Data science and customer personalisation in 2020 and beyond

Mass marketing worked a treat in the early days of advertising, when there were only a couple of disruptors. But since then, times have changed and it’s important for the industry to become more personal. 

The benefits of personalisation are well-known. It enhances user experience, boosts your chances of player retention and helps with attracting higher-quality traffic. But implementing a successful strategy for this can be tough. In fact, 60% of content marketers find doing so a challenge (Source: Adobe). 

To create a more unique customer journey, it’s important to look at how you can better-segment data on your website. Is Google Analytics still king? Or, do more dynamic tools exist? We’ll look at all of this today. 

What are the challenges related to personalisation? 

Ultimately, content can only be truly personalised if sufficient data is available. You need to have as full of an understanding of your audience as possible. In the words of Ajay Khanna, Vice President of Marketing at Reltio, consumers’ “needs, preferences, behavioural choices, demographics and socio-economic information” must be understood. Many websites, however, don’t utilise this depth of information. 

It’s also worth noting that data changes all the time. And with the industry at its current size, affiliates must make their efforts real-time now-more-than-ever. Enter the need for segmentation tools to match this growing demand. This is being met by artificial intelligence (AI), as well as other features. 

Is Google Analytics still the most effective personalisation tool?

As an industry, we’re beginning to move from customer segmentation to ‘one-to-one marketing’. Through this, each player is getting a unique experience. And the good news is that there are multiple ways to utilise this now. 

Google Analytics is – and will remain – prominent. For example, it’s already utilising AI in a number of ways. Nowhere can this be seen more than through automated bidding, which is allowing marketers to improve numerous metrics – including impressions and clickthrough rates. Meanwhile, Gmail is enabling more real-time email marketing through its new accelerated mobile page (AMP) features. 

But other tools also exist. Apple’s Swift technology builds apps through the use of sophisticated programming language. 

As the fight for real-time and in-depth personalisation intensifies, more omni-channel platforms could emerge over the course of 2020. More gambling affiliates are utilising blockchain, which is providing full control and transparency on the data they accumulate. And it has the added bonus of improving player security. 

What else could challenge Google Analytics this year?

Another personalisation tactic that could grow this year is ‘reinforcement learning’. This involves stepping into an uncomfortable setting to achieve the biggest possible reward. Depending on whether specific actions are a punishment or reward, it’s then determined what should and shouldn’t be repeated. This trial-and-error will benefit affiliates by not just highlighting what works, but also making it clear what their players don’t like. 

Predictive marketing’, which is still a new concept, could also make more of a mark in affiliate marketing throughout 2020. Along with considering how well a strategy will work based on previous efforts, this idea also brings the idea of continuous campaign improvement. This feeds into the growing need for real-time personalisation. Affiliates will be able to better-determine how to personalise in less time, while implementing these ideas quicker too.

Final thoughts  

Data science is diverse. Leading on from this, there are various ways that affiliates can implement it to fuel their personalisation strategies in 2020. While Google Analytics is still the most sophisticated tool on the market, that could soon change. It’s no longer about just acquiring the right data – this needs to be achieved and implemented faster too. 

With the above in mind, one can expect to see more affiliates seek to take control of this area going forward. This could lead to new multi-channel platforms being developed, as well as the continued growth of blockchain integration. If you take time to consider the data integration features that best work for you, you’ll be able to meet growing needs for real-time and in-depth personalisation. 

Affiverse CEO Lee-Ann Johnstone teaches a range of affiliate marketing hacks in her Advanced Affiliate Program Management course. Book your place for this event here.

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