Posted: 13 May 2019 2 min. read

Customer experience insight: the creeping point

Personalisation improves experience, but at what point does it become invasive/damage CX?

Marketers strive to deliver more and more personalised experiences for customers across paid and owned channels, driven by the belief that personalisation will improve customer-lifetime value. When does personalised become too personalised? When does it become a bit creepy? 

CMOs of future will only know more, and have stronger tools for execution. So what is the tipping point? When do we have permission to deliver messages through the consumer context and when should we just hold-off?   

We are closer than ever before to knowing our customers as the collection of robust consumer data hits boiling point - digital profiles consist of multiple attributes spanning browser cookies, device I.Ds, purchase behaviour (credit cards) and demographics. Harvesting user data (predominantly browser cookies and trackers) allows brands to serve targeted content at scale. In many cases, individuals wilfully hand over personal information for improved experiences. This doesn’t imply stalking people around the internet as research conducted by InMoment found 75% percent of consumers reported finding most forms of personalisation at least somewhat creepy . Respondents were likely to switch brands after having a creepy experience, with fatigue becoming another factor as users turn off from messaging or content that misses the mark. 

Poorly executed personalisation is turning consumers away, with some individuals opting for digital privacy tools. The foundation of these technologies is based on putting control back into the hands of consumers. The web-browser automatically blocks trackers and will block ads if required. 

The future is personalised, with services likely requiring even more personal information to deliver a truly meaningful experience, it’s the readjusting required from brands that will result in a bright future. Data-driven experiences are seen today in the form of recommended music, entertainment content and possible routes to optimise your journey. Consumers expect truly immersive experiences that deliver value with humans at the centre, and this can only be achieved through a transparent value exchange.

When the personalisation revolution initially took off, brands resisted the move from high-level conversations to 1-1 dialogue, fearing they wouldn’t capture the masses. The proliferation of data and technology has enabled the modern day marketer, leading to hyper-personalisation at every step of the consumer journey. Delivering meaningful messages to the right person, at the right time is a statement echoed throughout the industry, though at what stage does engaging the right person at the right time become invasive and damage brand perception?

For more information on all things data, privacy and customer experience, download the our Privacy Index 2019 report: Trust – is there an App for that?


David Phillips

David Phillips

Partner, Consulting

David brings nearly twenty years of experience across a range of commercial disciplines from a local and global perspective. These disciplines include: organisational strategy, brand (custodianship and communication), general management, insights and innovation. Prior to establishing the Brand, Creative and Media practice at Deloitte, David led strategy and media at one of Australia's most successful agencies. He has an MBA from Melbourne Business School, and has established two successful start-ups in the research and psychometric strategy fields. While David's particular strength has seen him recognised as a leader in marketing strategy for consumer brands, he has also led client and agency teams across the public sector, as well as, education, financial services and the retail industry, distinguishing David as one of the region's leading marketing strategists.