Toyota, ACU, Telstra Super on the impact of personalisation

Personalisation isn't a one size fits all strategy. Three very different businesses shared their personalisation stories and how it’s changed their marketing results and bottom line

Personalisation done right can have a dramatic effect on how customers experience a brand and a positive effect on marketing efforts, which flow through to the bottom line. At last week’s Sitecore Experience 2019 event in Sydney, event in Sydney, three very different examples were provided to the audience on the experience of embarking on a personalisation.

Personalising to the individual student

To begin, associate director of digital experience at Australian Catholic University, Luke Williams, explained the university’s digital journey as: “trying to understand our audience better and give a better service for them. And we will win by doing that, as will they, as students and as customers.”

Williams explained the university has several distinct challenges: it’s spread across five states and territories and eight campuses, which means it’s a relatively smaller player in the market [higher education] it’s operating in, which has an effect on brand awareness. Secondly, being a catholic university provides its own set of distinct brand challenges. 

“We’re always going to struggle with share of voice, and a targeted digital approach is really important for us.

The university re-branded and this was the impetus to roll out a new website, which entailed a full UX process, consolidated a number of sites and added personalisation, which was a “pragmatic essential” to cater to its varied student body to get the right content to the right audience to make their journey in the university easier.

The process included ensuring analytics was in top gear, establishing profiles, tagging content, implementing conversion goals, and integrating its CRM to personalise from its existing data. 

And the results have been positive. The ACU has found a lift of 99 per cent on lead generation, its key metric, its commenced applications have risen and it’s seeing greater engagement on the site.

“More engagement on research content on the site, which is a driver of brand reputation, and the traffic that we’re seeing is far more focussed on the student areas of the site and less on the administrative areas and that’s been a win for us.”

Next steps for the university are marketing automation and deepening the personalisation to understand the site traffic.

Superannuation fund targets personalisation

The second speaker, head of digital for Telstra Super, Ingrid Gotz, spoke about the fund’s personalisation journey within the current challenging times in the financial services industry.

Gotz explained people’s knowledge of and willingness to engage with superannuation varies greatly across its member base, as does their age and super balances.

“It’s very important we personalise the relevant information at the right time so we can give them the experience they want.”

It began by refreshing its segmentation model to personalise effectively and connected Sitecore with its internal database to “feed information and insights into Sitecore and, equally, pull it back out” when needed.

“It allowed us to personalise based on persona-level and segment-level and function. And we have that functional data about our members so it was easier.”

The fund has put in place personalisation based on its digital assets on the website. It didn’t need to create a huge amount of extra content, instead it was more a case of directing members to content on its site through new pathways. And its results have been an increase in all digital activities.

“Return visits to the websites, pages visited on the website, log ins to the member portal. All the metrics in the digital engagement space have increased and members who have engaged with Telstra Super digitally are less likely to leave than those who don’t.”

The personalisation has been effective and the resonance it creates with members has made it a valuable exercise and “where members self-serve and do things themselves it creates efficiencies internally”.

It also embedded personalisation in all its communications including newsletters, member statements and marketing messages based on its segments and other criteria and it’s been able to run member retention campaigns based on insights with personalised targeting.

Motoring towards a personalised car experience

The popular motoring company, Toyota, has also embarked on a personalisation campaign with different car models, with a view to moving further towards building personalisation into the car buying experience across its models.

Car buyers are now using the internet like never before when it comes to purchasing a new car. While the process itself has a long lead time, in the realm of about three months for Toyota, with many hundreds of interactions along the time line, people are increasingly embracing digital in the journey. 

Toyota could see the need, and the opportunities, to embrace personalisation to help the journey along.

Lead solution architect at Toyota Motor Corporation, David Johnston-Bell, explained how once upon a time people came into the dealership and there was a single opportunity to sell them a car, whereas now it happens through many more, smaller interactions.

The motoring company is linking its app and its website with its Salesforce marketing cloud to drive better interactions with its users, and linking into its deal network. Its first personalisation programme was rolled out with the new Corolla Hatch.

“We came up with four different segments of buyers for the cars … and we wanted to create personalised content for each of those segments. We didn’t create new content, we could just draw upon what we had and re-use it,” Johnston-Bell told the audience.

It found the personalisation “actually worked” said Johnston-Bell, which resulted in an increase in people checking local stock and other metrics for engagement and purchasing.

It’s now looking to extend personalisation across other areas of Toyota, such as for other car brands on its website, and to put more personalisation into its MyToyota app.

“We want to start using the app as a one-to-one relationship to drive those conversations such as offers from a local dealer to someone’s mobile phone.”

“The impact of personalisation has been more successful than we thought. We didn’t need any new content and for data-driven decisions on marketing spend we can show that it works.”

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