Trend Watch: Content Personalisation and Tailoring
With innumerable pieces of content published online each day, companies can't afford to put generic fare in front of their audience. Enter the era of personalisation.
Personalisation is the hot topic de jour across content marketing and digital media with more companies implementing some level of personalisation across their marketing campaigns from retargeting to individualised video and content messaging.
Personalised vs tailored content
There are two ways technology allow us to personalise content that reflects an individual’s specific interests and it's important to understand the difference between personalised and tailored or customised content. Personalised content is created through automated predictive technology and based on previously collected data such as browsing habits and social media behaviour. Tailored content refers to a user making manual changes to content preferences to achieve a customised experience and greater control over what they want to see. For example, when a website asks you to select your interests, that's tailored content. The flip side to this, of course, is that users don’t always know what they want and/or don’t have the time or inclination to set up their preferences.
“Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence technologies are now available for all sized organisations to enable personalised outreach at scale"
Where to next?
Data collection combined with continued development of artificial intelligence suggests it's just the beginning. Kim Neuwirth, Director of Product Management at Narrative Science, who specialises in advanced natural language generation, summarises it as, “Advanced analytics and artificial intelligence technologies are now available for all sized organisations to enable personalised outreach at scale."
Neuwirth also highlights how this type of technology is already being used within the finance industry, "Wealth managers, for example, are utilising a subfield of artificial intelligence, advanced natural language generation (NLG), to automatically write investment portfolio commentary that informs investors about fund performance. By doing so, they can immediately publish reports to their websites and share with their distribution channels, eliminating weeks of time spent analysing raw data and writing.”
In the UK, Barclays Bank in the UK has ramped up personalisation with high quality video targeted at personal loans customers. Content of this kind also creates trust, which has a knock-on effect of people more readily parting with more personal data that further builds on their profile and allows the process to continue.
According to Forbes and PWC research, 94% of senior executives believe personalisation is critical to reaching customers. As a result, it's likely we will see an increasing number of budgets feature significant investment in data and predictive analytics, as well as strategies for personalisation across social media owned web, email, and e-commerce.
In Australia, RealEstate.com.au is using data-driven personalised content in their email newsletter. An email is personalised using the person's first name, followed by a snapshot of their property research over the course of a year, from their preferred suburb to their most active day of the week.
Social media has proven Andy Warhol was right about everyone wanting their 15 minutes of fame. Personalised content is how brands can give it to them - well, 15 seconds anyway. Attention spans were longer in 1968.