We talk about personalisation a lot in our blogs here at Antelope. Personalisation in terms of finding your own target audiences, personalisation in terms of creating individual messaging to those audiences and personalisation in terms of how you deliver that message to the audiences.
However, having recently worked on a new client, we realised that many people think of personalisation at the point of communication when in fact it really needs to start from the beginning – being integrated into your strategy. Personalisation is really another way of saying we need to think deeply about our clients or customers. About really trying to get into their mindset and into their clients’ or customers’ mindset. And then once we do this, communicating a bespoke message to them (or as targeted as possible to them).
At the same time as watching the fog around the new client clear, we also watched Chimamanda Adichie’s Ted Talk about the danger of a single story. If you haven’t watched it, do it now – as, as with everything she does, it is amazing.
Her message is serious – that a single story can create one narrative and one “truth” which often is actually far from reality. What she says resonated with me on a professional level. One single narrative can create a wave of misunderstanding. It can create others’ opinions to be forced onto others and it can be two dimensional rather than standing out in its true colours.
That’s why we think digging deeper into stories is a good thing. Rather than taking one strand and making that the narrative of the brand we believe in looking at it as a whole. Its audiences (not target audience), its attributes, the team around the product or service, the ethos and its individual place in the market and point of difference (we call it it’s “golddust”). From this we believe we create “rounded and grounded” communications campaigns that show the full technicolour picture, not one single story in black and white.
As with all good things. There is a process we adhere to here at Antelope to help us do this. It goes a bit like this…
1. Identify target audiences
2. Discovery phase
3. Finding the "gold-dust"
4. Personalise the messages
5. Agree platforms.
It means from the word GO we know it’s not about us, but about our target audiences or our customers. It’s about focusing on them at all times, getting under their skin and into their heads. It also makes us remember that customers don’t need to talk to our clients, buy from our clients. They have choices. We need to show them why our clients’ brands fit their lifestyles, their ethos and their values.
So many of marketers or those in the industry we work in start at the product or the service they are promoting and the benefits it is offering, but then try and shoehorn the brand into the lives of the target customers without really thinking why that individual might need or want the product or service. Often the creative appeals to the person signing off the budget rather than the person they are selling to and the agency becomes the middleman (or woman) who facilitates the process, without adding their expertise into it. The result, not surprisingly is a campaign that appeals to likeminded people but fails to attract new or potential customers.
As technology will continue to offer us more and more ways to filter our life – through AI and other automated ways of making choices, marketers will need to connect with customers more than ever. What better way to do this than having already thought deeply about that customers and talking their language from the start.