The Myth Of Personalisation

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Is personalisation all that it’s made out to be?

In this vlog Grant explains why personalisation is so misunderstood.

I’m going to get on my soapbox for this one, because personalisation is so misunderstood and people don’t make the difference between their prospects and customers.

Let me give you an example. You walk into a bar and you see someone you find attractive. So you go up to them and you say, hi! I know your name’s Linda, you’re 27 years old, you’ve got two sisters and a brother, you work at the accountants down the road and you’ve just come back from Barbados from your holidays.

Do you think they’re going to go, WOW! You know, so much about me! Let’s have a drink together.

Or do you think they’re going to freak out and call the police?

There are three reasons why you might not want to get too up close and personal with your potential customers. The first one is the way we’re going with data. People are more careful about their data, there are illegalities around data and it might come to a situation where you just don’t know so much about your customers.

And second of all, as in our example, they won’t necessarily thank you for knowing so much about them. It’s quite freaky for a company you’ve never interacted with or done business with to have so much information on you.

And thirdly, you miss opportunities. Let me give you an example. I fly with Virgin Atlantic a lot. So they know a lot about me and if I walk into their business class lounge and they offer me a single malt whisky, I’m quite happy with that because they already have it on file that that’s my favorite drink. But if I were flying with a brand new airline who I’ve never gone with before, actually I’d like to see their menu and see what the options are, rather than being led down a certain path, because I might miss out on opportunities and they may also.

If you get your segmentation and targeting, right, personalisation is really unnecessary.

Let me give you an example. If you’re an accountancy firm and you know that your target market is entrepreneurs, you already know their buying motivations. They’re trying to do something with nothing, they’re bootstrapping, they’re trying to find new customers, they’re trying to grow their business, they’re trying to use their money sensibly. You know what they’re buying motivations are and, therefore, you don’t need to know that the CEO’s name is Linda and she’s got three sisters and is married with two kids.

Obviously it will be worth knowing how big they are as a company, what sector they work in and what their current turnover is, but you don’t need to know what their shoe size is, their favourite colour and where they last went on holiday.

Of course, it’s different with existing customers. They want you to know about them. You will learn about them, and that information is useful, so you can give them a higher level, and more relevant service. But when you are prospecting, you need to be very careful with the level of personalisation that you use.

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  1. Indeed…am starting to feel irritated about communication from companies I have not done business with starting “Dear Christopher”

    Only my Mother ever called me Christopher and when she did I knew I was in deep trouble!!

    And so are they!!

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