11th February 2020

Personalisation is not working

Simon Wakeman
Chief Executive Officer
Performance Analytics on Computer ScreenI’m here to lead the rallying cry: huge projects, be gone - let’s break personalisation down and make it work for us.

What I’m about to say might shock you: Personalisation isn’t going to change the world. 

Or at least not the way the marketing soothsayers think it is. Radical, right? 

Every year, we read headlines telling us that this is the year personalisation makes all of our retention dreams come true, and I’m saying ‘no more’. 

Because thinking of personalisation as some sort of content delivery messiah actually makes it pretty impossible to roll out. 

Time and again we hear from our clients in the membership world that they want to prioritise it. Time and again it’s deemed too big a project to start. And, time and again, it falls to the bottom of the priority pile.

So, I’m here to lead the rallying cry: huge projects, be gone - let’s break personalisation down and make it work for us. 

What’s the point?

At its core, personalisation is designed to guide your members to the content they’ll find most appealing in the hope that they’ll use it, enjoy it and feel a little bit closer to your organisation. 

It’s all about those three little words every marketer longs to hear: really high engagement. And personalisation is the thing that’s designed to make that happen. 

Only it’s not happening, because nobody really knows where to start. And if you’re a national organisation, say, with a million members and the data to match, nobody’s blaming you for feeling daunted. 

Having to sift through a million anything to decide what it might or might not like to find in its inbox on a particular day sounds pretty rough.

Treat ‘em good

Your members are your people and they need looking after. That’s a given. 

Often time-poor, and with the attention span of most people on the internet (eight seconds, according to Microsoft), they have neither the time nor the inclination to go hunting for relevant content, and, if they’re consistently served content they’re not interested in, they’re more than likely to stop looking at all. 

But, let’s imagine for a second that you could dynamically serve up whatever your members want to see. That’s valuable. That’s worth their time. 

Of course, there is such a thing as too much - a line we must never cross. But successful personalisation doesn’t feel creepy; it feels helpful and, done right, is worth its weight in click-throughs. 

Little and often

We’ve been working with membership organisations since 1959, so we have a pretty good handle on what matters: acquisition and retention of members.

We know that engagement between membership renewals is a fair way to keep both of those ticking along. 

At Deeson, when it comes to personalisation, we’re less about the grand gestures that take years to plan and have terrifying budgets attached, and more about the little changes; the quick wins, the things you can actually implement that will actually make a difference. 

So, once we’ve sat down and looked at your data and come up with some engagement-boosting ideas, we’ll test it. Just a small test. 

And from that test, we’ll learn, and then we’ll tweak and we’ll optimise and so on until it’s all running as it should and we can automate it and take some of that running off your hands. 

It’s the marketing equivalent of little and often: less daunting to start, more enjoyable to get through and an end result that’s tailored to your exact business needs.

If the thought of embarking on a full-scale personalisation project makes you want to weep into your metrics, we’ve got you - drop us a line and let’s chat about ways to make real-world, achievable personalisation work for you.