Data may help us to get closer to the people we want to talk to, but if we want to create more meaningful connections, we need to use that information to get really personal.
In Mike’s original book, one of his beliefs – which still holds true – was not to patronise your audience. Talking down to people will damage the brand. However, to build long-term loyalty now, we’ve gone from no patronising to more personalising.
Brands need to interpret the data to show that they truly know their multiple audiences. To entertain, entice and captivate them by displaying content that reflects what individuals want – what they really want. Show people that you know them.
It’s not easy to entertain in such a personalised manner because the plethora of content is overwhelming and attention spans increasingly short. It’s why creativity is so essential – cute dogs snowploughing down a roof because you know someone likes dogs doesn’t cut it anymore. If we’re going to interrupt people with advertising or ask for their time then we’ve got to earn the right to it.
Personalisation – creating content that’s genuinely useful – is one of the most effective ways of doing that. It’s a work in progress but personalising advertising will make brands more at-one with an audience.
For messages to be enduring, to carry weight on different platforms and among different audiences, they need to appeal to our sense of identity, fun and craving for information. They need to attempt at a deeper personalised understanding. It’s a tactic of particular value among commercially-savvy audiences who insist they aren’t engaged with or seduced by advertising, no matter how compelling.
Truthful, funny and useful make a difference – especially if it appeals on an individual level.