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Words&Pictures (Commercial) Ltd, The Editorial Design Centre, Wharfebank House, Ilkley Road, Leeds LS21 3JP


Personalisation – one word of advice

Katherine James • 23rd August


Recently our Studio Manager reposted an advert that appeared on his Facebook feed. It was a t-shirt featuring a printed slogan, which read: Studio Manager. Because Badass Miracle Worker is not an official job title.

Humorous, and indeed truthful though the statement may be, this is a perfect example of the power and prevalence of personalisation. A relatively small t-shirt printer based in North America was able to connect with our Studio Manager in the North of England, using his personal data settings to create an advert that he then shared with his friends. He is now – knowingly or not – a brand advocate for SunFrog. (And yes Mike, you are a miracle worker.)

In a communications environment where demonstrating real-time levels of engagement is key to measuring success, this is an incredibly cost and time effective strategy. The potential value of personalisation hasn’t gone unnoticed in the internal communications arena either.

Reports from across the pond highlight that software company SAS have put personalisation at the heart of their internal comms plan. The lynchpin for delivering the plan is a recent intranet upgrade, which allows colleagues to customise their homepage and choose the news and tools they want to see and interact with.

This approach is commonplace in our everyday lives. Sites such as the BBC invite users to adapt their homepage with easy-to-customise buttons that allow users to select the categories and story types they are interested in. Other websites suggest articles to us based on our reading habits and companies often use our names in emails. People are familiar with tailor-made content.

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The advertising model of personalisation uses data to push messages out to consumers. Whilst they may produce novel results it is not enough to sustain engagement. Since long-term engagement is what drives all IC teams, we have just one word of advice to anyone exploring a personalised approach. Choice. 

For both SAS and the BBC, choice is key. By giving people the ability to choose the content they consume, the data that companies like the BBC and SAS receive provides a far greater return on investment.

Here are just some of the benefits of a choice-led content approach:

  • Adapt content to suit your audience and trial new content
  • Inform your future strategy by examining trends in usership
  • Develop meaningful communications
  • Identify local advocates
  • Return on investment with clear and measurable feedback
  • Understand your audience. 

Personalisation is a unique opportunity for internal communicators to hear and see exactly what and how colleagues are engaging with your business, from the company news they choose to read, to the HR materials they access. This is also means it is a unique opportunity to listen, and to make your communications as relevant as possible for your people. 

01943 854 800

Words&Pictures (Commercial) Ltd
The Editorial Design Centre
Wharfebank House
Ilkley Road
LS21 3JP