When a new marketing concept emerges, like hyperpersonalisation, it’s quite easy to categorize it as frivolous hype which will be forgotten tomorrow.
But looking a bit deeper into what hyperpersonalisation is, there are signs that it should be taken seriously. In fact, hyperpersonalisation is already making a significant difference in the marketing approach of several well-known brands.
For example, Starbucks now not only personalises loyalty offers through its app, the company also determines where you are physically and notifies you of the nearest location. This ‘value added’, location-based contextual information is an example of how personalisation can be extended beyond one-to-one marketing.
So, how are marketers viewing this new approach to marketing? Are they ready for it, or do they have some ways to go before they are able to adopt hyperpersonalisation?
To find out, Econsultancy, in association with Oracle, recently held roundtable discussions with marketers in Jakarta. At the Hyperpersonalisation table, client-side marketers discussed how they were extending personalised marketing as well as some of the challenges they are facing. Below is a highlight of what was said on the day.
1) Hyperpersonalisation exists because of the ‘arms race’ for customer loyalty
Participants started by discussing the purpose of hyperpersonalisation and what benefit it would bring to brands.
One attendee said that in their industry, retail, there was an ‘arms race’ to deploy personalisation technology – and the companies who ‘won’ the race stood to gain customer loyalty.
The objective, said another, is to use hyperpersonalisation to deliver offers which anticipate customer demand and drive regular repeat purchases. While some loyalty objectives could be achieved with standard personalisation, the aim of hyperpersonalisation is to generate a greater sense of familiarity between the brand and the customer.
2) Companies need to understand customer context and manage data well to deploy hyperpersonalisation
Everyone agreed that hyperpersonalisation was not easy to implement.
First off, said one delegate, marketers need to look for the moments when the customer is engaging with the brand (the context) and deliver content which is both relevant and able to be enhanced by data. The Starbucks example, they continued, had the right context for hyperpersonalisation but not every brand has customers in a situation like that.
Additionally, marketers need to be able to manage data well so that when opportunities arise, they can seamlessly provide context-sensitive information for their customers. While providing directions to the nearest store may be interesting, one participant noted, the brand app must be able to handle bad data connections or else customers may quickly become frustrated.
Finally, marketers also need to be able to ‘switch off’ hyperpersonalisation when appropriate. One attendee noted that Amazon may hyperpersonalisation recommendations, but often they are for products which have already been purchased on the platform, creating a poor user experience.
3) Without digital transformation, hyperpersonalisation may not be possible
Delegates felt that many of the pre-requisites for a hyperpersonalisation initiative may require a full-scale digital transformation of their company’s people, processes and technology.
For high-quality data management, hyperpersonalisation requires top-level support, probably at c-suite level. Before digital transformation, the table agree, it would be difficult to interest people at a high enough level in a marketing technology project like hyperpersonalisation.
Then, in order to manage the discovery and testing of the right customer contexts for hyperpersonalisation, marketers need to be working in a test-and-learn agile environment, characteristic of digitally transformed organistations.
Finally, to truly take advantage of the opportunities offered by hyperpersonalisation, marketers need recent, integrated technology. Not just for the data management, said one attendee, but also for the data-enriched content delivery and the analytics. With a ‘stitched-together’ legacy platform, marketers would struggle to both deliver hyperpersonalisation and understand its impact on customers.
4) Securing budget is the key obstacle to hyperpersonalisation
In addition to a ‘digitally transformed’ company environment, said one participant, marketers need a ‘sizable and secured’ budget to implement hyperpersonalisation. Reason being that data preparation, testing and learning and project delivery are all resource intensive and may need to run concurrently.
In order to get investment for a hyperpersonalisation project, though, marketers need to have reasonable key performance indicators (KPIs) and return on investment (ROI) calculations.
Marketers, however, find it difficult to set KPIs and estimate ROI for new, unproven technologies such as hyperpersonalisation. This obstacle is stopping most companies from pursuing hyperpersonalisation for now.
One way out of this situation, suggested one attendee, was for marketers to educate management about the potential of hyperpersonalisation to improve metrics such as customer satisfaction and churn rate – and to wait for initial results to set KPIs and ROI.
Regardless, everyone agreed that most companies in Indonesia are not yet prepared for hyperpersonalisation and so, for the time being, marketers will look for contexts and testing smaller-scale solutions.
A word of thanks
Econsultancy would like to thank Oracle, our sponsor for the event, and all the brand marketers who made the time to attend and discuss their insights and experiences with hyperpersonalisation. We hope to see you all at future Econsultancy events!