Beyond Basic: Meet Customer Needs with Hyper-Personalization

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Despite what many brand executives think, most consumers who interact with the digital world would argue with the claim that, in this day and age, most brands have mastered personalization. In the 2010 article, The Pants that Stalked Me On The Web, Michael Learmonth asked us to imagine, “persistent, pestering ads that just won’t quit.” Innovation has accelerated rapidly since 2010, so why is an ad for a desk that I just purchased for my home office following me around the internet in 2024? Because – as most consumers already know – we haven’t mastered personalization. If we had, I’d be getting ads for the matching desk chair.

Ineffective personalization isn’t limited to display advertising – it can be anything from the email asking the consumer if they saw their local football game when they aren’t football fans, or the direct mailer recalling a product a customer no longer has, or the promotional SMS that the customer has opted out of three times. Brands that do this in our current landscape appear out of touch. And the impending, full third-party cookie deprecation will only push brands further back from the goal of delivering truly personalized experiences.

Personalization as we’ve known it means leveraging data on consumer preferences, behaviors, demographics, purchase history, etc. to deliver relevant engagements and create more meaningful experiences and relationships with them. We know that consumers welcome these experiences when they are relevant and privacy-friendly. However, the concept of personalization has become diluted to include any engagement that goes beyond one-size-fits-all messaging. Even though we have yet to fully master traditional personalization and to capture consumer attention in our hyper-connected world, we now need to leverage hyper-personalization.

Traditional personalization fails frequently because it relies too heavily on historical data. Consumers today move so fast that historical data alone misses too much important information about what’s happening right now. Consumers move too rapidly through digital channels and devices to rely on stale data. Hyper-personalization instead combines artificial intelligence with historical data, real-time data, and contextual analysis to create truly dynamic experiences.

There are three essential components to consider when it comes to hyper personalization:

First, historical data analysis, which enables the business to identify patterns in consumer behaviors that occurred in the past, giving the AI fodder to predict what they may do in the future.

Second, real-time data analysis, which enables the business to understand what’s happening at the exact moment that an interaction is happening. If the AI utilizes adaptive modeling, the technology can then learn from that data and make decisions about what the next action should be based on the freshest data possible.

Third, contextual data analysis, which gives the business a broader understanding of what’s happening in the interaction, essentially adding color to data points that may not tell a story on their own.

This powerful combination enables brands to communicate relevant information at the very moment the customer needs it and in the ideal channel, then use the insights from that interaction to adapt and evolve their next engagement. Whether that next engagement is in the next five minutes or the next five days, it will be smarter and more effective because it’s powered by fresh insights and potent technology – not just stale snapshots in time.

Consider a bank that analyzes a customer’s recent purchase history to predict that they are on vacation, then sends an email notifying them of the local perks associated with their credit card. Maybe the customer will eventually open the email, maybe they will ignore it. Because the email communication was based on yesterday’s data, it’s less likely to add value to the customer. A hyper-personalized experience would be that same bank delivering a notification to a customer’s mobile app upon arrival in a new city to let them know that they can use their banking app on local public transit. In this scenario, the bank combines the real-time geographical context of a new city with the purchase history of public transit use to add value to the customer.

Hyper-personalized interactions elevate customer experiences from basic and product-focused to truly customer-centric. Modern experiences are about meeting customer needs, not solely about selling a product or service. Every touchpoint needs to add value to the consumer’s life, or the brand may not earn the right to keep selling.

1 COMMENT

  1. This article offers a great breakdown of the limitations of traditional personalization and the exciting potential of hyper-personalization. The bank example perfectly illustrates the difference between outdated methods and real-time, contextualized engagement.

    However, one aspect that could be further explored is the balance between personalization and privacy. As hyper-personalization relies heavily on real-time data collection, how can brands ensure they’re gathering information ethically and transparently, while still delivering a valuable customer experience? Perhaps you could touch on some best practices or emerging technologies that address privacy concerns in the context of hyper-personalization?

    Overall, a very informative piece! I’d love to read a follow-up article exploring this topic further – maybe at the link you provided https://www.360head.com/what-is-hyper-personalization-and-personalization-trends-in-2024/ ?

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