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One-to-one real-time personalisation - right here, right now

Relevance is a word much used in marketing circles, dare I say overly so in recent years. The message which is of relevance, engaging and effective will truly resonate with readers as opposed to those that are generic and un-targeted. The value of relevant messaging is not rocket science and neither is the actual execution of one-to-one real-time personalisation. Yet there is still confusion surrounding how real-time but relevant messages can be delivered to individuals.

The main necessity when it comes to delivering relevant messaging is individual customer insight. Purchase data is a key source of insight which holds great value, especially in a cross-and-up-sell scenario. The problem with this kind of data is that it does not paint a clear picture of the individual’s wants, products of interest and what they may purchase next. In short it does not provide the kind of information which highlights products that with the right kind of marketing techniques could potentially be a clear cut sale to a business.

 Many businesses are relying upon web analytics to provide such customer data. The issue with this data is that it is by no means detailed enough, nor is it available immediately which is critical when it comes to real-time personalisation. Additionally whilst product recommendation engines play a valuable role in showing which products might appeal to someone, they are based on group behaviour and algorithms, not insight about that specific customer.    

Nothing is as valuable to a business as knowing the behaviour of customers on an individual level. Detailed insight into an individual website visitors’ behaviour is readily available – businesses are able to see products, colours and sizes browsed, images scrolled over, referring and in-site search terms used, and much more. This data can be used to build a history of the individual’s visits so that a detailed view of their preferences can be developed. Once this deep understanding is gained, organisations can build true one-to-one personalisation programmes which enable the delivery of relevant messages through real-time website personalisation.

 Real-time personalisation isn’t just of use for retail; any sector can reap the benefits. Insurance companies, for example, have used such data to accelerate the customer lifecycle and increase conversion rates by adjusting on-site messaging based upon what information a customer has inputted into the website or by what products have been viewed online. The opportunities with real-time personalisation are pretty much infinite, and with access to the required data and technology already a reality, brands can quickly start to use it for the ultimate in customer engagement.