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Hyper-personalisation is the Holy Grail, but are marketers doing it right?

“When it comes to retention, I believe personalisation is the Holy Grail to success,” opined Amit Verma, Head of Marketing & Growth, Rapido, while sharing his views on brands’ move to hyper-personalisation for a sharper targeting of consumers. He was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘Optimising Consumer Engagement and Hyper-personalisation for Mobile Marketing’ on Day 3 of the recently concluded 6th edition of the DIGIXX Summit & Awards 2022.

The panel discussion was moderated by Suchi Jain, Deputy General Manager, Madison World and the panelists included:

Ankit Grover, Director & Business Head, Digital Native, InMobi

Amit Verma, Head of Marketing & Growth, Rapido

Ankit Apurv, Head – Digital Marketing, Gaana

Priya Patankar, Head of Corporate Communication, PhonePe

Vanda Ferrao, Head of Marketing, FreshToHome

Adding further, Amit Verma said, “In today’s world, I feel the only way to get growth and success is through user attention. Hyper-personalisation is the next level of personalisation. When brands move ahead from name, location or other demographics or online customer availability parameters, it’s actually a shift from one-size-fits-all strategy to a very consumer-driven, personal targeting strategy, where you always try to provide relevant products, services or communication to a user so that you can get a better ROI at each and every step of a funnel. This hyper personalisation method gives brands a better opportunity to engage with the users in a more meaningful way and improve overall customer experience over a period of time.”

Verma noted, “Whenever we are saying hyper-personalisation, then we always try to talk AI or MIL or Big Data because we have to understand that whenever we are talking about personalisation or hyper-personalisation, you need a lot of data. Till the time you don’t understand the user, what he is doing, at what time, what kind of activity and what is his day like, you can’t target him.”

“Hyper-personalisation also makes in the top one and in fact, every funnel of the marketing journey. Hence, it is very important to have the first funnel itself right. I think it doesn’t matter what funnel you are in, it’s very important to show hyper-personalised content right to the user, especially in today’s time where the consumer is now the decision maker,” remarked Ankit Grover.

Not everybody likes ads, but they do like specific ads. According to a recent marketing report, 90% of the users said that they generally liked ads, if they were shown the right product in the right language and in the right price range.

Vanda Ferrao added here, “I think two things which will hold you in good stead of using data are: firstly, if you have first party data, that powers you with a lot of insights, and secondly, if you are a brand or a platform facing consumers, so you are easily suited to reach out.”

She further said, “We are the largest integrated meat and seafood player and we sit on a huge base of people, having nearly 3,000 SKUs. Preferences are divided as the way a Bengali, Malayali, Punjabi, consumes meat and seafood, at what time of the day, in what kind of preparations – that entire matrix which is crisscrossed is humongous, so we need some method to be able to navigate through this madness. We have the data, but how we go about it is very important, because the world is moving from personalisation to hyper-personalisation.”

Priya Patankar stressed on the need for marketers to move beyond spray and pray. According to her, “One thing which is important is refreshing your communication based on the age and stage in a consumer’s life journey. As mobile marketers, we need to stop thinking that every time you need to unlock a customer, it needs to be through an email, or interrupt. Your app itself should start personalizing and should show you what you want. Reflecting on the customer’s journey is also important in hyper-personalisation – as your customers evolve, so should your communication. Lastly, you need to understand what channels work for your consumers, for what products, and at what times.”

As the number of products increases, the need for hyper-personalisation goes up. Speaking about Gaana, Ankit Apurv informed that the platform had 35 million different songs that serve 200 million+ users and added that the song listenership of Gaana is as diverse as the country itself. “I think hyper-personalisation is not the end goal – it is the tune, while the end goal is to create relevance. All the pitfalls of hyper-personalisation can be categorised into two broad categories – one is more related to the social, policy and moral issues, while the second is more related to the technical aspects of it. It could that you try to create hyper-personalisation, but you miss the mark of relevance. One challenge is when you don’t have the right amount of data – so, boundaries and limits should be set to decide when you should start to hyper-personalise and when you should wait. Another thing is that sometimes marketers tend to miss out on the right campaign structure. Lastly, absolute lack of context is another big challenge, where sometimes even the machine is not able to understand. Hyper-personalisation works when you are increasing the value addition to the users’ journey.”

These are edited excerpts. For the complete discussion, please watch below:


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