LONDON: Personalisation as currently practised isn't working and won't until the industry can create "an assembly line for personalised communication", according to the runners-up in the 2016 Admap Prize.

The topic for this year's Prize was: 'How Should Marketing Adapt to the Era of Personalisation?'. Admap will be hosting a discussion on this subject next week at Cannes with Marc Mathieu (Samsung Electronics America), Guy Murphy (JWT) and Steve Hatch (Facebook UK & Ireland) among the panel. Readers can register to attend here.

Strategy consultants Ramzi Yakob, at TH_NK, and Hamid Sirhan, won the Silver medal for their essay arguing that successful personalisation can only be achieved when the entire process is automated.

The public image of personalisation is that of a Coke bottle with your own name on it. But "try finding a Coke with Hamid or Ramzi on it," the authors note, adding: "Apparently, anyone with a less than common name is not entitled to unlock happiness without the help of a rudimentary website and substantial international shipping charges."

The real future of personalisation, they suggest, lies in the use of distributed ledger technology and artificial intelligence.

So, an intelligent assistant, with full access to every interaction a person has with a connected device, can send out a dynamic signal and interact with vast numbers of business ledgers, informing them about that person's current context, what type of brand, product or service they may be in need of and the channels they are most likely to respond to.

"It is the conductor in the world's biggest orchestra that spans marketing channels, devices and digital experiences; doing its best to ensure the finite resource that is your attention is not wasted."

The authors pinpoint content creation as a bottleneck in this vision. "What point is there in creating even more sophisticated, one-to-one targeting technology if we can only afford to produce twelve versions of an ad to feed into it?" they ask.

Their answer is to combine increasingly sophisticated AI that can create content with distinctive brand assets and topics of conversation to get "an endless series of possibilities for truly personalised and meaningful content across multiple platforms served on-the-fly that's measured and continues to learn, feeding results back into all of the associated ledgers".

Data sourced from Admap