Personalization: Context before Content
Updated: Mar 20
Too much of a good thing. Personalization has enabled businesses to broadcast specific promotional information and deliver targeted offers at an unprecedented rate. Yet as everyone jumps on the bandwagon is it becoming targeted noise, and potentially hindering the development of deeper relationships?
Marketing From Only Your Own Context Misses the Point
As each business markets more and more personalized material they forget the impact on the customer. For the customer this increased flow of information from countless sources becomes overwhelming and personalization becomes more and more of a commodity. We have to think about how to reach customers in their context, not our own. How do we differentiate ourselves given all the other personalization efforts.
The Opportunity Lies in Context
Rather than only thinking about how we can differentiate ourselves from the competition, we should also think about how we can truly understand the customer’s context. We should think of this as a progression from “how can we be different,” to “how can we better empathize with the customer in his/her context.” The future of differentiation is who can better empathize with their customer’s context.
How to Leverage Context
Think of the most memorable interactions you have had with various companies. How is it that personalized support creates a positive feeling while a personalized promotional email creates neutral feelings at best. How does this change in context change the interaction and the associated feelings. The key ingredient is listening, empathy, solving a specific problem, providing specific value. Herein lies the opportunity to change personalization from the superficial “pretend to know you,” to the authentic “here to help you solve your problem.”
Personalization is not going away, but rather increasing. Opportunity lies in making it as easy as possible for customers to obtain value, not through a stream of personalized content, but rather through understanding their context and offering something of value. Beat the competition by understanding context and deepening relationships, not creating just another piece of personalized noise.
This piece is a commentary that is not representative of the practices of any parties associated through employment or active ventures.
Contributed by Adrian Dolatschko