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6 Tips for Effective Personalization

  • March 16 2014, 3:15pm EDT

Research firm Celent recently surveyed consumers about their willingness to share personal data, and to test eight potential messages financial services firms might offer to them, leveraging the consumers’ data.

The results show that most people don’t like receiving the messages Celent prepared for them, with only one receiving an average score of neutral, with the others seeing less favorable responses.

The messages Celent sent were designed to leverage data that is already is being shared, either publicly or through data aggregators, with financial services companies. The firm sent eight messages as part of the survey, and asked respondents to rate them in terms of whether they liked or disliked the messages.

Some samples of messages the company sent:

  • “We noted you have checked in at a location outside the country, so we have pre-authorized your credit card for use there."
  • "The item you just purchased is available for 10 percent less a short distance from your current location, click here for more details."
  • "We noticed you have visited four gambling websites recently. Your profile suggests that you may be susceptible to gambling addiction. Click here to talk to someone about coping strategies. In the meantime, we've now stopped these websites from charging your cards."

Celent offers a few key observations that might be useful for companies looking to communicate with customers in this way:

  • Most people do not like receiving these messages, so they should be offered as an opt-in service, if at all.
  • Target social media users rather than smartphone owners.
  • Younger consumers are more likely to respond positively.
  • Look to people already collecting or sharing data for financial products.
  • If you are using location data, look to people sharing that data already.
  • Avoid criticizing the recipients’ behavior.

“It’s fair to say that the average response to receiving the messages prepared by Celent was neutral or negative,” Celent said. “No message received a positive average response.” Still, some respondents like the idea of receiving these messages, so there is potential for success in reaching out this way, Celent said.
“Any financial institution looking to leverage data in this way to share context-aware messaging with customers must consider when to intervene and the phrasing of the message,” Celent says. “There will be a vanguard of consumers who want these messages and like them.”

This article was originally published by Insurance Networking News. Published with permission.

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