There can be no doubt that this is the era of personalisation. Whereas in the past we would buy a CD, now we buy songs; where we would listen to a radio show, now we can grad the bits we like; where we would buy a newspaper, we can get the stories on topics which interest us delivered to the device of choice.

Consumers can get the content we want when and where we want. They want what they want rather than all the stuff they don’t want. I take this to be a rejection of one size fits all, in part at least. Sure we may not be seeing it in traditional retail, that it’s happening in music and entertainment could be reasonably assed as the start of a possible trend.

We’re seeing something like this through our dealings with our small business clients. Where in the past we would get excellent numbers to our group training sessions and events, now they prefer one on one contact or to access content in a personalised way. The feedback we have is that they like to be able to pick and choose content. This has only come about in the last eighteen months. What’s happening in the broader community is changing how they want to run the IT side of their business. Hence our pursuit of podcasting and other technologies to deepen our connect.

The ability to deliver personal content more closely aligned with the consumer is a point of difference for small business. It’s one we exploit (to our sales success) and one which many of our small business retail clients exploit. Too many small businesses have failed trying to emulate their big business competitors. We’re better off smiling, providing exceptional personal service and gently reminding the customer that they wouldn’t get this attention elsewhere.

Back to my company, the cost of one on one connects is high but so is the customer retention rate.

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