Lessons in Personalised Content with Kanye

by Rob McLaughlin

Posted on 08-09-2018

The world’s most cre­ative peo­ple are per­fec­tion­ist. From the web design­er who spends hours design­ing the type­face for a new web­site to the musi­cian who records the same song 100 times to nail their gui­tar tone, cre­atives do every­thing in their pow­er to give their audi­ence the best pos­si­ble experience.

That’s why it was a sur­prise to hear music purists call foul when Kanye West began chang­ing the lyrics of some songs on his lat­est album two weeks after releas­ing it. They claimed he should stand by his com­plet­ed work once it leaves the stu­dio, but Kanye was doing what pop­u­lar musi­cians have always done – giv­ing peo­ple what they want.

We don’t buy com­plete albums any­more, we stream songs, which is why an artist’s income large­ly comes from down­loads instead of album sales. Kanye is just the first major musi­cian to take advan­tage of a dig­i­tal for­mat to deliv­er the best lis­ten­ing expe­ri­ence to his fans (while also serv­ing his own interests).

As mar­keters and adver­tis­ers, we can take many lessons from this approach. Con­tent is now king, and the way peo­ple expe­ri­ence that con­tent dic­tates its reach and impact Both pieces are essen­tial if brands want to meet cus­tomer expec­ta­tions in today’s mul­ti-chan­nel envi­ron­ment. The next fron­tier of per­son­al­i­sa­tion is about find­ing ways to be more respon­sive and give cus­tomers what they want even quicker.

Most brands already draw on cus­tomer data to per­son­alise their offer­ing, but ana­lyt­ics tech­nol­o­gy has evolved again and brands are turn­ing to Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (AI) to per­son­alise their offer­ing even fur­ther. This begins with a cen­tral plat­form. Unless data is cen­tralised, easy to manip­u­late, and acces­si­ble to the right sys­tems, brands will be work­ing with a par­tial view of cus­tomers and even their most advanced tools will have a lim­it­ed impact.

SKY UK, Europe’s lead­ing enter­tain­ment com­pa­ny, is using AI to enhance its cus­tomer under­stand­ing and deliv­er more per­son­alised expe­ri­ences to its 22 mil­lion sub­scribers in five coun­tries. . Adobe Sen­sei is help­ing the broad­cast­er to con­tin­u­ous­ly refine its tar­get­ing and con­tent strate­gies, which means sub­scribers receive a more rel­e­vant ser­vice tai­lored specif­i­cal­ly to their activity.

Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence is also gain­ing trac­tion with brands that want to opti­mise their online expe­ri­ences at scale. Swiss­com has been using AI to tai­lor its web and mobile offer­ing for each of its 6.6 mil­lion cus­tomers in real-time. A/B test­ing has been around for ages but AI enhances the process, allow­ing Swiss­com to auto­mat­i­cal­ly analyse mil­lions of data points and apply its learn­ings instant­ly to keep fine-tun­ing its dig­i­tal properties.

That’s not to say we should hand cre­ativ­i­ty over to data and auto­mat­ed sys­tems. Emo­tion still lies at the core of effec­tive con­tent. Where AI helps is by help­ing brands ensure their cre­ative approach and roll out strat­e­gy aligns with cus­tomer needs in the right way, at the right time. Even the biggest mar­ket­ing team can’t analyse mil­lions of cus­tomer reac­tions, much less instant­ly, but this is the lev­el of audi­ence insight they need to be suc­cess­ful. That’s what AI algo­rithms deliver.

Let’s also remem­ber that it takes months to curate a cre­ative idea and turn it into a cam­paign. If the idea then falls flat, all this hard work will have gone to waste. It’s time we take inspi­ra­tion from Kanye and cap­i­talise on new tech­nolo­gies that improve the changes of a cam­paign hit­ting the mark.

The process of opti­mis­ing con­tent is sim­ple, but the approach we’ve tak­en so far is no longer fast enough for a dig­i­tal audi­ence. Most mar­keters still need to wait until a new brief lands to apply their learn­ings from a cam­paign that is still run­ning, which means they are miss­ing out on valu­able oppor­tu­ni­ties to opti­mise and improve their approach right away. With AI, they don’t have to. After all, why wait until tomor­row to give the peo­ple what they want when you can deliv­er today?

For more on how Adobe Sen­sei helps brands opti­mise their con­tent and deliv­er bet­ter dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences, click here.

Read the SKY UK case study here

Topics: Digital Transformation, adobe Sensei, AI, Kanye West, personalisation, Sky UK, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA