Consumers ‘want personalised content online’

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As the the web continues to evolve, marketers are forever looking for the latest way of capturing the attention of their audiences in a way that truly connects – and has an impact on their buying habits.

Personalised content has become the latest of these developments, with new research showing that it is becoming increasingly popular and desired by consumers.

A study by Yahoo of 6,000 consumers aged between 13 and 64 has shown that personalisation is something they generally know about, with 60 per cent aware that it applies to online written material and two-thirds noting this also applies to the things they watch and listen to, Marketing Week reports.

Moreover, the public mainly approves of this: 78 per cent said they would like to see some sort of personalisation applied to them. That figure may be music to the ears of those using CRM technology to fine-tune the message to consumers, not just by breaking them down into groups with common interests, but tailoring content and messages to individuals.

However, all this comes with a caveat. The Yahoo research also found that two-thirds want to have some sort of privacy control over the use of data held on them in creating personalised content. 58 per cent would want to see it based only on the information they actively volunteer. This includes expressed likes and dislikes, basic demographic data and personal interests.

Vice-president of global research and insight at Yahoo Lauren Weinberg observed: “It is all about striking the right balance in consumer control and personalised experiences. Consumers really understand that when they put in those preferences and share with publishers or brands, it makes their experience much better.”     

What also matters is that a personalised approach comes with good service. A recent study by IntelliResponse revealed consumers are very keen to engage with firms through both traditional and social media channels. It found 24 per cent of them regarded personalisation as important, but 59 per cent emphasised the need for efficient service.  

That may act as a reminder that however personal the service gets, the standard must remain high. 

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