information on rewards and deals that matter to them, rather than blanket bombing everyone. By implementing a control group and a super-targeted group for one of our retailers, we saw that, by almost halving the campaign audience to a highly relevant customer base, there was a 200 per cent uplift in sales.

Personalisation doesn’t stop with targeted e-mails. People are spoilt by the likes of Amazon. After signing in, they are presented with a new book by their favourite author. They have a page just for themselves. It’s like having a shop that only has things you like – how cool is that? With the sensory overload of today’s world, people can’t stand irrelevant information, wherever it is.

Merging the clicks and bricks customer experiences is every retailer's key objective

They are spoilt because they know and experience personalisation every day on the web. And now with beacon technology slowly going mainstream, they will experience it in-store too. Merging the clicks and bricks customer experiences is every retailer’s key objective, and the technological opportunities are approaching so quickly that most businesses aren’t prepared and are overwhelmed.

Website personalisation technologies such as Qubit offer online shops the ability to pull together their customer data and to present their web page according to their customer needs. Advertising technology companies such as Quantcast use first- and third-party data to serve targeted display ads to attract new customers. The Crown Estate recently announced it will be rolling out beacon technology on Regent Street to target customers in-store and to blur online and in-store shopping.

It’s all happening and it all points to two things: data and personalisation.

If you don’t have a data strategy in place, you’re losing out and are likely to fall behind. Seamlessly applying first- and third-party data in order to target customers with relevant offers tailored to their needs online and in-store isn’t the future any more – it’s here now.

Andy Oldham is the managing director at Quidco