Personalisation: differentiation done right

Personalisation is more than just a trend, says Patrick Reeves, managing executive at Axiz.

Johannesburg, 03 Feb 2020
Read time 3min 50sec

According to McKinsey, personalisation has the potential to create up to $US3 trillion in new value for the business, driven by the engines of data, marketing, e-commerce, analytics, design and distribution. From the omni-channel to the e-mail channel, personalisation can leverage relationships, sharpen customer interaction and pull together the threads that bind the groundbreaker to the vendor, system integrator and partner.

It is the rod of iron that runs through the foundation of every successful organisation for, without people and personalisation, there’s little left with which the business can differentiate itself.

The 2019 Evergage survey found personalisation is the key most marketers use to unlock improved experiences, with 85% using it to leverage experiences and 70% believe it has a strong impact. Ultimately, personalisation can increase brand loyalty, generate tangible return on investment, and can use multiple channels to achieve its goals.

Patrick Reeves, managing executive at Axiz, says nobody buys just a phone or just a laptop anymore. “The size, the weight, the performance and the looks used to be primary differentiating factors, but now it’s about personalisation and experiences. Manufacturers have paid attention to the growing customer need to make their mark and build systems that fit their personalities.” He adds that years ago, Dell’s approach to customised laptop building was considered something of a groundbreaking innovation by market and customer alike. "Go online and build your own machine from scratch? Unheard of. Today, this is a standard feature provided by most hardware vendors across the business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) arenas. Every single one has ensured that they provide people with the opportunity to personalise their experiences."

For Reeves, this has made the laptop personalisation trend into less of a USP and more of a standard feature now. And this just underscores how important it has become to differentiate through experience and personalisation today. Now, we have to empower our customers by giving them configuration and customisation tools they want so they can do better business.

In addition to providing the channel with a hook that they can use to reel in their target market, personalisation ties the customer to the business. "Offer a product or solution that nobody else has got? Provide a customer with a solution that is tweaked entirely to their needs? The customer has to keep coming back because your business is the one that delivers what they want.

“Personalisation adds a layer of stickiness to the business, it binds the customer and keeps them in an orbit that you can then use to further engage with them and build loyalty,” says Reeves. “You can’t expect just personalisation to hold customer attention, there will always be a competitor that takes your idea and adapts it or improves it. You have to add layers to the experience that include customer service, business understanding and expertise.”

From personalisation emerges engagement, from that, comes customer loyalty. For the channel to truly leverage this potential, it has to become intimately involved in the customer’s business and to listen to their problems, identify their pain points, and provide solutions that actually resolve them. This can include using marketing tools and CRM platforms to embed the customer throughout the system, from factory to logo design to system specifications.

“We have optimised our online platform so that our customers have instant access to a comprehensive digital portfolio, then we bolster this with personal contact so we can work with them to find the right solutions.” 

Reeves believes it is essential to maintain personal engagement across all the digital tools and platforms as it is people who allow for the organisation to really differentiate itself from the pack.

From devices to comprehensive systems to vast implementations, personalisation allows organisations to embed the customer in strategy and engagement. It’s not just Hello Kitty on a laptop, it’s everything from complex data analysis to the person on the phone understanding exactly what you need for your enterprise.