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Personalisation 'must walk the tightrope'

14/06/2013

The modern world of digital marketing sees industry experts with more tools at their fingertips than ever before and the potential to launch powerful campaigns that target consumers on various different levels thanks to new technologies and shifts in cultural consumption.

While this ensures that the industry remains at the cutting edge of progress and offers plenty of opportunities for engaging and original work, it also requires marketers to tread a fine line when it comes to what is socially acceptable.

Personalisation can have many benefits for canny advertisers who use it in the right way, but if this particular card is overplayed it can turn consumers off a brand or make them concerned about the security of their sensitive information, reports Marketing Week.

Julie Dixon, head of marketing services at Transport for London, told the news provider that she has seen a major shift in how people respond to personalised information over the last five years.

Three or four years ago, she said, when the transport authority sent communications to people about stations which it knew they used, they didn't like it. However, now they expect it - and this illustrates the dilemma faced by all marketers who want to use personalised campaigns.

While many consumers appreciate some degree of personalisation - for instance, being reminded of what kind of orange juice they regularly purchase when shopping online and told there is currently an offer on this brand - going too far in this direction can be seen as creepy or intrusive.

"We see very high open rates on emails when we do target them. For instance, 43 per cent of people opened an email about the fact that their Barclays cycle hire membership was about to expire," explained Ms Dixon.

Creating engaging data-based marketing without alarming customers is a difficult task, but it is crucial to digital marketing in the 21st century.