Speilberg's 2002 blockbuster Minority Report showed Tom Cruise being automaticallly served personalised ads after machines read his retina. That can't be happening, right?
At Prophecy Unlimited’s superb review of the five key consumer themes that emerged from The Festival of Marketing (October 2019), the fundamental marketing principle of ‘Personalisation’ rocked up at No.3.
Tom Cruise and Minority Report are here right now
Prophecy's great review of the UK's huge marketing festival highlighted that 79% of consumers are ‘more likely to engage with an offer if it is personalised’. Makes sense. Obvious, even. But we are not talking ye olde First Name salutations, no-sirree. Brands and agencies are experimenting with some mind-boggling technologies drawing on extraordinary data to explore how timeliness and location enhance a personalised experience.
Some advertisers now factor in time of day, location, even a consumer’s emotional state (based on facial recognition, social comments and so on) before serving a bespoke ad. Blimey!
And for most businesses...
But most businesses will never do this. Most do good marketing without access to such ‘bleeding edge’ technology. They've never heard about it, probably never will and can’t afford it anyway. But here’s the thing: they don’t need it. They do a different sort of personalisation. They look after their customers.
A client of mine gives away high quality personalised freebies to its customers. Not a groundbreaking idea but the effect it has is quite something. The free winter jackets, subtly branded, and embroidered with the customer's own or company name are presented to new customers after they have purchased. It’s an unexpected treat and customers love those jackets! Colleagues, friends or others in their trade ask about the jacket, positioning my client perfectly with the exact buyers he wants to reach. This kind of connection between brand and customer is priceless! I’m going to fess up and say it wasn’t my idea...
Don’t get me wrong, BuzzedUp does sophisticated marketing tailored around the interests, needs and the buying stage of our clients’ customers. And yes, we manage comms for customers that subtly respond and reflect the service or product lifecycle. It’s personalisation alright. But it's worth remembering, as a marketer, that what actually matters to customers isn't what we might believe or expect.