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Samsung avoids 'creepy' personalisation

News, 07 July 2016

CANNES: Samsung North America, the electronics group, is basing its personalisation strategy around solving clear customer needs, and thus avoid messaging that consumers regard as "creepy".

According to Marc Mathieu, the CMO of Samsung North America, the firm's personalisation philosophy requires "doing something useful for people individually" – an idea premised on finding out common passions or pain points.

That principle, in turn, ensures that marketing messages crafted with individuals in mind are not seen as invasive and intrusive by consumers.

"Very often, when we think about personalisation, there are lots of references to [being] 'creepy'," Mathieu said. "We think about a sea of data, and using all of that data to do something that knows [too] much about you." (For more, including an example of how brands can tap contextual data, read Warc's exclusive report: Samsung's model for marketing personalisation.)

"We try not to personalise to the individual, but to categorise – to cluster – the way we market our products and shape our messaging," he continued. "Therefore, then, each of those have a specific user segmentation target group and lifestyle target group."

One example of this principle in action involves advertising and displaying certain products, or what the organisation calls "Collections", together depending on the precise customer needs they fulfil.

Its "Go with Galaxy" selection of products, for instance, aims to serve digital mavens who are constantly on the move by promoting items like the S2 smartwatch, Samsung Pay mobile wallet and Level U Pro cordless headphones.

"Those products are actually participating in helping us live a lifestyle which is adapted to us," Mathieu said. "Personalisation, to me, is about making it easier for people to navigate products, brands and, in our case, technology."

As shown by Samsung's "Collections", personalisation does not have to rely on in-depth knowledge of each buyer's exact preferences, but can instead "solve a human problem" in ways that are informative and instructive, he continued.

Mathieu was speaking during a session held by Admap magazine at the 2016 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. He also served as one of the judges of the Admap Prize, an annual competition that encourages excellence in strategic thinking, and which this year focused on the topic on personalisation. Warc subscribers can access all the winning papers, and select other entries, here.

Data sourced from Warc