Dynamic Targeting Is Coming And It's Personalisation On Real-Time Steroids

The only surprising thing to note about research that says nearly half of email marketers are looking to roll out dynamic offers for 2017 is that the figure is only half, or just under. At least two in three are also promising to do more in personalisation because one in two admit what they're doing so far is pretty "weak."

In a way, you could reconcile both these figures and assign the fact that only half of email marketers plan to work on dynamic offers to the fact that half are already admitting their personalisation efforts aren't exactly where they would want them to be. That must be a good sign, at least, that email marketers are seeing the importance of personalisation. It might be a step too far, but you can with some degree of assurance you can also predict that email marketers are looking at getting personalisation right first. It stands to reason that you must be able to segment people first and then personalise offers around their behaviour and history before you begin to think dynamically in near real-time.

I can't think of a brand that right now that is doing dynamic offers in email. The nearest you're likely to get to this in everyday life right now is probably the way transport and hospitality apps keep in touch in real-time via notifications. We've all had the welcome to Terminal X notifications or a thanks for checking in at a certain hotel. But what if this could be extended to email?

This isn't just a rhetorical question -- it actually points to a massive opportunity when you consider how the mobile Web appears to be winning against apps. Research shows that people appear to be fatigued by too many apps -- particularly in retail -- and so are more than happy to look for information on the mobile Web.

This must offer a huge opportunity for email as the best way to dynamically target consumers. If they don't have the app and so don't get notifications, you can bet your bottom dollar they will have email.

It will take a lot of creative thinking for email marketers to conjure up exactly what this means for consumers and what type of messages they can serve dynamically, but the possibilities would seem endless. Whatever they have willingly let you know they've just done -- made a payment, triggered a beacon in a store, checked an old email for a voucher code -- you can act on that vital piece of information.

In some ways we have this through marketing automation already, but it's usually limited to what has just happened. Usually something has been delivered and we get an email or we are thanked for signing up to a newsletter. But what about a dynamic call to action to take the next step? You've just looked at a restaurant voucher code -- would you like to book a table now, or are you interesting in tonight's special cocktails? You've just taken delivery of a product, here's the accessory you didn't order -- would you like that sent over with a x% discount right now? Or maybe, thanks for buying x at our cash register in our flagship store, here's a code if you go and grab another x or y right now.

These are all hypothetical, but dynamic targeting based on what an individual is happy to tell you they're doing right now has to be a wonderful supplement to the ability to segment groups of people based on previous behaviour.

Half of email marketers would certainly appear to think so -- and when they get going, I bet you they convince the other half too.

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