Content personalisation. Call me Christine

iStock_000019746282SmallI was at a networking event recently and after many conversations and exchanging of business cards I found myself on the end of an email and direct mail marketing campaign by one of the companies who had taken my business card.

Several innovative and interesting direct mail pieces and many emails later I was amused how the company on each and every occasion got my name wrong, no, not spelt wrong, completely the wrong name.

It started with Carolyn, then we had Carol, then I became a Catherine to Christine then Carla followed by Cara and my favourite Cassie.

I may have at some point in our conversation alluded to the fact that my nick name is indeed Caz (my german friends like to call me Cazzie because they can’t pronounce the Z so I get called Cassie)

I’ve written about the benefits of content and marketing personalisation, targeting the right information to your niche audience which includes making sure you have the name of the person(s) who will be reading it.

marketing personalisation and big marketingThe marketing message and content from the company was excellent it was sadly let down by poor attention to personal details which is the essence of any good marketing. We all know that the more personalised the content the more likely we journey toward making the purchase.

Amazon and Netflix are major players in customising our browsing experiences and attributing recommendations based on purchase history. By customising the experience for shoppers consumers are more likely to start down the journey of purchasing.

Although the company in question included personalisation in their marketing pieces they forgot to make sure the name was correct and therefore the impact was lost especially when I’d received several emails and three direct mail pieces.

What is the point of putting all the effort into marketing if one simple error minimises the impact of the message?

Personalisation comes from accurate data, accurate data comes from a customer database that should be updated regularly. Incorrect personalisation means the company hasn’t paid enough attention to the details, they don’t see the person, someone who might be interested in buying their service but a commodity in other words where the next sales is coming from.

Bad personalisation = bad quality = questionable data?

In my example the data management was questionable. Data had been incorrectly entered onto their CRM. If the company had bought in a list from a data management company then I’d have to question the quality, data policies, systems used to maintain these lists by the data management company.

If the personalisation in incorrect then the whole marketing campaign is jeopardised. What is a silly mistake like my example can undermine the customer impact, at worse they’ll delete the email or throw the mailpiece in the bin = lost sale = no engagement.

Just call me Catherine

Content personalisation is getting bigger making it more challenging to personalise for an audience that is also growing and changing its habits.

People aren’t robots and are likely to access content from multiples devices and visit from many social channels, they expect to be treated as individuals much like visiting a shop in person.

The rewards of personalisation are an important part of your marketing efforts. A personalised email is likely to see click through rates upwards of 14%, the addition of a name makes the customer feel more important and is likely to increase engagement as though the email is for them and only them.iStock_000034584126Small

How do you optimise personalisation?

  1. Make sure you check your customer database and that all the fields are correct and in the right place e.g Name, Surname, Title, Job Title
  2. Ensure you have a quality check process
  3. Take a sample of your proposed data and make sure it sits in the corresponding fields
  4. Make sure you check every data variable by running random checks
  5. If you are unsure managing your data then find a company who has the expertise in data management and  outsource the process but choose carefully

Finally keep calling me Christine and see what your response rates are like.


How does personalisation add value to my marketing?

Finally 49% of UK consumers think personalisation is important in their marketing messages.



4 thoughts on “Content personalisation. Call me Christine”

  1. So true … and if you think you get weird names, try having a last name like St Maur! The variants I get in email marketing are hilarious, sometimes, although the favorite seems to be StuMor. StuPor would probably be more appropriate…

  2. Dear Christine
    Thank you for the well thought out, lucidly presented customer philosophy vis a vis marketing strategy. Glad to circulate for the benefit of our team. Dedicated personalised effort will always deliver the desired result and your article shows the way to exemplary means to achieve the objective.

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