The Building Blocks Of Personalisation, Block 2


Moving at our current pace in the digital ether, the world creates 2.5 quintillion bytes of data each day. That is, irrefutably, a whole lot of data. The question is, however, what good is a whole lot of data if it is not being utilised correctly?

In our last article, we discussed the role of data in building the foundation for achieving a 360-degree customer view. This time around, we are going to explore how marketers can make data actionable and realise the benefits of the enhanced customer view.

In the past, marketers had to plough through hundreds of data points to try and get some sort of understanding of their customers. Today, we can churn data at a rapid speed and the insights gleaned allow marketers to not only get to know current customers but future ones as well. Over the course of this article, we will take a look at the evolving technology and the process of creating compelling content that this churn and its insights are dependent on.

Machine Learning

One such evolving technology is machine learning. Machine learning enables marketers to create more granular segments within audience sets. With this, marketers are also afforded the opportunity to deliver highly personalised, highly targeted messages to the individual segments.

At Epsilon, we created a machine-enabled segmentation strategy known as VAP (value, attrition, and potential). VAP provides a basis for defining your communication strategy at a customer level, optimising alignment of your marketing efforts. This means communications can be customised based on VAP-driven segments that are processed via ‘the machine’ – ignore, activate, retain, engage, upsell etc. – and are applicable to loyalty programs as well as individual marketing campaigns.

Once you understand these segments, the next step is to ensure you have the right content for each segment.

Content they care about

Understanding behaviour is essential in providing relevant and engaging content to your audience both online and offline. As marketers, we have the tools and techniques to “curate personalised messages at scale.”

Understanding behaviour is essential in providing relevant and engaging content to your audience both online and offline. As marketers, we have the tools and techniques to “curate personalised messages at scale.”

For example, I recently purchased a pair of glasses online at From my purchase, the retailer now has an understanding of my style and design preferences when it comes to frames. Since my purchase, eyebobs have been sending me personalised content detailing of the new season frames based on my past purchase behaviour.

In the context of a loyalty program, which is permission-based marketing, a brands’ understanding of its members’ behaviour greatens as they have access to hundreds of data points relevant to the consumer (the member). This helps brands to deliver 1:1 content that creates an emotional connection.  

Putting it into practice

But how can you really connect with your customers through content? We often get asked by our clients how they can implement a sustainable content strategy that actually speaks to their audience. Here’s a couple of tips that our clients have found particularly helpful:

Establish a content marketing team

Now that we’ve overcome the technology restrictions and can actually do 1:1 marketing, having dedicated resources to help with content is essential in curating personalised messages. If you don’t have the funding to hire new resources, assign content tasks to existing team members and form a content committee. If you do have an existing content team, think about how you can advance your strategy. Many brands are hiring digital librarians who create, organise and store content that’s unique to each customer. These librarians also ensure that content is streamlined, regardless of the channel.

Be proactive, not reactive

Taking a proactive content approach is highly recommended. Have content prepared so you’re able to engage with your customers when they need it.

A meme recently circulated on social media mocking a retail brands’ never ending printed receipt (the receipt included multiple promotional offers, etc.). As a marketer, it’s important to have content prepared to address these types of reactions. If print is a thriving channel for the brand, the retailer could have communicated a message such as – “#printisalive – check out Multichannel Merchant’s recent article on how print is a thriving channel” – saving face and also, possibly, increasing their thought leadership status among their peers.

Proactive content is all about being prepared and anticipating content needs before they occur. Epsilon’s Momentum is an application that enables this real time content messaging, moving away from structured campaigns to always on interactions in the moment.

Keep content consistent, regardless of the channel

In our omnichannel environment, marketers can create channel-specific content and lose sight of the whole customer. Customers expect a consistent experience across channels. The purpose of content is to make an emotional connection while fulfilling a customer need (answering a question, responding to feedback, etc.). Content tells a story at a point in time, but the customer journey continues on – content is a conversation that needs to be consistent. Both content and consistency are key to a successful content strategy.

And just like that those 2.5 quintillion bytes of data have turned into something special – a step closer to a better relationship between you and your customers. So, when mapping out your next marketing move, ensure to take a step back and consider how you can make all that data really useful. In our next article, we’ll share tips and techniques on how to reach each and every customer in the omnichannel landscape and how marketers can bridge the gap between online and offline.