Consumers around the world anticipate some form of personalisation when it comes to brand interactions, but expectations differ widely by geography, category and by type of personalisation.

Writing for WARC, Benoit Cacheux, global chief digital officer at Zenith, outlines the findings of global research the agency undertook earlier this year into what consumers ‘like’ and ‘expect’ from personalised communications, e-commerce and customer services experiences.

“Across three categories – advertising, commerce, and services and customer support – we found that more than half of those surveyed across the US, UK, Germany and China have come to expect personalisation,” he reports.

And while this view is more likely to be held by younger consumers in the UK and Germany, “there is almost no difference between age demographics when it comes to personalisation expectations” in China.

Consumers shopping in categories such as automotive, baby care, luxury and electronics expect higher levels of personalisation in advertising.

“In these categories, expectations increase even further when it comes to commerce and services,” Cacheux adds. “Buyers of telecom products or cars expect the highest levels at 81% and 83% respectively.”

And even in a low value category where one might think expectations of personalisation would be lower, “consumers actually value and like it more than they expect it”.

But if marketers are to keep a positive trend between ‘like’ and ‘expect’, he advises that they take certain considerations into account. (For more details, read the full article: How brands can resolve the personalisation conundrum.)

Frequency, for example, is a big concern, so brands need to be careful when determining the best time to re-engage with consumers; if it’s wrong, they could be viewed as stalking users online.

A bigger challenge, however, is the impending death of the cookie, which will restrict the ability to personalise across the web. Walled garden platforms such as Facebook, Google and Amazon will continue to offer a good environment for personalisation, but as this is restricted to their own platforms, it’s a highly limiting factor when trying to target consumers elsewhere.

Ultimately, successful personalisation comes from starting with your products and services and working out how they can be personalised, Cacheux suggests.

“By focusing on this first, advertisers can build better personalisation strategies by considering audience signals, first- and third-party sources, contextual information, location and channel capabilities for personalisation.” 

Sourced from WARC