Brands that personalize at scale are not just winning online, they are educating people to expect nothing less - MARKETING Magazine Asia


Brands that personalize at scale are not just winning online, they are educating people to expect nothing less

Ogilvy Report, “Driving Value at Scale With Human Centered Personalization”, in collaboration with Adobe and Verticurl, highlights the need for brands to embrace authenticity at scale.

Ogilvy continues to double down on their creative technology and data offering as the region sees a huge acceleration in digital transformation. In the second of a series of reports, Ogilvy examines how brands today have an ethical imperative to guide personalization at scale that makes business sense and puts needs of consumers at the centre. Brands that get this right, are not only loved and embraced, but also have an edge in effectiveness.

The flip side of this, is that personalization at scale has also led to a crisis of conflicting expectations, as people are increasingly unwilling to share their data with brands because of privacy concerns and lack of trust in digital advertisers. In Asia Pacific, a recent Microsoft survey found that fewer than one-third (31%) of consumers believe that their personal data will be treated in a trustworthy manner by organizations offering digital services.

In 2021, Google released a statement, saying that “[if] digital advertising doesn’t evolve to address the growing concerns people have about their privacy and how their personal identity is being used, we risk the future of the free and open web. People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web in order to get the benefits of relevant advertising.” This is the reason that Google will phase out third-party cookies, the last of the major Internet browsers to do so, marking the effective death of this technology.

Waheed Bidiwale, Global VP at Verticurl, said: “There is a fine line between use and abuse. With third party cookies, that line was crossed. Now we need to bring personalization back to something more useful for people.”

The technology exists to orchestrate and deliver tailored, relevant, and consistent one-to-one experiences in real-time at every touchpoint in the customer journey. For customers to value those experiences and foster relationships with brands, human-centred personalization strategies that put the user’s wants and needs first, are imperative. Value also needs to be delivered at scale in-order to deploy personalization technologies at scale successfully.

Before implementing these technologies, the promise must be defined that connects the brand and the customers – that makes a customer excited to engage.

The Ogilvy report explains that the answer lies in a borderless brand promise that should cross every touchpoint and every customer segment, a promise that remains true whatever details are personalized. By defining a borderless brand promise from the beginning, brands can figure out the terms of personalization in a meaningful and consistent way.

Suresh Chivukula, Partner, Ogilvy Consulting Asia, advises to preface personalization with an alignment between a brand’s promise and the customer’s expectations.

Brands also need to define the objectives of personalization and how success will be measured. There must be a logical connection between data collection and return on investment for both company and consumer.

Finally, brands should have clear use cases that they want to drive and specific descriptions of the desired customer behaviours that will lead to measurable success. Gabbi Stubbs, APAC Head of Product Marketing & Strategy at Adobe, advises brands to begin with a change checklist of what they want the customer experience to become.

Ultimately technologies of scale must be balanced with a strong brand culture that crosses all borders with the same promise of value. Ensuring that personalization at scale reinforces rather than harms trust is about integrity. Brands must make it a priority to earn consent, understand people with empathy, and stay true to their borderless brand promises no matter what.

To find out more about how to drive value and personalisation at scale for brands, plus a wealth of stats and examples, please download the report here.


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