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Personalization is on the tip of everyone’s tongues right now. Well maybe not everyone. Actually probably not 99% of the people I know. But for people who are working in marketing or product, it’s a safe bet. Why? Because it matters.

It’s a broad term, and can be confusing if bandied around irresponsibly (like most buzz words in tech). At its essence, personalization tailors marketing campaigns to communicate with users individually over digital channels. I’m sure you’ve all heard the term ‘one-to-one marketing’, well yeah, that’s personalization.

Perhaps this is best detailed through an example. Adding a customer’s name to a push notification (Hi Jeremy!) with a message that conveys to the customer that you understand what interests them (Do you want to purchase lounge access again?) at a time that is relevant (For your flight tomorrow). It’s a perfect and timely response to meaningful user behavior.

Of course it has detractors: people who claim that it’s too much of a focus when other features should be given more attention, or that it’s just plain creepy. But ignore this, personalization is important, and is only going to become increasingly important as more companies embrace it, and customers get used to it. So let’s take a look then at why it matters:

Why Personalization Matters

Customers Want It. It sounds obvious, but need there be any better reason than this? Surely the customer gets what the customer wants… But if that isn’t the case, and your boss is putting the blockers on a personalization initiative, then hard data can often help influence decision makers decisions. For instance a recent report claims that retail consumers are expecting more and more personalization, and the results are hugely positive. Retail is a great example, but most businesses with a mobile app will benefit from personalization.

It Increases Sales. In the same report referenced above 49% of those surveyed said that the effects of personalization in the shopping experience has led to them making a purchase that they hadn’t planned to. From our own experience at Swrve, we’ve seen one of our customers benefit from a 30% revenue uplift with a personalized push notification campaign, which delivered an extra $1 million in one month. That’s a pretty incredible ROI if you ask me.

It Drives Customer Loyalty. A multitude of loyal customers who make repeat purchases through your app is what you should be striving to achieve. I like to compare a personalized mobile experience to this: every day I go to the same local coffee shop because they address me by my name and know exactly what I want without me having to ask. I would not even consider going to the other coffee shop on the same street because I have already created my habit and it would take more effort than it is worth to develop a similar relationship with a new place. Personalization has the potential to do the same for your brand; show that you know your users and the relationship will grow.

It Connects Brand Experiences. We often say that customers do not think of brands as a bunch of unconnected channels (Walmart brick and mortar stores, Walmart mobile, Walmart online) they simply think of them as one thing (Walmart). This should be reflected in your multi-channel strategy, and personalization plays a part in this. One of our customers, Ryanair, for instance, deliver a pre-loaded and personalized push notification when a flight lands at its destination and the customer is still onboard the plane. The push deep-links to an in-app customer survey, asking them to rate their flight. This deeply personalized, contextual and relevant campaign really connects the brand experience, making mobile feel like an essential part of the journey. Oh, and 300,000 satisfied customers took part in the survey!