B&T broadcast its latest webinar series this week, in partnership with multinational software company SAP.
Hosted by B&T editor-in-chief David Hovenden, the webinar invited Bernard Chung, head of product marketing at SAP for the Marketing Cloud business and head of shopper engagement at Metcash Lee Martin to tackle personalisation of marketing in 2018.
Over the course of the webinar, Hovenden, Chung and Martin dug into three topics on personalisation; the best practices in how to approach personalisation, the role of data in driving personalisation and lastly, what to consider when using technology in personalisation.
To kick things off, Hovenden had Chung define what personalisation means, and the importance of getting it right.
Speaking on the topic, Chung said: “True personalisation only happens when personalisation is analysed and executed at the individual level.
“It’s easier said than done though; as marketers, we’ve been trained and brought up by defining personalisation in segments and groups.
“Whenever we do up-sells or acquisitions we view segmentation and groups to target and acquire customers, however, that only kind of works and I say kind of because it’s better than doing no segmentation or targeting however it misses a lot of things.
Chung added that changes need to be made in how marketers and companies approach customer personalisation going forward.
“If you’re planning personalisation using another group of people that kind of look like you but are not you, using their historical information to decide what you should get or be promoted to or what the treatment should be next is not a real strong indicator or method to doing personalisation.”
Instead, Chung said: “True personalisation is really looking at individual history and interactions and what they are doing during the engagement to take that information into account and decide what the next treatment or message should be for that particular customer.”
Similarly, Martin agreed that marketing methods of customer personalisation were due for a shake-up, especially in terms of best practice.
“One of the questions we were looking at today is who does best practice here in Australia and it’s kind of difficult to for me to think of that many usually I look abroad for best practice.
“What we can learn is our role as direct marketers has to change – from being about finding the best audience segments for a handful of mass offers or for our favourite creative message, it has to be a more holistic view of using everything we know about our customers to tailor our experiences around them,” Martin added.
Touching on the topic of ‘customer-centric’ marketing, Martin said there’s still a long road ahead of us before this is reached.
“We’ve all heard this term ‘customer-centric marketing’ but I don’t think in many cases we’ve really moved very far towards that yet.
“It’s a massive change in mentality and it has to be so much more than just marketing; it means the entire business has to be transformed to inspire end-to-end experiences, it means breaking down our internal silos so that our consumers get a consistent experience whatever their touch point.
“It means designing processes around their journeys not the other way around; not designing processes to fit with our internal politics and internal structure.
“It means providing staffing customer-facing roles with access to the same information that we have as marketers, so we can deliver consistent service over each and every touch point,” he said.
While Martin was quick to recognise there’s a lot to be done, he also encouraged companies to move quickly.
“Now, that’s a huge amount of change but if we’re talking best practice that’s the route we need to take to get there and if not, there will be plenty of other small businesses that will move fast, and they’ll take our place and replace what we’re doing.
“Retail alone is already littered with the dead bodies of giants who either didn’t change until it was too late or simply threw money at a department or at e-commerce or digital marketing without embracing the fact it needed to be transformation across the business,” Martin added.