Personalization vs Individualization: What’s the Difference?

We've all seen survey data that tells us customers want (demand?) personalization. Who doesn't want content that's relevant to them? To me, the more interesting insight is that personalization actually drives results.

Push notifications that use personalization have an average 22% lift in direct open rates and also drive a lift in conversion. It's possible to achieve a purchase rate that is 2% higher on personalized campaigns than it is on non-personalized campaigns.

With the industry focus on personalization lately, individualization has been a hot topic. What does individualized personalization actually look like? And should individualization be used all of the time?

I created a framework of 7 building blocks to help mobile teams meet their personalization goals. Each of these building blocks is a type of personalization. When combined, they create an individualized experience.

While it's possible to curate the cross-functional collaboration and data integration individualized solutions require, it's not practical to try to scale and use all 7 building blocks in every campaign. Why? For starters, you will always have customers who have not provided enough zero-party data for you to create a rich profile on their preferences. And there will always be customers who are not opted-in to everything (i.e. location preferences) needed to create an individualized experience.

Instead, focus on weaving in each of the 7 building blocks to your campaign plans. It's possible to use a taste of personalization across most of your campaigns. Just make sure you don't over-rotate and miss messaging a cohort of your audience.

What are the 7 building blocks of mobile experience personalization?

1 – Past Behaviors.

What interactions have I had with the brand that might inform my future needs?

2 – Timing.

When is the content relevant to me?

3 – Location.

Where is the content relevant to me?

4 – Status.

What segment am I part of?

5 – Predictive.

What insights do you have about me based on my profile?

6 – Current Behaviors.

What am I doing now?

7 – Explicit Preferences.

What did I tell you I want to hear about?

If you'd like to find out more about the 7 building blocks of mobile experience personalization, check out this article on Airship's blog.  

Jennie Lewis leads the Customer Insights function at Airship, helping brands understand the economic impact & quantitative results of their mobile app strategies. She's passionate about using her Design Thinking & CX Innovation training (from eCornell & Northwestern) to guide research projects for customers. (Ask her about "disagio"!) Jennie's previous role at Airship was leading the Strategic Services team in the delivery of strategy sessions, as well as reporting, analytics & campaign managed services. Prior to joining Airship, Jennie led Solutions Architecture and Strategic Alliances at CrowdTwist (acquired by Oracle).