Personalisation; everybody knows they should be doing it, but not everyone knows exactly how best to achieve it.

The ubiquity of platforms like Facebook and Amazon has lead to a seismic shift in user expectations when it comes to personalisation. A recent study by Monetate found that more than 83% of customers reported they expect brands to personalise experiences for them.

In combination with conversational user interfaces, AI presents brands with the opportunity to engage in a meaningful dialogue with their audiences. 

Many brands however, have struggled to deliver real-time personalisation at scale. Most personalisation technologies require a high degree of manual intervention to deliver personalised experiences, but AI can now take care of most of the heavy lifting .

The less time that marketing departments spend manually segmenting audiences and planning campaigns, the more time they can spend creating great content. And with the headless CMS providing a way for all this content to be managed without the concern of which channel it will be delivered through, efficiencies can be further increased.

It’s not just marketers that benefit either; RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) saw a 40% reduction in call centre traffic as a result of offering streamlined website content for logged in users based on their preferences. By offering better self-service options online, RICS’ call centre staff could be re-focused on more valuable and progressive activities.

But there are a few important considerations to bear in mind when leveraging the power of AI to create meaningful, personalised experiences for your audience. 

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1. Get the basics right

When brands aim to create personalised experiences, they’re not just measured against similar organisations in their field; any experience is going to be measured against those offered by the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, too. The key to standing out from the pack is to design experiences specifically around your audiences. Establish a status quo, examine how users interact with it, and then optimise the experience from there. 

2. Technology is only part of the answer

As powerful a tool as AI is, it’s not a silver bullet. Similarly, no matter how good your marketing team is, few organisations have the manpower and budget to manually deliver personalisation at scale. Before implementing any programme of digital transformation, you must first ensure that your organisation has the structures in place to support it. By aligning your systems, processes and people, you can make sure that you’re playing to the strengths of your team, as well as your tech.

3. Create relevant and timely content

For many companies, the holy grail is omni-channel personalisation, giving them the tools to deliver the right content, through the right channels and at the right time. AI is a key enabler to the true omni-channel experience, giving marketers the ability to track user behaviour at every touchpoint along the user journey.

This kind of behavioural personalisation weaves together omni-channel personalisation with machine learning to build up a user profile based on their browsing habits, offering content and recommendations that reach them when they’re at their most receptive. 

4. Be selective with what you personalise 

Personalisation is a powerful strategy, but only when it’s applied judiciously. Choose wisely what and where you personalise. There’s a risk that by personalising everything that a user sees, you could be creating a narrow view of your offering and hiding products and services from audiences who may have been interested in seeing the breadth and depth of your offering. 

5. Don’t run before you can walk 

Plenty of organisations try to employ technology to increase the scale of their activities, but frequently aren’t aligned internally on the underlying objectives, or clear on user needs. As with any digital project, it’s vital to establish a common vision and a shared set of success criteria.

When your whole business is aligned towards the same goals and objectives, the benefits of AI-driven personalisation reach farther and wider that just your digital presence. Effectively utilising AI personalisation can enable your entire organisation to realise its full potential. 

Econsultancy subscribers can download our marketer’s guide to AI and machine learning.

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