How to Make Your Content Personalized but Not Creepy


Consumers are cautious of personalization for its perceived privateness threat, but they count on customized service and act on content material personalization.

What’s a model to do?

Let’s look at how one can each deal with privateness issues and make customized content material with out distancing your viewers.

Stages of personalization

First, let’s outline what personalization is. It is a spectrum. It might solely scratch the floor, greeting the particular person by identify and showing of their inbox at a pre-selected time. Or it goes far deeper with instructional classes tailor-made to the behaviors and objectives of the person.

Let’s briefly outline the 5 levels of personalization.

Stage 1: One to all

Content is distributed as a single message to all people. There isn’t any variation.

Stage 2: One to many

The viewers experiences a model throughout a number of channels with minimal messaging variation. Elements are launched to enable extra customized communication later, whereas the message exists for the plenty.

Stage three: One to some

Audience members see content material variations based mostly on placement inside particular channels. At this degree, the content material begins to align extra intently with outlined segments and purchaser personas.

Stage four: One to few

Audience members expertise a connection between on-line and offline messaging. At this stage, the model possible communicates interactively to optimize every message.

Stage 5: One to one

Audience members obtain hyper-tailored content material outlined by their pursuits and prior interactions.

Brands create the simplest touchpoints in levels four and 5. However, these are the identical levels the place some viewers members develop extra involved in regards to the degree of familiarization.

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Personalization paradox

A brand new report from SmarterHQ reveals that up to 72% of customers will solely have interaction with customized advertising and marketing messages. Yet, the identical survey additionally finds that 86% of customers admit they’re involved about their information privateness.

Personalization paradox: 72% solely have interaction w/ customized mktg; 86% involved about information privateness. @llubin Click To Tweet

It’s a paradox, as these people-on-the-street interviews illustrate on this quick video selling the analysis report:

Among the takeaways from these interviews:

  • People are cautious about manufacturers asking for private info corresponding to cellphone numbers that they see as pointless to the interplay.
  • People are uncomfortable when manufacturers goal them utilizing info they didn’t consciously disclose.
  • People now understand manufacturers might have been utilizing private information lengthy earlier than customers realized it.
  • Parents are particularly troubled when manufacturers use their private info to goal their youngsters.

With these issues in thoughts, it’s clear why the demand for much less customized advertising and marketing is gaining steam. However, the solutions additionally pinpoint a standard angle individuals have about personalization – personalization turns into an issue when there’s a lack of transparency and disrespect for boundaries.

Personalization is an issue when there’s a lack of transparency & disregard for boundaries, says @llubin. Click To Tweet

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Get private in an appropriate means

The largest grievance a number of individuals within the video talked about is that manufacturers linked with them in ways in which felt intrusive. In different phrases, they weren’t joyful when manufacturers customized content material utilizing info they couldn’t keep in mind giving.

It felt creepy, irritating to them.

But what if manufacturers disclosed to individuals how their private information can be used from the beginning? Audience members possible will really feel much less bothered by extremely focused messages.

And making these disclosures ought to immediate manufacturers to take into consideration why they’re asking the viewers for private information. Think about whether or not you actually will want or use the private info (i.e., cellphone quantity). You additionally ought to know the way you’re going to use the private information to ship worth – not gimmicks – to your viewers.

Does your model actually need all the private info it collects, asks @llubin. Click To Tweet

This is non-negotiable for manufacturers wanting to preserve belief and credibility amongst their audiences. It’s additionally a should for manufacturers nonetheless on the fence of transparency as a result of legal guidelines (EU’s GDPR and extra) are requiring it.

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Create transparency

Define information

Your viewers’s private information is greater than an e mail deal with and cellphone quantity. The GDPR defines information as an individual’s “physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural and social identity.”

What is information in your model? What info do you accumulate for advertising and marketing? Seek solely the important info. Asking for or utilizing pointless particulars can overstep private boundaries and weaken the connection between your model and your viewers.

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Disclose and safe consent

Many manufacturers nonetheless accumulate or share private information with out full disclosure. For instance, late final yr it was revealed that Facebook allowed over 150 corporations to use its viewers’s private information. Microsoft’s Bing search engine might entry the names of nearly all Facebook customers’ associates with out consent, whereas Spotify might learn non-public messages on the platform.

Your model ought to confirm that every one data-collection strategies and administration programs are in accordance with relevant privateness legal guidelines.

Explain up entrance to your viewers members how their information may very well be used within the type of a disclaimer. Detail the info you might be accumulating and the way it might seem within the content material serviced to them. Then ask for his or her consent.

Explain up entrance how your viewers’s information may very well be used, says @llubin. Click To Tweet

TIP: Don’t make consent an all-or-nothing deal. Offer your viewers choices on the kind of content material they’ll decide in to obtain.

Do customized content material the proper means

Context is king on this planet of customized advertising and marketing. The key to creating profitable customized content material is to be sure that it delivers worth to the viewers. And that may be completed with out inducing uneasiness in the event you’re deliberate and clear about how you employ your viewers’s private information.

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Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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