Sophie Brannigan

Research Manager

Personalisation is everywhere…

28 April 2016

The personalisation trend looks well and truly here to stay. Just think how many times we come into contact with it before we get to work… Wake up and you hear a company’s personalisation success story on the news. Need a caffeine hit? You’re faced with an array of milks, shots, syrups, allowing you to enjoy a coffee exactly how you’d like it and all served in a cup with your name on it. If you’re signed up to your supermarkets loyalty scheme, have you noticed recently the surge in offers and incentives tailored to you? TV catch up, news apps, music streaming sites, fitness wearables, the list is endless… all making selections for us allowing us to feel that little bit more individual, understood and appreciated.

ASOS sales figures, published in April 2016, showed huge growth over the past 6 months. This success is at least in part attributed to harnessing the data they hold on customers’ preferences, searches and returns, using this to provide a more personalised online shopping experience.

A recent survey conducted by Deloitte and Salesforce identified that 92% of brands are now providing a personalised service or are planning to. And the more we get of it, the more savvy we become and the more we’ll want. We only need to look at the recent news of household name BHS’s file for administration to see the detrimental effects of not keeping up with the pace of consumers’ expectations.

And it’s not just retailers who are reaping the benefits of this new wave of interaction with consumers. Digital only banking brand Atom, set to launch in Q1 this year, will offer customisable logos and home screen colour palettes, placing the customer at the heart of their brand strategy. Airbnb have ignited personalisation within travel and tourism through matching homes and suggesting experiences to traveller’s ideal holidays and preferences. Booking.com are using similar information to their own benefit.

This growing expectation and desire for a personalised service means the public and third sector need to adapt too… something we can already see emerging. Take the health sector. Last month, Public Health England launched the national health campaign ‘One You’ rooted in a personalised approach to healthcare. Taking a lead from the success of personalisation in the private sector, the campaign hopes to engage adults with their health, through tailored advice and recommendations based on data collected through a health check quiz. With the key aim of encouraging changes in everyday behaviours to prevent diseases and deaths, a successful campaign could contribute to NHS savings in money and time.

At a crucial time for charities to reengage with donors and build trust and confidence in the sector, personalised interactions with supporters feels like the natural step. With generic messaging and blanket marketing well and truly out, there is a really exciting opportunity for charities to collect, harness and use the information they hold to build stronger relationships, centred on what’s meaningful to the individual and reignite that reason for giving.