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Rob Pollard at The Marketing Meetup: Birmingham

The Importance of Personalisation and User Experience

31.07.19 Digital Marketing

By Hannah Gallop
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Why is it important to create a personalised experience for each person visiting your website? and how can you deliver a large impact that will last for these visitors? Founder of Lightbox, Rob Pollard, answers these questions in The Marketing Meetup‘s latest podcast, recorded at The Marketing Meetup: Birmingham.

What is personalisation?

Digital personalisation has become a hot topic over the last few years as online experiences have started to replace those that occur in-store, and brands have sought ways to replicate this one-to-one experience whilst catering for a far higher volume of visitors.

We live in a world of instant gratification, and customers’ expectations have mirrored that. Content marketing has become a go-to marketing strategy for brands, with users expecting content to not only to be relevant and engaging but to also be tailored to them based on their personal preferences.

“Would we send someone the same brochure three times in a week? We wouldn’t, would we? it’s bonkers, yet, we present the same content every day. You could go to that website 20 times, and it’s the same message.”

Brands using personalisation

Certain types of businesses have excelled at delivering a personalised service to their customers, including the music streaming platform Spotify.

Beyond its witty billboards featuring real user data, Spotify has created an end-to-end experience that is entirely tailored to each user. To further personalise their services, Spotify recently announced a major change in how its curated playlists will be produced – with some playlists being algorithmically personalised based on the listeners’ tastes.

Up until this update in March 2019, curated playlists did not include any personalisation. Instead, there was one canonical playlist that everyone would listen to, but now Spotify has made some of those playlists part curated and part personalised. While human editors will still meticulously pick and choose songs which fit selected playlists, not every song will show up for every listener. Alternatively, Spotify will now automatically adjust the playlist and select similar music to better fit the listener’s tastes.

‘We use Spotify because it’s easy. It is so easy. And they’re throwing things at us and they’re helping us to make decisions”

The change came after testing over a long period of time, which found that people were more likely to listen to a personalised playlist for longer because the AI was choosing songs that they were more likely to enjoy. Infact, after listening to a new song on a personalised curated list, the number of listeners who decided to seek out the track on their own and listen to it again increased by 80%.

Why should you be delivering a personalised experience?

When we personalise a user’s experience, we are helping them to have a richer experience with content or information that they have shown a preference for, whilst also selecting what kind of content they might interact with in the future.

By personalising an experience, the user instantly feels a connection with the message and there is an element of feeling understood. For example, look at the way in which Netflix personalises our viewing; we get a list of suggestions which are selected via algorithms which are based on past viewing habits. The result as a user is that we feel understood and catered to, which results in a better overall user experience.

“What they’re doing is they’re going, ‘Oh you watched that? Do you like that? Why don’t you watch this?’ And it just takes all the effort out of it”

Customers are now in control of their relationship with a brand, so companies can no longer completely rely on their product or service as their main competitive differentiator. They must, therefore, compete on the basis of delivering a superior experience.

Ultimately, personalisation is a powerful tool to boost engagement, drive value, and ultimately create brand loyalty for your customers.

“It’s as simple as that; making life easier for customers. It’s making them feel loved, making them feel something, and helping them.”

For a more in-depth discussion into the rise and importance of personalisation, listen to the full podcast here:

Thank you to The Marketing Meetup for allowing Rob to talk at their Birmingham event and for recording this podcast.

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