The increased expectation of consumers that companies should understand their preferences and deliver personalised marketing experiences has not waived. Rather, it has only increased, putting more pressure on companies to use data analytics to engage with their potential and existing consumers.

Ensuring that environmental conditions are right for successful personalisation involves establishing, maintaining and supporting data strategies, technologies and compliance. Here’s how to move personalisation forward without violating customers’ privacy and keeping everything above board.


With today’s consumers absorbing more than 5,000 brand messages a day, ideal marketing campaigns have not only and most importantly, connected with consumer interests and values, but have also created an ongoing customer experience. This type of attentive personalisation hasn’t and will never be about the simple collection of data to analyse – customer targeting must become one of the pillars of any marketing strategy.

Targeting consists of tailoring marketing efforts to demographics, personality traits, hobbies and interests, social class values and/or locality.

Such campaigns rely on having the right technology in place – a scalable Content Distribution Platform (CDP) that can ingest and link data across technology boundaries. For example, the audience segmentation tools (perhaps powered by AI and machine learning) offered by a CDP like Sitecore can help to deliver the most actionable and relevant customer experiences. Whether you have customer data as rich as this or thin, with limited detail – it doesn’t matter. What’s important is to adopt specialist technology that can help your brand deliver more aligned and targeted marketing to its customers, while also helping to maintain good data-security and data-protection standards. With the right tools, any brand can move closer to delivering customers the experiences they want to allow them to achieve the outcomes they desire.


Identifying the varying needs of different audiences to goals and enhancing customer satisfaction is a crucial part of any business’s marketing strategy. Marketers focus on particular groups to offer products that better fit particular types of buyers, matching resources with contacts to attain objectives.

Marketers can use analytics against the simple segmenting tools of sex and age in ways that are actionable and scalable, by creating audience segments based not simply on demographics but on behavioural knowledge (such as who browses, who buys, who likes deals) that allow marketers to target advertising to known enthusiasts.

Segmentation can also help businesses identify new markets or better ways to serve existing ones – such as REI Co-Op’s identification of environmentalists and sports-fan segments based on segmentation and the creation of membership programmes to cater to each.


Personalisation is also important for brands to stand out from the clutter: ‘Consumers bought seven times as much from companies they knew and trusted as from those they did not know, according to research by Medallia.

Personalized experiences demand thorough and timely data analysis from various sources, such as:

Demographic information (such as name, email address) enables identification and, to some extent, confirmation of a visitor or customer; on the other hand, data (such as past purchases, product interests, brand affinity) drive very relevant recommendations Personalisation at higher levels (content, buying experience) is achieved by analysing mouse movements and scrolling on your website (invaluable in providing content optimisation – the portal of your choice is monitoring your activities and analyses every aspect of your behaviour!). B2Bs can use firmographic data (from web scraping) to create profiles of buyers and to deliver more and more targeted content – which over time could lead to high engagement and conversion rates, assuming relevant campaigns and content personalisation. All these practices also help in shaping customer retention campaigns; and, over time, such customers could potentially become loyal and deliver returns on their lifetime value – an approach potentially generating big returns in terms of additional revenue for your existing and prospective customers, if you manage to achieve a true loop of activities engaging and building greater customer intimacy.


Engagement aids the overriding objective of digital marketing strategy: using data to analyse user behaviour and customise content. By aligning content to meet customers’ needs at each stage of their evolving relationship with a company, businesses can build a good rapport with customers while enhancing the possibility of retention.

As vague and touchy-feely as the term might sound, it’s an effective organising concept. Research shows that people want their lives to have meaning through their work; employees must aim to align themselves with organisational goals while exerting every effort to help achieve them.

The rapid and increasing spread of the practice of personalisation leads me to believe that it will allow businesses to produce the sort of epic meaning that, as we’ve seen, consumers desire, enabling them to create a virtual world filled to bursting with content and cast of characters customised to each user’s own personal and non-random tastes. The product recommendations and offers of various e-commerce sites are tailored towards the needs and desires of each individual user who has left a digital trail of information – such content ‘sticks’ far more with audiences, and while at the same time augmenting customer satisfaction, also increases the chances that customers will soon return to make additional purchases.

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