Optimise to Personalise — Implications for Your Business

This is the second part in this series on Optimise to Personalise.

Most incumbent marketing organisations were established in the analogue era of TV, Radio, Print, Mail, and ETL batch data processing. Organisational structures with processes and platforms are set to make and act on decisions over weeks or months, and to communicate with fewer larger audiences over similar periods.

Whether known or anonymous, Personalisation demands communication with (many) more smaller audiences, with structures and processes set to support more and faster decisions being made in days, hours or seconds.

That there will be implications for our people, organisational structures and the processes & platforms that support them is obvious, how profound those effects on established environments is less so.

Let’s explore the first two of four change dynamics here:

Dynamic change 1: Decision making

The first change dynamic is the process of data collection, analysis and decision making. See Fig. 1 below.

For incumbent businesses, our existing data and decision-making processes center on Transaction data (1) (e.g. name, address, product holding, transaction history). Here we are thorough, considered, and well executed; taking weeks or months to analyse, decide and then act on opportunities with precision.

The challenge arises in leveraging the data & decision making needed to deliver timely and relevant content to personalise (optimise) the customer experience. For that we need Interaction Data (2) (e.g. digital advertising exposures, search terms, web visits, app use, social media posts, chat transcripts).

Challenge being that while Behavioural & Interaction data is richest at point of interaction, its value is quickly lost (3) – for example, how interested are you in a ‘buy now’ offer for something you purchased last week?

Capitalising on the interaction opportunity means reshaping processes designed for weeks into processes designed for days, hours or even seconds. As to how profound this change will be for your organisation consider these questions:

Mastering the answers to these questions means learning a new set of operational muscles. Maturity will take time. Mastery will be the result of a commitment to continual enablement, experimentation and optimisation.

Dynamic change 2: Content creation and assembly

The second change dynamic is content creation and assembly, a dynamic directly influenced by the speed and volume of decisions being made at the point of customer interaction. See Fig. 2 below.

Anyone with more than a few years marketing experience will be familiar with the scenario depicted in (1); set campaign based marketing delivery to relatively large audiences (e.g. 18-65yo, male / female living in this city, A/B, interested in this or that). With the exception of DM mail segments, experience delivery across media and digital assets are largely generic and measured for success against transaction data led outcomes.

The result is an operational budget and set of processes optimised to 100’s of high quality content deployments per year.

Add to this (2) the content opportunities made possible by the study of behavioural interaction data, the targeting of intention based segments, continual experience optimisation efforts, and the delivery of all this at or near the point of interaction – and the limits of your existing budget, structure and processes become clear (3).

Do the maths:

Personalisation at scale is simply not supported by your legacy content budget (specifically, the amount you spend for each content piece) and the supporting content creation, approval, and deployment processes.

_Read the next part of this blog series on Optimise to Personalise to discover two more dynamics for organisational change –‘People & Teamwork’ and ‘Platforms’ – and how to build a business case that your executive board will understand. Did you miss part 1 of this series? Read it here.

Adobe Symposium is back in Sydney on the 27th-28th June, 2019. Discover the latest digital trends for personalised experiences, hear from local and global brands about their transformation journeys, and get inspired to become an experience maker. Register now.