If it's not personal, it should be

Personalisation continues to be one of the top digital marketing trends and is having a major influence on the way brands are interacting with their customers. The Mood of Marketing survey conducted by Qrious in 2017, shows that 64% of leading New Zealand marketers see personalisation as one of the five fastest growing marketing activities. 

Personalisation is proven to deliver improved results by increasing the relevance of messaging to your audience. And with consumers receiving more marketing messages than ever before, using personalisation to achieve relevance is more important than ever before to ensure your messages get cut through.

 

When content is personalised

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The figures paint a compelling argument for personalisation, so why are so few of us doing it? Just 5% of companies1 say they are personalising ‘extensively' and only 30% of brands personalise their email messages2.

 

We know personalisation in communication works, so why aren't we doing it?

Personalisation is becoming more accessible to more marketers due to improvements in marketing technology. Worldwide, 49% of companies are currently using marketing automation, and more than half of B2B companies (55%) are adopting the technology.3 Yet we know that less than a quarter of New Zealand organisations are using marketing automation.4 With marketing automation becoming so readily available, personalisation needs to follow.

Over the past couple of years, we have observed a significant increase in awareness in this market of the benefits of marketing automation to not only improve results through more relevant communications, but to do this more efficiently. It allows marketing teams to move away from the treadmill of running campaigns, to setting up always-on programmes that run on an on-going basis with no intervention. Teams can move on to the next programme, as well as being freed up to spend more time reviewing results and optimising activity.

So why aren't more marketers taking advantage of automation? A 20175 study found that the most common obstacle to martech adoption by marketers continues to be a lack of budget. Improvements in platforms have made sophisticated personalisation across channels attainable even to organisations of the smaller scale common in New Zealand. Marketing Automation is no longer the preserve of our largest enterprises. We've seen many medium size clients achieve fantastic return from investment in this area. It is a matter of selecting a right size solution that is flexible to grow with you as you go on the journey.

"Rather than a large scale lengthy implementation, an organisation will often see better ROI by approaching it as a journey to increased sophistication. We will often start with a few key programmes and use these to test and learn. This allows you to realise benefits early and to iterate from there." - Nathalie Morris, Managing Director, Ubiquity

Another key challenge with implementing increased personalisation and automation is issues with the availability of data. Interestingly this is an area where the larger businesses tend to find it harder than smaller ones, due to more complex environments and data sitting in multiple silos. This can be a real barrier. We advocate starting small – using the data you have or can easily get - to start moving on the path to personalisation.

 

Key advice for businesses considering marketing automation

Success is not all about the software you adopt. Yes, you need technology features to underpin it, but there is little point having a Ferrari if no one is licensed to drive it! Most marketing teams are not big enough to have in-house marketing automation specialists – compounded by the fact that there are still few specialists in the New Zealand market. This is where an experienced partner who can step in as required from consulting over set up of programmes to actual execution can be critical to delivering results.

As an example, many organisations do not consider the changes that are required to marketing processes – from briefing to reporting – to support the move from a campaign to a programme approach. An experienced partner can help you with capability development. So don't just consider the technology features, think about what else you need from a partner to be successful when working through your requirements.

If you're not currently personalising your communications, you're leaving a lot of money on the table – and you're restricting both the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing messages.

 

Read more about the impact that data and technology has on personalisation in our 5 part series diving deeper into the 2017 Mood of Marketing report:

1. The Secrets of Successful Marketers: Infographic
2. Leading New Zealand marketers share how to get started with data
3. How successful marketers deal with data disruption
4. The rise of the marketer: bigger budgets and more resources
5. Why brand is everything in a data driven world

 

References:
1. MarketingLand
2. Econsultancy
3. 25 Marketing Automation stats for 2016 - SessionCam
4. 2015 Mood of Marketing Survey - Marketing Association
5. State of Marketing Technology 2017 - WalkerSands Communications

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