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The rise of me-tail personalisation

Customisation in marketing is not a new or particularly ground breaking concept, however, it is becoming increasingly important with the rise of social media.

Most businesses have adopted the use of personalisation as an engagement technique with consumers, personalised mail, log in details and thank you emails being some. The next stage is to incorporate personalisation into a customer retention strategy; this is where me-tail comes into practice. Me-tail is personalisation, it is the ability to track purchase behaviour, measure consumer reactions, store that data and tailor each individual’s sales cycle.

Customers value brand above all else, and the bigger the brand the more the likelihood of detachment from their customers; this has to be realigned. Consumers want to be indulged during their shopping experience and for the information to be spoon-fed to them. This may sound simple, but the information cannot be universal to all, it has to be specific. Customers wont appreciate generic material; they will feel devalued and abandon the sales cycle. Me-tail is beginning to revolutionise the way we shop, whether it’s online or through direct mail such as catalogues.

According to an article by Adobe, 52% of digital marketers agree that “the ability to personalise content is fundamental”. So, why are companies so slow to introduce this into their marketing campaigns? Here at C4B we advocated catalogue personalisation twenty years ago and have consistently noticed an increase in product demand and brand recognition for companies who adopt it.

As many respected marketing sites have declared me-tail as a top marketing trend for 2014, each and every brand will be attempting to adopt it in their marketing strategy. But to guarantee effectiveness, brands must ensure that their personalisation is precise, relevant and well judged; customers will feel uncomfortable at the thought of being tracked or monitored on the internet and equally they don’t want irrelevant suggestions.

Tesco Clubcard strategies

Probably the most pivotal use of me-tail was in 1995 when Tesco introduced their Clubcard. With the introduction of the Clubcard Tesco were able to keep track of every purchase that the user was making. Two subtle strategies that Tesco introduced was up-selling and cross-selling, examples being; (Up-Selling) If a consumer frequently purchased budget brand butter, Tesco would send vouchers for higher priced branded butter such as an approach to introduce a superior product. (Cross-Selling) If a customer used their Clubcard to buy petrol, Tesco would place car insurance adverts and offers into their voucher book in an attempt to cross-sell their product.

“one large retailer saw a 25% uplift in sales simply by personalising the catalogue cover”

Practices such as targeting, segmentation and analytics have always been fundamental components of marketing strategy. Me-tail has also been a part of how a catalogue functions, especially in a B2B environment there has to be a high level of relevance and engagement or the catalogue will be thrown away. But it is worth noting that one large retailer saw a 25% uplift in sales simply by personalising the catalogue cover – that’s huge!

Digital marketing has allowed an increased number of brands to connect with consumers via social media sites. This approach accompanied with website tracking software gives brands greater insight into consumers’ personal lives, including their browsing activity, ultimately increasing the opportunity to communicate with valid and relevant messages.

Ian Simpson, Managing Director of Catalogues4Business and Digital4Business